In 2002, Global Diversity Foundation started coordinating work to rehabilitate school gardens in Morocco, supporting the creation of aromatic herb gardens, fruit tree orchards and ornamental plant gardens. Facilitated by our North Africa Director of Projects, Mohamed El Haouzi, under-utilised school grounds in Marrakech and beyond - Lalla Aouda Saadia, Koutoubia High School, Agdal Ba Hmad, College Abdelmoumen, Dar Talib in Aoufouss, Ibn Abi Sofra and Dar Taliba in Ourika - have transformed into sources of nutritious organic produce, benefitting students and their families.
Beginning mid-2015, in a unique collaboration involving the Dar Taliba girls, GDF and Dr. Alain Cuerrier, an ethnobotanist from Montreal Botanical Gardens, a model ethobotanical garden started taking shape. In January 2016, a meticulous design process brought together the expertise of Radiant Design, a local permaculture consultancy firm, and the input of local community stakeholders. This includes the girls residing at Dar Taliba, who have actively contributed to the design and plans for the garden, including plants cultivated in the villages they are from. Permaculture was introduced and implemented in the school garden to increase the amount of produce grown on the grounds for the kitchen and to strengthen the girls’ connection to their source of food.
This is a project of ethnobotany, gardening and permaculture that expands learning about traditional and innovative horticulture while instilling the values of personal responsibility among young Moroccan girls toward the environment and inspiring pride in their communities' cultural traditions.