Previously seen as a hobby for retirees, nowadays more and more men and women of different ages and origins enjoy gardening in an amateur garden. While the garden used to be used for growing and growing vegetables, today we see many differences in approach and use. Utility gardens alternate with permaculture gardens, flower gardens and combination gardens.
Living and working in the open air, growing your own vegetables and flowers, sharing knowledge and stories and meeting people from different backgrounds in the garden or in the association building are important factors in this regard. Various national and international studies have shown that having an amateur garden contributes significantly to the well-being and health of users. In addition, amateur gardens fit in well with the image of local sustainable recreation.
Over time, amateur gardens have made important contributions to both an awareness of 'nature in the city' and an interest in 'ecological gardening' and 'rest recreation'. Just as knowledge and experience was transferred to new members in the guilds, the experienced gardeners still do so today, solicited and unsolicited.Knowledge of the soil and what grows there is shared by everyone with everyone.
Keeping an amateur garden in Alkmaar is based on a centuries-old tradition. Vegetable and vegetable gardens have already been drawn on early city drawings from 1649. Garden complexes have changed in layout and use over the years. It has now become part of the city's identity and enriches the city and the living environment.
In 1928 the Allotment Garden Holders Association Alkmaar was founded in Alkmaar, and in 1987 the Federation of Amateur Garden Associations. The insight arose that the various complexes could be managed more effectively in a decentralized manner. An association was established on all complexes, each with its own statutes, house rules and garden regulations. Each association delegated a member to the coordinating board.
In recent years, the Federation of Amateur Gardeners' Associations Alkmaar eo has set up a number of social projects: In the Vitaminima project, people who were dependent on benefits were given a garden for a year. They had access to seed and seed to harvest throughout the year. A community garden has been set up for the residents of the temporary AZC to bring them into contact with the gardeners and to provide them with a good daytime activity.