Health, Ecology, Fairness & Care
Swiss born Jessica Sbaraglia founded Terre de Monaco four years ago, in the Spring of 2016 to be more precise. Terre de Monaco is a start-up dedicated to produce urban agriculture in particular ecological vegetable gardens based on the values of organic gardening and permaculture, not only in the ground and on the roofs and balconies of Monaco, but also internationally.
The 2008 General Assembly of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), representing close to 800 affiliates in 117 countries, adopted the definition of organic agriculture, based on four principles: Health, Ecology, Fairness and Care.
“Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosytems, and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic Agriculture combines tradition, innovation, and science to benefit th shared environment and promote fair relationships and good quality of life for all involved.”
Growing your own food is like printing your own money
The areas cultivated in the Principality by Terre de Monaco represent around 2,000 m2 of market gardening, plus 60 hens and 10 beehives. Since its inception to the present, they have produced around 3.5 tonnes of vegetables of ancient varieties. Not to mention, their international reach through their design office, with projects in Belgium, France and Switzerland.
Their first small vegetable garden was planted in 2016 at the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Other followed suite, such as the one in the large luxury Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel with 400 m2 on the roof of the Casino room, feeding the gourmet restaurant Blue Bay with a collaboration in symbiosis with the Michelin-starred chef Marcel Ravin.
There is a vegetable patch at the Princess Grace Hospital Center of Monaco, where you will find 250 m2 of vegetable cultivation and 50m2 of strawberry plants. This vegetable garden has an additional therapeutical purpose as adolescents from the psychiatric service work the soil and learn the basics gardening. You will also find a large vegetable garden of 450 m2 of vegetables, 30 fruit trees, 60 hens and 10 beehives at the foot of the Odéon Tower in Monaco limitrophe with Beausoleil.
Terre de Monaco has a stand at the Condamine Market in Monaco where they sell their organic produce that is very quickly bought by the loyal clients.
Recently another vegetable garden of 400 m2 located in a bordering community supplies the gastronomic restaurant of the hotel Hermitage le Vistamar. Terre de Monaco also operates a 1,000 m2 site 5 minutes from Monaco to deliver the kitchens of the Métropole hotel and Joel Robuchon’s restaurant. Finally, the latest development is on a large rooftop of over 500 m2, overlooking a magnificent view of the port of Monaco.
Jessica and her team offer a garden solution for people living in small spaces without an outdoor plot, by installing small custom-made vegetable gardens. You would be surprise what you are able to grow on a container placed on your patio, terrace or balcony that will enable you to enjoy wonderful, fresh vegetables and herbs. Table planters are easy, attractive and accessible. There are also vertical planters that are the ultimate space savers. And even multi-tired pots grow lots of vegetables and herbs at once. The main things to take into account are: sunlight, presentation and weight restrictions.
Teaching children about sustainability through gardening
Today more than ever before, protecting our planet is an urgency. In orde to reverse the damage it is crucial to engage young generations and teach them to preserve nature. In these times of packaged goods and fast food, many schools are starting community gardens to help children connect to real food. Thanks to the support of National Education and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Terre de Monaco team work in 10 schools in Monaco giving classes but also 5 managing pedagogic vegetable gardens where the children cultivate and harvest their own production.
Terre de Monaco is a consultant for several great chefs, such as Mauro Colagreco and the 3-starred Mirazur restaurant in Menton, and the prestigious Lausanne Hotel School. Terre de Monaco is exported in the form of a small permacole urban farm. In 2023, Terre de Nice and Terre de Tubize (Belgium) will see the light of day in a new eco-district. It’s a return to the sources of common sense, ecological and healthy!
“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but also the soul.” Alfred Austin