Granton is a former social housing estate in North Edinburgh, and one of Edinburgh’s most economically deprived areas. Granton Community Gardeners began simply in 2010 when a few residents got together for a barbecue and began to share ideas of growing food, making new friends, and improving the neighbourhood. They began with no money, and just a few folk planting some seeds on an empty street corner. Little by little the group began to meet more regularly, and with a very grassroots approach began to develop further street corners.
Since then the project has expanded and blossomed to involve 100 locals who make regular use of 5 separate growing areas, whilst still be fully community led and having a minimal budget. Now the challenge has become to see just how much food can be grown in Granton. In 2014 they succeeded in growing over 2 tonnes of vegetables! Granton Community Gardener’s ethos is to look after the gardens collectively, organise community events with a strong emphasis on shared food, and to celebrate often. Neighbours in Wardieburn have commented on how it has ‘changed the whole feel of the street.’ They hold frequent community harvest meals, summer barbecues and an infamous Burn’s Night ceilidh which has grown in recent years to have over 200 local people in attendance. The central emphasis is about encouraging shared food, growing and the spirit of working together to empower disadvantaged communities to become more self-sustainable.
In that spirit, in 2014-2015 a pilot project ran, called the ‘Gardener’s Cafe’ which provided free meals using produce grown in Granton, twice a week. The Gardener’s Cafe was a space for old and new community gardeners, and other locals to meet up and enjoy fresh meals together. Granton is a very multicultural area and many shared meals highlight the diverse culinary cultures of local residents, with new creations such as Kale Pakoras being dreamed up and shared all the time.
They are currently looking into the possibilities of keeping chickens, expanding into new areas, and beginning their own football team..
Granton Community Gardeners meet every Tuesday and Saturday 11am to 1pm, on the corner of Wardieburn Road & Boswall Parkway. All are welcome, no experience or tools required. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or have a look at their Facebook Page –
Granton Community Gardeners