This is an audio recording of a lesson which John Morrison a practitioner and researcher working in the Digital Media and Interaction Design group in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University. Ever stimulating, it has been fascinating getting the opportunity to work alongside John as he plans his lessons and curriculum for his students. Read more
I see cityscapes as potential urban growing sites and opportunities to connect people with their environments again. Too often we trade in our connections to nature for an urban existence, but the need to engage on a basic level with our hands in the dirt is still present and so important to nourish. Furthermore, directly engaging in our environment gives us a sense of purpose and confidence that we have the right and the responsibility to positively change our situations.
Why shouldn’t we make community gardens where there is nothing but asphalt, and repurpose public space for community projects? Each person has a skill set and a perspective, and by demonstrating an ‘I can do it’ ethos, we can show others how they too can take the initiative and improve their physical environments for themselves, their neighbours, their kids and the city at large.
We have started the first of TNT Edinburgh’s community green spaces, on a stretch of unused land adjacent to the Union Canal in the Shandon area of Edinburgh. This piece of land is generally overgrown with a forest of stinging nettles, so we are transforming it into usable growing space. We have chosen this spot for its high pedestrian traffic and proximity to water, and have so far enjoyed great support and met many keen gardeners who have been dropping by to help out with our Sunday gardening days! We garden every Sunday from 11am onwards.
So far we have built 3 vegetable beds, and have planted crops chosen for their winter hardiness: kale, black radishes, oriental greens, spinach, cauliflower and rocket. We have also planted an apple tree and a berry bush and plan on much more.