Grow Gothenburg is a digital meeting place for people that care about cities and livelihoods with greater biodiversity, more food producing surfaces and living communities. The organisations behind Grow Gothenburg is The Foodprint Lab Architects and Gothenburg City amongst other property owners and urban farmers in Gothenburg. We are working to enable for people to farm on new areas according to ecological principles and with new friends.
Thriving local food systems!
The vision of the Grow platform is a world where everyone has access to grow their own food or buy food directly from their local farmer.
We envision communities and regions with enough food production to feed their own local population, to ensure resilience to economic, ecological and social crises.
Thriving local food systems are providing ecosystems services, ensuring biodiversity, adapting to and preventing climate change, inviting to physical exercise, creating healthy, safe and secure outdoor environments with plenty of spontaneous social meeting places, where people can leave a positive ecological footprint on the built environment.
Facilitate for local food producers
We empower local food systems, one small farm at a time - through the sharing of land, knowlegde and resources.
Here at Grow Gothenburg we want to enable for everyone who wants to start farming to realize their dream project, whether it is for commercial or social purposes or to produce your own food.
1. Take care
Your farming success starts with yourself. All members work to take care of themselves and others. It is pretty scary how much easier it is to take care of yourself and others when you relate to the world of the plants; plants need good physical prerequisties in the form of nutrients, water and comfortable micro climate, but also love, support and thoughtfullness.
When you think about it, it is not a lot that differs us from plants. The equation is pretty simple, if you are not doing good, how are you then supposed to take care of your plants?
You also have to make sure you have enough knowledge and passion to take care of your plants. That does not mean that you need to know everything before you start farming, however, it is important that you start and keep your passion for learning during your whole farming journey.
2. A poison and drug-free environment
Grow Gothenburg works for a nature and built environment with good conditions for a healthy and environmentally friendly life. We therefore demand that all farms are established and taken care of according to ecological principles and with ambitions to eventually become certified. That means that chemical insecticides and plant protection agents are not allowed. The soil need to be free of poison and where there is a suspicion about contamination, soil tests need to be taken.
Just as your plants wishes an environment without poison, we demand that our members, partners, farmers and landowners do not use or farm any illegal drugs as well as together work in a preventive matter. Grow Gothenburg and all the organisations behind the platform stand strongly against the use of drugs and work consciously for a society without. It is up to each of everyone’s civil duties to report crimes to the local police department. In any suspicion of the use or farming of drugs the person in question is immediately closed of the platform and/or site of farming.
3. Trust and responsibility
Grow Gothenburg Platform is built upon trust and responsibility in people. Just as in your own neighbourhood we try to help each other when it is necessary and report when there is something wrong.
It is up to each and everyone of the members to make sure that themselves and their friends follows the Grow Community’s values and safety rules. Grow Gothenburg and all the organisations behind the platform do not carry any responsibility to activities taking place at different plots, instead it is up to each landowner and farmer to make sure that their own demands are followed and that a contract is written which is to the benefit of all involved parties. Moreover, it is the member's responsibility to ensure that the information and educational material they share on the platform is based upon reliable sources. Our administrators will do the best to survey the content before publication, but there are never any guarantees that the content is trustworthy, you have to trust research, your own judgement and other member’s trustworthiness. Also, If a person would like to be anymous the administrator need to be informed.
4. Form and design
We all appreciate cities and livelihoods which are safe, well maintained, flourishing and beautiful. Grow Gothenburg therefore encourage you to put a lot of effort in the design of your farming plot. There are a row of different aspects to think on in the design process, here are some examples;
- You and others should easily reach and access your plants for maintenance.
- Adapt the choose and placement of plants in consideration to the local microclimate as sun, wind and precipitation.
- Make sure there is access to water.
- All material is eco friendly and suitable for the surrounding environment and give a clean impression. Park and nature advices you to not use tents, sheet metal or any material that can be experienced as hideous.
- Choose a size that is manageable. Park and Nature suggest your plot to be at least 25 sqm and Fastighetskontoret suggest a maximum of 150 sqm.
If you need advice how to create a beautiful farming bed or green house, or how to take care of rain water and other resources in an economical and climate smart way, you can always rent in anyone of our landscape architects or garden designers. Be aware that for larger building constructions you need building permission. Please contact your closest buildings permission office for answer of specific questions.
Vegetable gardens and animals contribute with a range of values for everything from a small child to a joyful retired lady. To get the opportunity to taste a strawberry from a vegetable garden can give tasteful memories to share with a friend for the rest of his or her life. At the same time it is important to respect the hard work of the Grower to produce this wonderful goods. Grow Gothenburg therefore values a respectful visit to the farming plots. However, on private properties it is the landowner self who decides the accessibility to the farm. There is also an opportunity to show and tell your own farming story during one of The Foodprint Lab’s popular Urban Farming Safaris. You can also get an overview of the urban farming movement on Grow Gothenburg map.
If you want to farm in a park, nature area or on a public place, it is the department of Park and Nature that owns and administer the land. As a part of the five strategies of the city they intend to make public land accessible for private initiatives that realise the wish about participation and creativity. This means that it is not allowed to put fences on a farming plot in a public park. However, it is allowed to make a mark for boundary of the plot with a fence, but then it is important that the gates are open not locked but open so that people can pass through the area. If you want to use public areas for gardening you should have concrete ideas which you can formulate under the section “project idea on the platform”.
6. Maintenance agreement
A farming plot demand a lot of maintenance in the form of weeding, watering, preparation of soil and compost with more. Grow Gothenburg’s mission is to facilitate for you or someone else to spend more time gardening. To avoid discussion about who is responsible for what, it is important that the property owner and the grower writes a maintenance agreement, renting or other contract with demands that everyone can agree on. You as a property owner are yourself responsible for that this contract is written before you start your cooperation. When the farmer is supposed to do more work than farming on the specific site it is recommended that the farmer is compensated with a commission according to recommended levels. However, the farmer must then be registered for class F tax (F-skatt). For more information contact your local tax office.
On public properties, as park and nature areas owned by Gothenburg City it is only small and certain maintenance agreements that are handled by the department of Park and Nature. Contract concerning farming on public properties are therefore not for rent but regulated in the same way as other maintenance agreements. That means that the access to the land can be terminated at any given time for other uses. Gothenburg city also have the right to demand that the ground is recovered to its’ original state. Just as with other public land the department wants to sign the maintenance agreement only with an organisation to ensure a proportional economy and maintenance. Maintenance agreements on public land are not bind with any kind of fees.
7. Commercial activity
Grow community encourages commercial farming. Everyone unfortunately don’t have the possibility, time or strength that is demanded to farm but although precious to eat ecological, fair, local and healthy food. If you sell your produce you are yourself responsible that you possess the demanded legal rights. You should also be aware about that selling of products can only be made from farming plots where you have payed some kind of rent. Therefore, if you want to start a commercial farm you should always contact Fastighetskontoret who administrates all rentals and users rights of colony farms and farming plots. The rental costs and starting fees are regulated according to the city’s tariff model.
8. Economical sustainability
Grow Gothenburg and all the members work to be able to establish farms that can contribute to greater resilience during for instance economical, social or ecological crises and the use of our precious resources. We therefore value that the farms can prosper for a long time into the future. To enable longtime commitment and viability there is a need of economical means or a clear organisational model within the organisation or company. In some cases can Gothenburg City through the department “Fastighetskontoret” give funding for small scale and residential farming. Fastighetskontoret then demand that you and your friends form an official organisation. The funding is meant to stimulate and partly finance a mutual project that is for farming. You can read more about these fundings under “Stadsnära odling” under this link.
9. Equality, religion and politics
Grow Gothenburg platform is made for everyone interested in farming, to meet friends or contribute to a more sustainable society. The community is not bound to any political parties or religious believes and is built upon the respect to everyone’s different opinions, sexual orientation, ethnic background and personal viewpoints. For everyone’s safety and comfort we therefore kindly ask you to keep a friendly and accommodating tune to the other members and administrators. If a member is behaving in an unacceptable way towards other members, partners or administrators will the person after receiving a warning immediately be closed off from the platform.
10. Feedback and suggestions
We ask you to be forgiving about that the Grow Gothenburg Platform is only in beta test and ongoing development. Lacks, bugs or technical problems will occur and be ask you to reconnect with us ASAP if you experience any problems, and we will do our best to solve the issue. We also ask you to come with proposals about how the platform could be improved with new functions. We thankfully receive donations for further development so that it suits your farming needs.