“Capital Growth” is a project that has nothing to do with money and everything to do with creating a better environment. It’s a project I’ve been watching for two years, always wondering how I might bring it to American shores.
The project began in 2009 in the capital city of London. The idea was to develop 2012 new food growing areas within the city limits by 2012. Parameters were established, money was raised, and the gardens appeared.
To be counted, the food growing spaces needed to benefit the community, not just an individual. Land owned by schools, hospitals, banks, utilities, and railways were tapped into service and yielded gardens both productive and beautiful. Roof gardens, road verges, utility easements, waste areas, and car parks were suddenly turning out cucumbers and tomatoes, leeks and potatoes.
The thing I find most compelling is that all those vegetable gardens are potential native bee habitat. Many of the native bee species don’t roam far from home and would be happy in a garden that produced flowering vegetables throughout the spring and summer.
Since its inception, the Capital Growth folks have added a Capital Bee plan as well. Capital Bee promotes community-run beekeeping throughout the city, and offers courses and hands-on experience. Still, it is the potential for native bees that I found most attractive and perhaps the most beneficial. What do you think? We could have our own “Capital Growth” right here in our tiny capital city of Olympia.
For more on this ingenious plot to take back the city, be sure to take a look at their website. By the way, as of today they have 1707 new food plots.
Very good idea…in the early 80’s the Federal Government Set aside Federal Dollars to teach and produce and process food in Low-income areas of Metro Cities across America…Was a great program….when supervised by local Land Grant Universities through the Extension Service … It was successful. It really worked and the inter-city clientele loved the program. Teach a person to fish … They wont go hungry. This program was a little like Victory Gardens of WWII.
This needs to happen in Olympia! It reminds me of the Kiwanis food bank garden on the capitol grounds, but revved up and smarter!
This is already happening in the US, especially Brooklyn.
Thanks, Eric! Good information.
I’m visiting a London supermarket soon which produces its own fruit and veggies for sale from its roof – http://www.thorntonsbudgens.com.
Any initiative that encourages plant growing here is a good thing. There is a worrying trend in London towards people turning their front gardens into car parks and their back gardens into decking. A lot of beekeepers I know are worried about insufficient forage for the number of bees since beekeeping has grown in popularity.