Since being home and reacquainting myself with the streets of my neighbourhood, I’ve come across a couple of great new developments. And I’m not talking about bricks-and-mortar-ugly-building kind of development. I’m talking about community gardens. It seems a few folk have been busy making use of urban, public space to grow (or attempt to grow) edible plants. These are places that were otherwise dull patches of grass. A boring waste of earth.
It is such an interesting idea to think about – how and where we grow our food. For many city folk, finding a suitable patch of land to raise edible plants is often a huge challenge, and one consequence is that we become more and more disconnected from the process of growing food. Growing edibles in urban spaces, such as nature strips, is one way to utilise land in a productive and beneficial way that brings us closer to this form of food production and brings the food closer to us, helping to reduce our carbon footprint.
For many, gardening is a pleasurable and relaxing activity. But it is also time consuming. By making gardening a community endeavour we can share the workload, and increase the knowledge base and when we have a big harvest, we can make sure none of it goes to waste. Gardening becomes social and can help create stronger bonds between neighbours and whoever tends to the garden spaces. The beauty of gardening is that it can be enjoyed across generations and our learning about plants and the ecosystems in which they grow, continues for as long as we want it to. So it never gets boring!
And because these are just some idle Friday afternoon thoughts, here’s an article that has some great stuff to stay about food gardening in urban spaces: Farmers of the Urban Footpath – design guidelines for street verge gardens by Russ Grayson. Have a great weekend – go out and get your hands dirty!