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Edible Gardens

As part of the Edible Landscape project, we would like to show you different ways of food production and food education in various corners of the world. We will show you different types of community gardens and prove that there is no wrong place to produce food! Travelling always inspires us and allows us to search for interesting places and initiatives related to food production in the landscape - this was also the case this time! Read on to see some of the interesting and diverse activities we encountered during our recent trip to Scotland. 

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Community plots (community beds) have been set aside at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. They are looked after by young people from different social groups, at risk of social exclusion and entering adult life. Under the guidance of garden staff, they learn how to grow vegetables here every week. This activity is implemented as part of the Teens+ (Transitional Education, Extra Needs Support) project.

Edinburgh Royal Botanical Garden

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a remarkable place not only for its botany but also for its horticultural education. Admission to the garden is free. The garden is guided by its staff, from whom we can learn many interesting things about horticulture and food production. A large part of the garden is occupied by an educational area where different groups can learn about horticulture. Numerous educational projects are carried out here, including:

🌿 Student Plots: first-year horticulture students design and look after their plots throughout the academic year, exploring practical knowledge. Each year they complete tasks in different departments, such as taste and colour or medicinal plants, for example. 😍

🌿 School Gardening Project: the garden has dedicated plots tended by children from local schools. Vegetables with the following characteristics are chosen to be grown here:
👉 small size and speed of harvest,
👉 adaptation to the local climate,
👉 taste,
👉 colour or shape, e.g. purple potatoes and round carrots.

In a big city, every piece of greenery is worth its weight in gold! Courtyards between multi-family buildings in Edinburgh are repeatedly used to create neighborhood gardens, where a large part of the space is devoted to growing vegetables. Take a look at one of these gardens made in one of the backyards. How do you like it? We were delighted! 

Edinburgh - Neighborhood Garden Albion Rd

Sunshine on Leith Community Garden in Edinburgh is the place we liked the most in Scotland! It is a magically arranged courtyard space located in the city center. A secret garden to which you can get from the urban jungle through a narrow gate.

The garden is divided into private and public zones. Each community member has their own box for growing plants and decides what they will cultivate. Most, however, focus on growing vegetables. In the common part surrounding the chests, many fruit trees, shrubs, and herbs grow. There is a place for tools, picnic tables, a composter, and a small playground. Most of the cleaning work is carried out together during fixed days. 

Edinburgh - Sunshine on Leith
community garden

Sunshine on Leith Community Garden in Edinburgh. The day after our departure from Edinburgh, the so-called fixing day was happening: the community responsible for this place collectively exchanged chests that needed repairs. The users of this garden contribute about £20 a year to a common pool, which is used for this type of activity. 

People use places like these not only for food production. For many of them, gathering together is more important. This is a very good opportunity to meet neighbors and make friends. The number of users of the garden is limited, and the waiting time for your own chest is sometimes several years!😮

Photos: Katarzyna Grabowska.