"Cabbage field" is a site of 13,000 sq m in Žemieji Šančiai, Kaunas, where a public laboratory of civic initiatives operates.
The name is derived from the three nineteenth century military cellars for sauerkraut.
Since the 19th century, until the end of the restoration of Lithuania's independence, this place served the purposes of the army.
In 1993 the illegal demolition of the buildings started. Local unemployed people began a business of demolished bricks, metal and other goods they could find on the army site. People demolishing the brick barracks were called "woodpeckers" (geneliai, LT). The black market of selling the goods lasted for several decades and eventually turned the place into a wasteland and contaminated landfill.
2014 artists and cultural activists raised the territory from oblivion in. They created an ongoing artistic project, The Friendly Zone, and involved people in the process of rethinking local opportunities.
2015 cleaning work was undertaken by the newly formed community of Žemieji Šančiai. It cleared part of the territory and began to shape the public space by implementing socio-cultural events in it. The place has revived and became popular with people.
By bringing together professionals from various fields, the community created a vision for local renewal that would serve the interests of the people living here, and presented it to Kaunas City Municipality.
2016 the Kaunas Mayer Visvaldas Matijošaitis visited the site. Later in the fall the members of the community met with representatives of the municipality to discuss the possibilities of re-using the Cabbage Field and suggested to create a community space.
The global network of cities "United Cities and Local Goverment", which represents and defends the interests of local and regional self-government around the world, gave a special mention to the city of Kaunas for the Cabbage Field Initiative, which has contributed to culture and sustainable environmental development.
In 2018, the community began a creative process of the "Cabbage Field" Opera. The libretto for the opera was composed by 11 residents of Šančiai, and the music for the opera was written by the composer and winner of the national prize - Vidmantas Bartulis.
Since 2016, the "Balsamic Christmas Poplar" festival has been celebrated every year.