Anna's Garden & Ruigte from muddy flat clay land to living lab

It is hard to imagine what a transformation Anna's Tuin & Ruigte has gone through, what a year! Through your support we have transformed the muddy flat clay land into a place where you can find the principles of a permaculture garden, a cozy courtyard to get together, one can make a walk along the different parts of Anna's Garden & Ruigte and much more. In the next timeline report we will show you the highlights of 2017 and relive them, but continue to follow us on Facebook and the website to know how Anna grows!

A cold winter with lots of rain, fog and snow, but it did not stop our enthusiastic volunteers from going outside and messing around with the mud to create a nice wood chip path. A path to invite everyone from, and around SciencePark to walk around and explore in Anna's Garden. Even when the path was not finished, it was already spotted by curious visitors who carefully inspected the dead end in the mud.

The mud did not stop the residents, students and all other volunteers from creating the first vegetable beds. The harvest of radishes, broad beans and capuchins was celebrated festively in July by eating them with the volunteers during a picnic.

Meanwhile the seed bank in the clay soil was awakened by all the excitement and Anna's Garden soon became completely green and later even golden yellow of the Black mustard flowers. It gave a beautiful image, with thousands of pollinators that flew from flower to flower. In September we harvested the dry silique (kind of beans) and seeds and Jeroen made two jars of mustard. The volunteers have enjoyed it.

The biggest party this year was the opening party of Anna's Garden & Ruigte. Together with Cafe Polder and the help of many volunteers and initiatives we had a fantastic afternoon in May in Anna's Garden. The workshops were jam-packed and, according to many, the atmosphere was cheerful and relaxed, with demand for more. The newspapers of Amsterdam were also curious, which resulted in nice interviews and articles in, among others, Dwars door de buurt, Folia and the Parool.

The Garden is already getting more shape. Together with Joao and Eelco we make plans and designs so that the garden gets a long-term vision, where natural efficiency, knowledge and pleasure are used as guidelines (read more about permaculture here). We built a willow hut to shelter from the rain and around the picnic bench the vegetable beds are laid out so that you can easily access them. We will continue this in 2018 so that we not only stimulate higher biodiversity, but also more educational opportunities and more harvest of course!

The Ruigte is the area we leave more quiet and will mow in phases. We already started with this by means of a hand-held workshop, which is very educational, fun and durable. Furthermore, irregularities have been made in some "islands" such as pools for amphibians, we have an insect hotel and in the spring we sow indigenous flower seeds for more biodiversity. As a reward for the hard work, a Lapwing pair nestled in the Ruigte in the spring and the Kingfisher rushes along the nature-friendly banks since a few weeks!

Anna's friends continue to work hard at her Tuin & Ruigte and all projects resulting from it, also in 2018. Thanks to the financial support of the City of Amsterdam, there is a wonderful information board and you can now even follow an audio tour, made by UvA students. Without your help we would never have been able to achieve this and we would like to thank you for that. Keep spreading the word and drop by the Garden with all your questions and ideas. On behalf of the board of Stichting Anna's Tuin & Ruigte, a fresh green 2018!