Goethe Kebun is the continuously growing permaculture garden of Goethe-Institut Bandung and at the same time an open space for sharing savvy amongst initiatives, communities and individuals concerning urban gardening, nutrition, environmental issues and how we can live more sustainable lives. Goethe Kebun kicked off with a series of workshops on urban gardening and permaculture in 2021.
It is located in the garden behind the main building of Goethe-Institut Bandung. We use this area to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and edible flowers, all of which we consume ourselves and share with library visitors. It is hoped that participants will pass on to others the insights and knowledge they have gained from Goethe Kebun events. The main objective of the Goethe-Kebun event series is to foster the realization that doing even small things contributes to making the Earth a better place and more sustainable.
The idea of offering seeds in the library developed from the project "Sedekah Benih", a collaboration with artist Vincent Rumahloine and environmental activist Mang Dian in autumn 2021. The term "sedekah" is derived from the Arabic word "sadakah" (an act of voluntary giving in Islam), and "benih" means seed. Through social media and an open tender, the project distributed 100 chili seedlings to interested people from Bandung. In order to further strengthen the interest in urban gardening and sustainability and also to participate in the preservation of local knowledge about plants and agriculture, we initiated a seed library.
Our seed library contains only a few types of plant seeds, such as chili, spinach, water spinach, tomatoes and lettuce. For our seed library, we work with two local partners from our network: "Kebun Belakang", a community garden and permaculture initiative, and "Seni Tani", a food cooperative modelled on "Community Supported Agriculture". Our partners provide us with the seeds and advise us on the selection of plants.
Goethe Kebun collaborated with “Kebun Belakang” for the series of events called “ngeteh pasosore” in the autumn of 2022. Over a cup of tea, representatives of different local communities, experts and interested parties gathered to discuss their projects and initiatives in the areas of regenerative agriculture, ecological education, food activism, sustainable entrepreneurship, and creative industries. The focus is on facilitating the dissemination of ideas and initiatives, learning from each other, and sparking new collaborations.