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Behind the scenes of Smuljungle Aalst

Of course, it’s not just that you get a chance to design a place in the City. Our story starts more than a year and a half ago. I went in search of more information about food forests and especially sustainable design of public space. You will naturally end up at Bart Backaert. He lit the fire but we had to do the rest ourselves, of course.

The City of Aalst was willing to entrust that place to us and of course they follow everything closely. You don’t just hand over a place to a ‘newcomer’ from the distant Rotselaar.

In the meantime, we are forging ties with local associations. The local service center ‘De Toekomst’ is participating so that we not only have a springboard with the neighbourhood, but also the elderly and people who sometimes have a hard time or feel a bit lonely. By the way, if you would like to participate, but if it is physically difficult, please let us know. We want to be there for everyone.

Together with the Co-Hogeschool Odisee (KUL) we are going to look at how we can inspire young people and the ‘teachers’ in training. They work closely with the local schools, so that way we ensure that they are also covered. We are working on a toolkit for teachers-to-be to make it even easier to include nature in the training package.

Because I myself have always worked in the media and the cultural sector, it is great that we have also been able to forge ties with Netwerk Aalst. So expect exciting activities in that area as well. Together we look at how we can also organize film screenings or start cooking together. Because when you read about tasty food forest recipes, your mouth is watering. Who knows, there might be room for a work of art.
Are you a creative mind yourself and do you have ideas then feel free to come.

With VRT Journalist Hilde De Windt we will work on photography and images. In the meantime, she’s got a hold of the Smuljungle microbe. We are thinking of an exhibition with photos of the tastiest places in Aalst.

But we certainly hope to add to this list. For example, we dream aloud of a collaboration with the Carnival associations to work on fun installations to learn to look, feel, listen and taste nature differently. Or a song about trees, stories from the past and other crazy things.
Did you know, for example, that trees make sound and that DJs use them to make music….
There is so much we have yet to discover….We are eager.

Do you also want to contribute as a volunteer? Send an email to

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