At the Centre Francais de Berlin :
Red Beets Garden: A Community Space

Red stands for Wedding, beets for a community garden - you wouldn't expect to find a green place like this in the suburbs.
1. August 2021

(Trans­la­ted from Rote Bee­te)

Tucked away behind The Cent­re Fran­cais at the top of Muel­ler­stras­se is a very spe­cial place: The Rote Bee­te (red beets or bee­troot in Eng­lish). The Cent­re Fran­cais de Ber­lin (CFB for short) pro­vi­des gar­dening tools and a space for a com­mu­ni­ty gar­den. The gar­den is loca­ted bet­ween the under­ground sta­ti­ons Reh­ber­ge and Afri­ka­ni­sche Stra­ße at Mül­lerstra­ße 74. Let us show you why it is worth inves­ti­ga­ting (and joi­ning in).

Rote Beete Garten, Foto von Susanne Haun
Rote Bee­te Gar­ten, Foto von Susan­ne Haun

A joy of gardening is all you need to take part

The­re is no asso­cia­ti­on to join – the only thing neces­sa­ry to par­ti­ci­pa­te in the Rote-Bee­te-Gar­ten is com­mit­ment and an enjoy­ment of gar­dening. The gar­den is divi­ded into dif­fe­rent groups and each one comes tog­e­ther to deci­de how to lay out their area of the gar­den. The­re is a herb gar­den, vege­ta­ble gar­den and a flower gar­den, among others.
Accor­ding to the Cent­re Fran­çais de Berlin’s web­site, “Joint decis­i­on-making and direct demo­cra­cy are para­mount; both the gar­dening and the har­ve­s­t­ing are shared collectively.”

Hidden location

Despi­te it’s well-known loca­ti­on and the easy to spot Cent­re Fran­cais, the gar­den its­elf is actual­ly not that easy to find. The far end of the centre’s bar­ren par­king lot has been trans­for­med into this beau­tiful gar­den with the ent­ry point adja­cent to the Eif­fel Tower and the pho­ne booth libra­ry. Just keep wal­king straight down the par­king lot and you’ll find yours­elf amidst the gree­n­ery, sha­ring in the fan­ta­sy of the garden’s design. The­re is pro­per­ly distanced sea­ting all around, allo­wing you to enjoy the natu­re and take a break from the hust­le and bust­le of Müllerstrasse.

A community garden with events

Alex­and­re Boca­ge, the orga­ni­zer of the Rote-Bee­te-Gar­ten, enthu­si­a­sti­cal­ly lists the events plan­ned for this sum­mer. Various acti­vi­ties, such as an exch­an­ge bet­ween urban gar­dens in Ber­lin and Paris, will be hos­ted at regu­lar inter­vals. The­re are plans for work­shop with young girls from Mar­zahn to build a hut tog­e­ther this sum­mer as part of a hybrid Fran­co-Ger­man pro­ject. A street thea­ter with a per­for­mance by the coll­ec­ti­ve thes­mo­pho­ria is also on the event list. 

Élé­phan­tes, CLUB DE LECTURE FRANCO-BERLINOIS, is plan­ning an event with a focus on femi­nist Fran­co­pho­ne lite­ra­tu­re. On August 14, 2021 from 12 – 3 pm, the art event “cross­art for future” will take place. Doreen Trit­tel, one of the par­ti­ci­pa­ting artists explains:
“The tra­ve­ling exhi­bi­ti­on “cross­art for future” focu­ses on cli­ma­te chan­ge, the envi­ron­ment, and sus­taina­bi­li­ty. The artists were asked to crea­te works that would draw atten­ti­on to cur­rent issues and, at the same time, actively con­tri­bu­te to over­co­ming the­se pro­blems by dona­ting 30% of the pro­ceeds to a non-pro­fit orga­niza­ti­on. 36 artists will par­ti­ci­pa­te.
Due to the cur­rent situa­ti­on, it is recom­men­ded to visit the garden’s Face­book page befo­re atten­ding the­se events to check the up-to-date COVID regulations.

Five years of Rote Beete

Alexandre, Rote Beete Garten, Foto Centre Francais de Berlin
Alex­and­re, Rote Bee­te Gar­ten, Foto Cent­re Fran­cais de Berlin

It’s hard to belie­ve that on August 28, 2021, the 5th year anni­ver­sa­ry of Rote Bee­te will take place (5 Jah­re Rote Bee­te) in the form of a big street fes­ti­val on the CFB pre­mi­ses. The event is sup­port­ed by the Sena­te for The Depart­ment of Cul­tu­re and Europe. 

During the author’s last mee­ting with Alex­and­re, he poin­ted out the beehi­ves on the roof of the CFB. The aut­hor was fasci­na­ted and imme­dia­te­ly bought one of the honey jars with “100% Wed­din­ger honey” at the recep­ti­on of the Cent­re Fran­cais hotel – very tasty and high­ly recom­men­ded. The CFB has been pro­du­cing honey with an envi­ron­ment con­sci­ence sin­ce 2015. The­re are curr­ent­ly 12 hives on the roof and around 350 kg of honey is pro­ces­sed once or twice a year. For safe­ty reasons and out of respect for the bees, the roof of the CFB is not open to the public.
Want to get involved?

The link “Lust mit­zu­ma­chen” allows you to lea­ve your details, You will then be invi­ted to an intro­duc­tion about the main groups of the gar­den and learn how you can get invol­ved in the team. You can also get in touch and learn more on the Insta­gram via the account Rote Bee­te Garten

Cont­act Infor­ma­ti­on

Rote Bee­te Gemein­schafts­gar­ten
In Cent­re Fran­çais de Ber­lin gGmbH
Mül­lerstras­se 74, 13349 Ber­lin
Alex­and­re Boca­ge, Tel.: +49 (0) 30–1208603–41, Email: [email protected]

Trans­la­ti­on: Fio­na Nugent

Susanne Haun

Susanne Haun studierte Kunstgeschichte und Philosophie an der Freien Universität Berlin. Seit 2002 ist sie als Bildende Künstlerin und Autorin in Berlin aktiv.
Von 1993-2005 arbeitete sie als Systemanalytikerin und Entwicklerin für verschiedene ARD Sendeanstalten.

Als Autorin veröffentlicht sie seit März 2009 täglich Beiträge zur eigenen Kunst und Kunstgeschichte in ihrem Blog und interagiert dort sowie auf weiteren Social Media Plattformen mit über 12.000 Follower. Zudem unterhält Susanne Haun einen Kunstsalon in ihrem Atelier. Hier werden regelmäßig aktuelle Themen zur Kunst von geladenen Gästen referiert und diskutiert.

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