A walk in Rotterdam: from Marconiplein to Dijkzigt
This Tuesday morning i woke up early. I was lying there crying for a bit, then i decided to get out of bed. Half past seven.Even though i thought of doing a bit of work today, i decided to go out and go for a walk. I was in the metro half past eight. It was busy. All people going to work. All silent. Within themselves.
I went to the Marconiplein, the place my walk a week ago had ended. I knew about the gardens i wanted to visit. The Voedseltuin and the Tuin op de Pier were my main targets. But while i was walking there, i was thinking of the milieupark which was close to the Voedselpark. The place where you can go and throw away stuff which can be recycled or re-used. I took a look at all the different kinds of material you can bring there: tires, plastic stuff, chemical stuff, metals, building material. I loved the little gallery of little garden gnomes and dragons and fat chinese man standing together just when you entered the park.
I wasn’t allowed to take any photos of the place. I only took one photo of the view. Looking across the New Waterway towards the place north of Heijplaat. Looking right at the place i took the photo at, the one with the text ‘Across the water the three flats of Marconiplein. I used to live close to them from 1985 – 1995.‘ beneath it.
I turned back on towards the Voedseltuin, the Food Garden (Facebook page). There were quite a few people there, around ten i guessed. I walked all around the circles in which all the vegetables were growing. They were still working on building the last ones. They were using old pedestrian footpath tiles, breaking them into two or four pieces. A lot of work!
I talked a bit with Max, the garden coordinator. I told him about this small project, getting to know the collective gardens in Rotterdam and a bit more about their organization and the volunteers involved. The Voedseltuin is quite a bit bigger than the Peace Garden. They have four working times in a week, from Monday till Thursday. It is a bit better organized than the Peace Garden, i have to say. On their website voedseltuin.com i read more about their goals, re-integration and permaculture.
A lovely garden. I might go and do some days of work there, to get to know the place a bit better. Not sure it would be for the long term though.
After the Voedseltuin i walked to the Dakpark Rotterdam. There used to be train rails here. Now there are big shops on one side, and on their roofs this park is build. It is eerily orderly. The grass is properly mowed. It is also very quiet. When i asked someone near the fountain, she said it was because schools had just begun this week. True!
Halfway this park there were some small allotments. Above them a couple of sheep were supposed to graze the grass short. I didn’t really see them out and about. They were also fenced of with electrical wires, not easy to go and see them.
I walked through these allotments and walked out of the park towards the end of the Oude Delfshaven with the mill standing there proudly. I followed the Westzeedijk to the Lloyd Quarter. Old harbour area, repurposed with housing and companies buildings. The Garden on the Pier, Tuin op de Pier is there in between the houses near the water.
I was lucky, there were people there as well. They used circles to plant their crops and flowers in as well. This garden was set up by the people living around it. The area isn’t used yet for housing and it looked derelict in between the high rising new buildings. They set up this garden as a space to relax, grow vegetables and herbs and flowers and a place to meet.
Reading their 2015 annual report, this garden is quite active and financially supported by a group of friends consisting mainly of the people living around it. Yoga, Easter Egg hunting with children, many cooking and eating together evening. The kale and rabbit meal in November stands out for me. Once a year they have a moles catcher with his ferret in the garden to try and catch as many rabbit as possible. Subsequently they bake and eat the rabbit with kale grown in the garden itself. I’m sure i’ll be back in this garden soon!
I did walk to another, smaller garden at the other end. By that time my iPhone was dead, the battery empty. I was also getting a bit tired. It was past one already, i had walked for more than four hours. Time to get something to eat and go home. Where i rested my tired feet for a while on the couch before i wrote this piece.