Photo: B. Alter
Call them edible gardens, or urban agriculture, or guerrilla gardening: whatever. The fact is people are finding unused nooks and crannies to plant vegetables everywhere.
In London, Capital Growth is an organization dedicated to doing just that on a city-wide scale. They are aiming for the creation of 2,012 new spaces by 2012 (part of the general 2012 Olympic fever). They held an Edible Gardens Day where the public could visit many of these hidden plots.
There were over 40 community food-growing spaces open to the public. These included land in various parts of public housing, local parks and even fences. There were cycling and walking tours of participating housing estates and gardens.
In some cases it is a form of guerrilla gardening in that it is not officially sanctioned by the public housing authorities, but it is tolerated. They may be small changes, like the beans entwined in the fence poles and beds of vegetables along the edges of apartments on the ground floor.
Capital Growth also is involved in putting 50 apiaries around London and it runs beekeeping courses and trains beekeepers. It also encourages people to support their local beekeepers and honey bees by growing plants that bees like, finding alternatives to garden pesticides, and opting for organic choices where possible.
Photo: B. Alter
These lovely beds full of vegetable plants were discovered hidden away on a rose bush laden path in a local park just a block away from this treehugger's home. Installed by Transition Belsize Food Growing Group, these raised planters were made out of waste wood and planted by children in a local community youth project. Their aim is to get people to grow their own, rather than rely completely on supermarkets. The planters replaced 2 benches, but this is probably a more productive use of the space.