A few years ago a group of friends were looking for somewhere to start a communal garden. They found what was the last urban farm in Gent: an abandoned house, farm building and sprawling grounds which still had apple, pear, prunes, walnuts and berries growing. All squatters themselves, it made sense to take over an abandoned property. It was the perfect place to start an autonomous collective with a focus on ecological gardening. A lot of the old vegetables had gone to seed every year, so there was an abundance of seeds and flora already growing.
John is one of the founders of the group, and says that its a loose collective of people working together without structure or hierarchy. This anarchistic approach led to the group constantly growing and putting on events, for example every Sunday in the first year, people would come together to eat.
There is a communal garden area and also a place for individual plots. John says that it's important to have a connection with growing food when you live in the city as it forms an alternative currency, one that nourishes us and connects us to the earth. He believes that people need to take responsibility for the land around them in urban areas. This abandoned farm is next to the train line and underneath a huge highway overpass. It has its own sad story of pollution and mistreatment, a piece of farm land encroached on by urban development and industrial waste. Yet the Landuis collective have taken responsibility for this plot of land and turned it into something positive.