Under the slogan Cuidar un hort és fer salut (Looking after a vegetable garden is healthy), the Social Vegetable Garden project started up in 2001 and responds to the aim of the Fundació Julià Reig to promote an innovative service with the purpose of offering a better quality of life based on a useful activity, carried out in a natural environment, and aimed at elderly people.
The plan proposed to carry out the Social Vegetable Garden project is in line with a new reality of the social collective of elderly people, in the sense that it requires a preparation to live longer while maintaining vitality and quality of life. In addition to this, looking after a vegetable garden is an activity that fits in with the typical, habitual practices of our Andorran environment.
It is a simple project, which thanks to its human, civic and ecological dimension, places the vegetable garden proposal as an innovative social project in Andorra, which could become a point of reference and which could grow and generate others in the social as well as the ethnological area.
In this sense, the Fundació Julià Reig, aware that one of the most important components for having a healthy lifestyle is physical activity, wishes to contribute to developing a kind of service that boosts healthy activities for elderly people in an open space and in a natural environment.
Currently, 150 people distributed throughout all the parishes of Andorra enjoy looking after a vegetable garden: 11 plots in the Horts de Mascaró de Casa Mangautxa, in Canillo; 41 plots in the Horts Terres Primeres de Casa Joan Antoni, in Encamp; 4 plots in the Horts de Casa Rossell and in the Horts de les Hortes de Casa Carme Rebés, in Ordino; 11 plots in the Horts de les Hores, in La Massana; 29 plots in the Horts de la Margineda de Casa Molines, in Andorra la Vella; 24 plots in the Horts del Dau and del Gantxo, de Casa Reig and Casa Duró, in Sant Julià de Lòria; and 19 plots in the Horts de Casa Sucarana, in Escaldes-Engordany.
The social vegetable gardens organise an interparochial get-together every year so that the gardeners can share their experiences and talk about what they get from their vegetable gardens.
Within the framework of the vegetable garden activities, we have compiled the testimonies of vegetable garden users regarding their activity, in the publication of three books:
- Receptaris dels Horts (Vegetable Garden Recipes) (2008) which compiles the testimonies of the vegetable garden users of Andorra in a collection of simple, healthy recipes prepared using products grown in the vegetable gardens.
- Remeis dels Horts (Remedies from the Vegetable Gardens) (2009) which, with the collaboration of Anna Porquet, compiles simple, useful remedies directly related to the products grown in the vegetable gardens.
- Els padrins dels Horts (Godparents of the Vegetable Gardens) (2011), which is the story of the liveliest experiences of the vegetable garden users, the result of a communication workshop that was given by Sílvia Arrú and Meritxell Ros.
- Receptaris dels Horts (Vegetable Garden Recipes) (2018) which compiles the testimonies of the vegetable garden users of Andorra in a collection of simple, healthy recipes prepared using products grown in the vegetable gardens.