Le projet EspaceEx ou SpaceEx est un ancien terrain sous-utilisé, maintenant transformé en lieu d'expérimentations écologiques (jardin, serre d'aquaponie, rucher, et bien plus!) et d'activités culturelles, sociales et politiques pour la communauté.
Space- Ex began during the long winter months of Montreal as an idea to create a green/cultural/educational hub where we could experiment and learn. Without space, nor the means to acquire it through normal means, we made contact with the owner of an unused urban lot located in the Mile-Ex area of Rosemont Petite Patrie, who was happy to see the property given such a use. In early May 2014 we started collectively working on the space and it didn’t take long before things began to develop from weeds and rubbish, into a burgeoning grassroots project.
From the beginning, our ethic has been the 4 Rs - Reuse, Reduce, Recycle and Recovery. Almost all the materials used to date have been sourced from re-utilized urban waste such as pallets, discarded plywood, old doors and empty plastic barrels.
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The SpaceEx activities
In 2014, the space staged a diversity of cultural, social, political and ecological events! We hold a lot of documentaries and short films in collaboration with independent artists and organisations. We hold conference about ecological alternatives, powered by bike by spectators! The calender is organically made up by the people that get involved in the space! Let's see what we can invent together for 2015!
The steps (2014)
The transformation of the space has happened in different stages and we were fortunate to have the support of friends and many people in the community to help us realize many of the tasks involved.
1. Cleared out weeds and garbage. Moved the front fence forward 5 metres.
2. Acquired some basic initial tools (borrowed, built and purchased)
3. Designed the space and its components.
4. Created the garden zones with raised beds and planted them out with heirloom vegetables
5. Built the pallet cabin and installed water barrels
6. Constructed various aspects of the aquaponic system and greenhouse
7. Installed an experimental hugulkultur system and inoculated it with oyster mushrooms.
8. Installed structures to facilitate the film projections
9. Introduced a beehive
The steps to come (2015)
1. The installation of a solar panel to run the electrical components of the aquaponic greenhouse.
2. The purchase of more basic tools to facilitate workshops and work sessions
3. The continued development of small scale urban agriculture and cultural projects within the original Space-Ex - chickens?
4. The development of other unused spaces in the neighbourhood (one already confirmed with owner)
6. Workshops will run throughout the next season.
- Examples of the workshops we hope to include: the ecology of soil, DIY spirulina production, bioremediation, beekeeping, discussion of the hugulkultur technique, microgreens, the production of energy with bikes, composting, open source GardenManager and GardenMonitor systems (in collaboration with Sensorica), hydroponic and aquaponic systems, DIY solar heaters, DIY solar dehydrators, solar energy, graffiti making and moss graffiti, the fabrication of soap, beer making, and seeds saving.
7. There will also be the continued projection of films as well as music and cultural events on a regular basis.
Why we're doing it
Our initial goal was to have a place where we could experiment and test a number of prototypes for urban food production, but this quickly transformed. What was essentially a group project soon became a community initiative, a work space, an experimental site and a gathering spot.
As the project began to take form and the space began to transform, more and more people began to get involved and invest their time and energies. Whilst there is a core group of 5 or so people who facilitate the general activities, there are many supporters, including the neighbours, members of the local business community, friends and other actors in the city who participate at events. It is the willingness and the participation of these people that encourages us to continue with the project. We value highly the place of grassroots movements in social change and feel that this project valorises the development of sustainable livelihoods, alternative economies and a thriving, healthy cultural life.