Thanks to the RAISE Youth project, the First Vermiculture DEMO Center in Europe has been established in Casarrubuelos (Madrid – Spain): a collaborative green center of circular economy, with a surface of 2450 m2 to promote experimentation and dissemination of innovative agri-environmental activities.
Casarrubuelos DEMO Center is divided into three work areas:
The urban home gardens area, where youths harvest their own vegetables, learning how to do it. A community is created, using the DEMO Center facilities, exchanging experiences, resources, knowledge, and even the vegetable production achieved (seasonal vegetable products).
The composting area, where vegetable waste from the households of the families involved in the project is composted to obtain ecological compost, reducing as well the cost of waste removal and the carbon footprint.
The vermicomposting area, where the quality of this compost is improved and transformed into worm humus: currently the best ecological organic fertilizer.
In addition, RAISE DEMO Center in Casarrubuelos also provides training on Sustainability, Circular Economy, urban home gardens, general gardening and recycling.
Workshops held at the DEMO Center:
- Home and community composting workshops.
Young people and their families participate in these workshops, increasing their knowledge about Circular Economy, Organic Recycling and Sustainability, with the aim to promote environmental awareness and recycling culture in the population.
These workshops are focused on the collection and transformation of organic waste from the homes of the volunteers participating in the DEMO Center activities, using the composting technique.
The participants learn how to reuse and give a second life to their organic waste, recycling it through the composting method to obtain compost -ecological organic fertilizer-. They learn the main aspects about what compost is, how to create it and how to use it.
Preparing the participants for the creation of companies according to the Sustainable Waste Management Strategy of the Community of Madrid in order to meet its objectives in terms of Sustainability.
- Vermiculture workshops.
These workshops are focused as well on the collection and transformation of organic waste to the best ecological organic fertilizer on the market: worm humus, but, this time, using the vermiculture technique.
Training on what vermiculture is, how to carry it out and the uses of the final product obtained is given, both in a private level but also as a new and emerging business model, within the Circular Economy and Sustainability sector.
- Urban home gardens trainings.
This activity is held in the DEMO Center facilities, creating community, exchanging experiences, knowledge, resources and even the production achieved. Youths learn how to take charge of an urban vegetable garden: from the initial preparation of the land to the harvesting and conservation of the vegetables.
- Tree planting and arboretum design.
An arboretum is a botanical collection composed exclusively of trees or living collections of woody plants.
In these workshops, small groups of trees of the same species are planted and identified by their name and their Latin name together with a short description of some distinguishing characteristic of that specie. A botanical tree garden is created to increase the knowledge of these species among the population. Participants learn the basic characteristics of every specie, how to properly plant the different species, as well as how to take care of them.
- Cuttings and seeds workshops.
Subjects such as: pruning, sowing, grafting, transplanting, as well as professional gardening work in general are taught in these workshops. The young people leave this training highly qualified to carry out gardening work, some of them have already been hired by the Casarrubuelos Town hall after completing this training.
All the trainings and workshops held in this First Vermiculture DEMO Center in Europe are geared towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): especially those related to the sustainability of territories and respect for the planet’s environment. Always having in mind as well other goals related togender equality, quality education and the reduction of inequalities are also worked on.
As well as to give the participants the skills and knowledge in this specific green areas for carrying out green, sustainable and social entrepreneurship initiatives. As well as have a differentiating factor in their curriculum in order to be hired by sustainable companies and within the circular economy sector.