Eat your city

Three areas in Almere were sampled to explore if naturally growing products can feed people. Research answered whether online libraries listing the occurrences of animals and plants were reliable and how citizens may contribute to local food systems.

The “Eet je stad” (Eat your city) project contributes to research on resilient urban food systems in Almere as part of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. As such, it is part of Flevo Campus for which AMS Institute is a partner in the Flevo Campus Consortium. The project seeks to explore the potential of naturally growing and edible products in Almere’s urban area.

The one-year project defined three areas of focus:

a) an inventory of edible products that grow naturally in the green urban spaces in and around Almere

b) an initial assessment of potential beneficiaries/consumers of these products

c) an identification of how citizens may contribute to the operationalization of such a local food system.

Digital resources of edible species are used in the project to inventorize the data on edible plants/species. For instance, the following tools are used in the project: Wildplukwijzer, Visatlas, Boomregister and National Database Flora & Fauna (NDFF).

The urban biologist Ton Eggenhuizen helped by feeding data to the NDDF library starting mid-August 2018. Also, initial maps were made based on wild picking guides and the city inventory/repertoire of trees to define three areas to create a full inventory.

The larger goal is to determine the reliability of digital data regarding the species and their quantities. Areas/Lots measuring one by one kilometer were sampled in three locations: 1) the lake “Leeghwaterplas”, 2) “Vroege Vogelbos” in Almere-Haven, a park environment and 3) outer Almere “Bouwmeesterbuurt”, a residential neighborhood. All three locations were selected upon consultation with the city biologist Ton Eggenhuizen. Areas were inventorized as following: Vroege Vogelbos and Bouwmeesterbuurt until August 2018 for plants, bushes, trees, Leeghwaterplas until early September for fish, crustaceans and shellfish and Bouwmeesterbuurt and Vroege Vogelbos for mushrooms in October 2018.

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