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Productive City Spaces

Posted by Jean Vernon on 06 Jul 2009 at 12:23 PM

We are always reading in the gardening press that you don't need a big garden to grow fruit and vegetables. It's an easy claim to make but sometimes it's hard to get people to take the first step and have a grow.

At this year's Hampton Palace Flower Show there are three small gardens and six balconies designed to show urbanites that anyone can grow food, no matter how smalal their outside space is. Children from local primary schools have come out of the classroom and helped create the 'Edible Spaces with Capital Growth' garden.

Rosie Boycott, Chair of London Food is at the show today  with a powerful message to city dwellers. "What's really cool is not only that the balconies look great which they are, they are imaginative, quirky and fun, but its just really nice to acknowledged by the RHS as an important part of what's cooking in Britain, and that actually that cities are now finally being acknowledged as an important part of the grow your own revolution. People so often say 'oh well it's useless in the city you can't do anything it's a concrete jungle and desert from a plant point of view', the more you say you can do this, you can do this with a small plots of land, that's incredibly important message to get out because  it is all about people being inspired about something, seeing this and thinking ‘wow I could really do this', and 'I thought my little space would only take a couple of geraniums', it could be transformed and all your neighbours would be dead jealous." But it's more than just about Grow Your Own, the idea is to get children gardening too.  "It's fantastic for them to get their hands dirty and I think the growing revolution will be spearheaded by kids. They are going to be the ones that say 'Mum I want to grow some stuff, Mum I grew some stuff at school why can't I grow it at home? It's not saying that we've got a lost generation, but I do sometimes think of it like that. The kids are really inspired by it, the enthusiasm comes from the children, they really like it and they connect very quickly with the magic of growing. These are the kids that have grown up thinking that food comes off shelves the way that shoes come off shelves, and don't have any idea of what the wider meaning of it is. Every time you can connect a kid with food I think  you get a healthier kid, a happier kid and a kid that is more rooted in nature and the way the world works. There's an irony that kids arte taught about polar bears and the rainforests but they don't kind of know that carrots come out of the ground, and I think let's get the priorities right here."



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on 07 Jul 2009 at 09:42 AM

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on 07 Jul 2009 at 01:23 PM