THE BLOG

Ten Brilliant Reasons Why You Should Plant Veg in Public Places

18/11/2013 14:07 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 21:01 GMT

One. They're urine-resistant, apparently. According to Mary Clear of Incredible Edible Todmorden, a drunk will pee on a petunia but not on a parsnip. People seem hard-wired to respect food.

Two. Instead of telling their patients to sort out their diet, doctors can just ask them to go and pick themselves some fruit from outside the surgery.

Three. If you plant herbs like borage or fruit like raspberries they attract pollinating insects - allowing towns and cities to encourage the biodiversity that intensive farming is stripping from the countryside.

Four. A police officer looks so much better holding a courgette than a truncheon. And the police station looks so much nicer with sweetcorn growing outside.

Five. Herb planters at the station or outside supermarkets allow people to give their supper a bit of extra zing without paying over the odds for something shipped halfway across the world.

Six. Kids love it. They like to touch and pick and eat. And if they can do that with good stuff you don't have to buy so many Haribos.

Seven. Neglected cemeteries have particularly fertile soil. And even a cemetery looks a bit more cheerful with a splash of nasturtiums and runner beans in it.

Eight. You don't need permission. You can just find an unloved, ugly scrap of ground and turn it into something beautiful.

Nine. It starts conversations. Putting a sign up saying 'help yourself' gets people talking. And when people talk anything can happen.

Ten. It helps you think differently about the future. It turns people who thought they couldn't make a difference into folk who get down and dirty to make their towns and cities places they want to live in.

All these and more are secrets discovered by the people who started Incredible Edible Todmorden. Their motto is 'if you eat, you're in' - and it's starting to change the way people think. There'll be a book telling the Incredible Edible story early next year. In it will be many more reasons why we should be growing veg in public places to change the way we think about community, learning, and business.

[Disclosure: this is a project I have personally supported and believe in. The book is being crowdfunded via Kickstarter but we are not gaining financially from its publication - we just think it is a great idea.]