As of February 2014, the 2013 cohort of the Doctoral Training Centre in Sustainable Chemical Technologies have become the custodians of a community garden in the city of Bath.
Interested in joining in? You'd be very welcome — find out how at the bottom of this post.
Situated in Hedgemead park, and aptly named "Vegmead", the garden was once a neglected flower garden owned by the council. Upon seeing the land going to waste some of the keen gardeners at the Transition Bath food group decided to take matters into their own hands and, with council permission, planted a variety of nutritious and aesthetically pleasing vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits at the site. Through personal ties with the Transition Bath group, ownership of Vegmead garden was offered to the students in the CSCT to tend to, and continue fruitful growing and harvesting of the land.
The act of utilizing unused areas of land such as this for gardening is known as Guerrilla Gardening, and is indeed becoming very popular world wide, with guerrilla gardening projects cropping up in North America, Europe and Australasia. It hosts a variety of benefits which are heavily linked to creating a more sustainable and enjoyable world about us. Growing food locally reduces the food miles that it must travel significantly, it also provides a source of free food (and yes it’s free for anyone and everyone!), it improves the visual beauty of an area otherwise disused, it enhances a community spirit by encouraging local and open participation, and last but not least- it’s great fun!
The Bath Transition group, alongside many Transition Town movements across the world, operates as a community-focussed group of people aiming to build resilience and respond to some of the planet’s biggest issues: peak oil, climate destruction and economic instability. The Bath Transition group, as well as developing a variety of sustainable food initiatives such as guerilla gardening and developing mechanisms of local food supply through their food group, also has an energy group delivering advice and action of reducing domestic energy consumption as well as implementing local renewable energy projects, they also focus on transport issues within Bath.
Needless to say tackling these issues related to creating a more sustainable future is at the heart of what the CSCT does, and it is with great enthusiasm that we can do our bit to help outside of our research by popping our green chemistry coats on the hook momentarily, and donning our green fingers for a bit of gardening.
So if you see a group of young gardeners at work as you pass Hedgemead Park, come and join in and get your hands on some delicious fresh food!
Want to get involved?
We'll be in Hedgemead Park at 5.30pm this Friday 11 April 2014 and you're welcome to come and see what's going on. We meet regularly, but not currently on the same night each week, so be sure to join the mailing list to find out about future meetings.