“The revolution starts from the ground up”, said Muriel Del Don in relation to the Swiss-German co-produced film, Wild Plants. Following alternative lifestyles across the world and how they handle the effects of globalisation, the film explores the reasons why and ways in which people are re-grounding themselves in nature and how communal farming is blooming fast.
In the 1970s the successful automobile industry of Detroit fell into crisis and the city quickly became unrecognisable from the marvellous Motown it once was. In the last forty years, Urban Gardening projects such as “farm a lot” have been building a sustainable nutrition system in which citizens can plant, look after and harvest their own vegetables. “Farm a lot” is an example of one of the many projects in the “Keep Growing Detroit” movement, which converted 3000 abandoned car parks into communal urban gardens. More than 23,000 Detroiters are taking part in the various projects that have helped bring 1,500 gardens to life. The automobile heritage of the city has been upheld by businesses such as General Motors, which donated old car containers to be converted into raised flowerbeds. The scheme has not only had a positive impact on the citizens, who can now benefit from free, fresh produce, but has also had an invigorating effect on the city by turning it into a verdant hub.
Another way of alternative living is depicted through the Genevan cooperative, Jardins de Cocagne, which with its nine polytunnel full of fruit and vegetables supplies over 400 households with fresh produce. The group works with Agriculture Contractuelle de Proximité (regional contract agriculture), which establishes a relationship between the producers and consumers of high quality organic food by cutting out the kilometers.
Lastly is Maurice Maggi who leads his out-of-the-norm lifestyle in Zurich, where he plants wild shrubs and vines in need of very few nutrients throughout the city in order to show that “life is possible everywhere”.