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Aurora tropical": a proposal of ecological and urban horticulture, the case of one secondary school in Cabudare city of Venezuela.

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Gómez, C.E., Gonzalez-Casamayor, P., Peroza-Carrasco, D., López, M. and Ramírez-Guerrero, H.O. 2011. Aurora tropical": a proposal of ecological and urban horticulture, the case of one secondary school in Cabudare city of Venezuela. Acta Horticulturae. 921: 131-134.

To determine the role that a secondary school garden backyard (productive patio), played in the integration and development of one scholar community, we conducted this study to promote and introduce ecological and urban horticulture at the “Liceo Bolivariano Don Vicente Amengual Villonga” in the Palavecino municipality, Cabudare City of Lara state, Venezuela. This research was done in three steps; diagnosis, feasibility study and implementation. The study involved 100 people, including students, teachers and their families, doing interviews and surveys regarding their knowledge and the necessities in this project. We also conducted observations and set up a productive patio in the backyard of the school, where all the principles and steps of the ecological model “Aurora Tropical” were applied and developed. The whole community gathered to produce conventional and ethnic vegetables, flowers and herbs. In most cases, the patio served to promote community activism, resulted in a sound knowledge about some current and indigenous horticultural practices and of course provided vegetables of good quality. Aurora Tropical could become a useful tool for supporting ecological and urban horticulture in scholar communities in tropical regions. Selection of the precise vegetable cultivars for the current season and location (including schools, institutions, hospitals, urban communities and barrios), companion crops and other adapted horticultural technologies are very useful skills for breaking down the monoculture structure, promoting biodiversity and recycling, providing pest and weed control benefits, reducing erosion, and improving water use, among many other potential benefits.