In the spring of 2016, Jessica Sbaraglia founded Terre de Monaco, an organic farming start-up. Now, one year later, the area cultivated in the Principality by this budding organic grower covers more than 1400 m2 – quite simply one of the largest private city farms in the world! We take a look at this amazing community initiative.
The surface area of Monaco is less than 2 km2 – it's a micro-state with one of the highest levels of urban density in the world. Jessica Sbaraglia, who is Swiss, has lived here since 2010. An idea soon took root - why not create oases of greenery on the flat roofs, balconies and terraces of the buildings in the Principality?
In spring 2016, Jessica Sbaraglia used a "crowdfunding" platform to finance her project. She was soon reaping the rewards, because in two short months, she collected more than the EUR 25,000 she needed to fund her start-up, which she naturally called "Terre de Monaco" ("The Earth of Monaco/Land of Monaco").
Soon afterwards, the first organic vegetable garden, of 30 m2, was planted in the gardens of the Albert II Foundation, which gave pride of place to southern fruits and regional species such as olive trees, orange trees and violets, illustrating Terre de Monaco's wish to reflect the local area. At the same time, Jessica was fine-tuning her company's business model. She designs bespoke kitchen gardens for small areas, which are maintained in exchange for an annual payment. Land for larger plots is rented (for money or baskets of fruits and vegetables).
A year on, the results are exciting - with 1400 m2 under cultivation, Terre de Monaco has one of the largest private city farms in the world! In addition to the Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel, which were partners from the start, Jessica works with many schools, hotels, and the Social Funds in the Principality ... For Marcel Ravin, the Michelin starred chef from the Blue Bay restaurant at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel, Jessica's vegetable garden has naturally made its mark as a valuable source of fresh organic products, which are used in his inspired recipes - a wonderful "potager" where picnics with tastings and "discovery" workshops for children are also held. Renowned landscape gardener Jean Mus designed the gardens of the iconic Odéon Tower and also asked Terre de Monaco to plant a vegetable garden that would house beehives and egg-laying chickens …
Last May, a 250 m2 vegetable garden was inaugurated at the Princess Grace Hospital to supply the kitchens at the crèche and the hospital staff. The adventure is only just beginning! Jessica is always coming up with innovative ideas … In Monaco, there are no cattle at the Oceanographic Museum, but there are tortoises. After analysis, it was found that their manure has similar qualities to sheep manure. Tortoise manure will therefore be used to fertilise the vegetable gardens!
Since April, Terre de Monaco has had a stall at the Place d'Armes market (on Wednesdays and Saturdays). This is an opportunity to see its new products, surrounded by piles of vegetables and aromatic herbs and micro-gardens planted in recycled wine crates. A company to watch closely.
Terre de Monaco
13 Boulevard Charlotte, 98000 Monaco
(+ 377) 93 30 30 45
(+ 33) 678 63 34 41