Slow Food has always had an innovative approach to food and taste education, based on reawakening our senses and training them to recognize various aspects of our food, from farm to fork.
At Terra Madre we’ll be sharing knowledge through the experiences of our delegates and their projects around the world, as well as through activities for children and families. We’re also organizing an educational garden for everyone to learn more about growing food, hands on!
Together with Turin Botanical Garden we’re preparing a mandala-shaped vegetable patch which will also be our gateway to the Education Island: after all, there’s no place that can teach us more about food! The soil it’s grown in, the water we use, the role of pollinators. Simply by growing a rosemary bush we can reconnect with these seemingly-distant worlds. There are as many different types of vegetable garden as there vegetable, of course, and they can extremely diverse. In our mandala garden you can find a synergic garden, an insect-friendly garden, a permaculture flower bed, and at the center, an edible food forest!
The garden of Education Island: soil, earthworms and chickens
Stage 1: Under the earth
Our food begins underground, in the soil, with all its microbiological complexity, its consistencies and colors. We must learn to admire it and respect it, and to take care for it as a member of the family.
Stage 2: Soil on our plate
Just how essential is the soil for our food? See the difference for yourself! A rich, fertile soil gives us good, healthy food, while poor soils can’t give us much at all.
Stage 3: Worms, our friends
The soil is a densely-populated place; at least, it should be. Soil fauna includes mammals (like moles!), arthropods, bacteria, and worms. There’s a whole world beneath our feet, and each hectare of land can contain as much as 5000 kilos of biomass, which our legless friends tirelessly process.
Stage 4: Crazy for chickens
Chickens, when left to roam freely, do wonders for the soil beneath their feet. This stage of the journey is dedicated to the poultry value chain, the beauty and variety of domesticated chicken breeds, to their curiosity and their intelligence!
Stage 5: Laying eggs
The last stage is dedicated to one of the greatest symbols of regeneration: the egg! We present an exhibition of these marvelous, fragile forms, from chickens, ducks, geese, quails and more.
At the center of the journey there’s an area dedicated to our youngest visitors with a play area and reading workshops.
The Slow Food education network is international. At Terra Madre you can meet Slow Food educators for yourself and learn more about their projects from schools to canteens and vegetable gardens.
As in all Slow Food events there are services for families, on this occasion provided in collaboration with Giovani Genitori – including baby-changing and breastfeeding areas, as well as a soft play area for small children.