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Vegetable Gardening Program Wins National Award

Photo: BMEL/Janine Schmitz/photothek

At the beginning of April, agricultural minister Julia Klöckner awarded the GemüseAckerdemie initiative the “To Good for the Trash!” award. This award is given to initiatives that find creative and exemplary ways to avoid food wastage. “Knowledge increases how we value food,” summarized Julia Klöckner, praising the nominees as co-designers of a change of trend. Having won over 20 different awards – including for effectiveness, contributing to diversity, and digital concept – the GemüseAckerdemie is now one of the most frequently-recognized educational programs in Germany. In 2019, over 17,000 children and young people will garden in 450 locations in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. “This award is a wonderful recognition of our work,” said Dr. Christoph Schmitz, founder of Ackerdemia e. V., as the award was presented in Berlin. “At the core, we care about valuing food – and that is exactly what the prize recognizes.”

“While growing vegetables, children learn how they can utilize nature in an environmentally-responsible way, and at the same time care for it,” said SAGST project manager Cornelius Sträßer. “They experience self-efficacy and learn directly, through practical action, how valuable our food is. That is a good basis for later responsible living and co-determination in society.” The Software AG Foundation has been supporting the GemüseAckerdemie since its initial phase of development in 2014. “The initiators have fully and completely realized their concept,” Cornelius Sträßer continued. “The initiative has been able to win over many additional supporters and to not only secure but increase the quality of the program by training multipliers.”

From left to right: German agricultural minister Julia Klöckner (3rd from right), jury member Cherno Jobatey (left) with Lydia Ruwe, Ariane Maillot, Julia Jägle, Christoph Schmitz and Rebecca Rank from Ackerdemia e. V.