In London You Can Eat the Bus Stop

Vancouver is planting orchards in public spaces. Seattle is laying out an incredible, edible food forest. Some London commuters can pop some peas and munch lettuce as they wait for the bus.

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.

Related Care2 Stories

‘Give Peas a Chance’ Protest Saves Front Yard Vegetable Garden – Until Fall

The Incredible Edible Forest

Vancouver Plants Orchards in Parks and Golf Courses

Photo from olizilla via Flickr Creative Commons

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102 comments

Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ

Great & bright idea.Thanks for sharing

Suzanne L.
Suzanne L.3 years ago

Sounds good.

Vicky P.
Vicky P.3 years ago

cool

Roger M.
Past Member 3 years ago

I'm a Londoner and the this is the first I've heard of this, so thanks for posting.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin3 years ago

Wouldn't it be nice if these gardens also grew in the wasteland of American inner cities and so called projects?

Tatyana Ivanova
Tatiana Ivanova3 years ago

Aww.. Definitely not for Moscow...

Ajla C.
Past Member 3 years ago

Krasno

John G.
John G.3 years ago

If you are looking for tips and ideas on how to keep you garden in great shape why not take a look at the articles at

http://www.justgardentools.co.uk

You will find them listed under Information Blogs.

Louise D.
Louise D.3 years ago

This reminds me of a story this week where a man ate part of a bus seat causing £200 of damage. I know people are peckish on buses still I suspect he would of been a lot better served if he could of eaten the bus stop, the downside is the bus driver may forget to stop at the stop because someone has eaten and imagine how good an excuse that would of been for coming in late for school.

Heather M
Heather Marv3 years ago

Really great ideas. The only thing that would concern me, is all of the fumes from the buses, cars re the food that is been grown. Otherwise the greener - the better.