In London You Can Eat the Bus Stop
No, wait, that can’t be right: bus-stop edibles? Those guerrilla gardeners are at it again. While the Canadian and American food initiatives were launched with official support, the U.K. gardens are the gift of some visionaries who believe public gardens can transform a community.
The dream was born when one of Edible Bus Stop‘s founders, Mak Gilchrist, rallied her neighbors to plant a garden in a vacant, neglected South London space. She told BBC 40 people showed up with tools. They planted herbs, vegetables and fruit
Everything is donated. One neighbor even hauls off the compostable materials in the back of his Audi convertible. The result is a new sense of neighborhood pride.
Landscape architect and designer Will Sandy is the project’s creative director. His vision is for the gardens is “high-end aesthetics at low-end budgets.” In a guest post for Virgin’s People & Planet blog, he wrote:
[T]his is not just about growing food; it’s about connecting people and provoking thoughts in order to generate reactions. Green spaces allow you to slow down, breathe and take in what’s around you. They allow you to take time out from your daily routine.
People are doing that. In a Vimeo video, Jennifer Cooper says, “We half expected people to trash it, and nobody does….It’s touched people’s hearts so people have claimed it as their own.”
Neighbors keep an eye on it. They point to it with pride. They work in it, and they get to know and appreciate each other.
In an interview with the BBC, Gilchrist, says:
We have big plans. Our aims are to sort of transform all the forgotten spaces that exist along London’s bus network into valuable, community, galvanizing, growing spaces.
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Photo from olizilla via Flickr Creative Commons