June 2023

Voices from the garden

Voices from the garden

The second year of the service “Voices from the garden” aimed at people with mental and physical disabilities came to a successful end.

This programme involves two members of the RC Milano Nord-Ovest who have a master degree in agriculture, one of whose also teaches at the Faculty of Agriculture of Brescia.

Lots of anxiety for the exam and skyrocketing enthusiasm at the awarding of the certificates and the prizes for the guests of the Day Centers for Disabled People of Cusano Milanino and Cinisello Balsamo which are run by the social cooperative Solaris.

Each Friday morning two members of the RC Milano Nord Ovest, one of whose holds the chair of Agronomy at the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Brescia have devoted their time to help the guests of the Day Centers for Disabled People of Cusano Milanino and Cinisello Balsamo to manage a vegetable garden in the precints of the centers. Our two members are supported by two professors of the Faculty of Agronomy of the University of Milan and an agronomist who volunteers at the Museum of History of Agriculture.

On the days when bad weather prevented work outside, the volunteers entertained people with lessons on agriculture or on specific plants, or with activities such as how to make a herbarium, how to sow in pots, how to recognize plants and flowers, how to build a scarecrow, what a rain gauge is and how it is used, how to make plant identification labels.

Participation in the course was very high because on average each lesson involved 25 people committing themselves with enthusiasm to the programme, also vying with each other to demonstrate their skills and their knowledge. The educators at both centers were fantastic: during the week they maintained the students’ interest making them repeat what had been taught and ensuring that the kitchen gardens received the necessary care so that the plants could grow well.

The party, which gave these people the happiness of having passed an exam and obtaining a certificate to take home, marked the end of this second year of course. The service will continue next year.

Responsible for this service:  Luigi Mariani and Barbara Martellini, members of RCMNO.