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Costs, to date, have been covered by donations from residents and an initial donation from local employer Aviva who, through York Cares, provided a team of 15 volunteers who put in a day's work in March 2014 to clear the garden ready for planting.  We had significant funding for fruit trees in place in March 2014, but have been told by the Council we are not allowed to plant any trees on the site until the planning is finalised for a proposed road and bridge that may cut through the park to create access for development of the York Central site.

We have six raised beds, one dedicated to herbs and black and red currants, another filled principally with edible flowering plants: giant globes artichokes, dwarf sunflowers, and bergamot (but also with supremely pollinator friendly flowers, such as Allium sphaerocephalon, Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve', and Knautia 'Melton Pastels').  In the four remaining beds in this, our first season, we have grown a mix of edible flowers and fruit and vegetables: peas, strawberries, broad beans, spinach, lettuces, chives, Nasturtiums, calendulas, violas, dwarf purple French beans, runner beans (grown up a teepee with heavily scented heirloom sweet peas), beetroot, purple sprouting broccoli, radishes, rainbow chard, the fabulous custard white Zucchino,  pumpkins, tomatoes, cut and come again lettuces, rocket, cauliflower, beetroot, curly kale, raspberries, celeriac, parsley, cilantro, borage...

We aim to make this a lasting growing project and to expand beyond the 6 raised beds to create further planting to transform this previously neglected park into a beautiful, life-enhancing space for the community to enjoy, prioritising food and sanctuary for beneficial wildlife.  Top on the list is to create a community orchard at the park.

The growth of lovely fresh food and flowers has been a delight, but the growth in community that this project has engendered has been the resounding surprising success of the project.  The park, previously hardly visited except by dog walkers, is now played in daily by neighbourhood children (who delight in helping with watering and planting and especially in picking their own fresh peas and strawberries); a place where adults come to relax with a book in the sun; even several neighbourhood parties have been held here over the summer.

Jules, julielaurenfern@gmail.com 

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Designed by Fusion Design | Development by See Green


Edible Map

At Edible York, we’re working with the community to provide every local and organic food growing opportunity available. This also includes highlighting and pointing out areas where wild produce is already ripe for picking and areas which are ideal for foraging for delicious natural treats.

There is a world of goodness outside your home and with a simple look at our Edible Map; you’ll soon see the vast array of naturally growing wild produce just waiting to be enjoyed. In addition to mapping out all the public food growing space that are known of across the York area, Abundance, York’s urban harvesting group is also hoping to collect details of private fruit and vegetable sources. The map itself shows only publicly available areas.

Across York, the Edible Map highlights a vast array of wild fruit trees, ready for their fruit to be harvested and enjoyed, without a polythene bag in sight. From sweet chestnuts to wild apples and damsons to blackberries, the fruit available across York may surprise some people, who weren’t previously aware of the extent of wild, natural produce available. The Edible Map is collated by members of the Edible York team but also accepts submissions from readers who have spotted something interesting.

As well as fruit trees and bushes, plucky foragers have spotted many naturally occurring herbs and spices amongst the hedgerows of the area. The map shows sites growing of garlic mustard, horseradish and even edible roses. With the vast array of natural produce growing, our work at Edible York can only serve to help the community build up from this great starting point and further develop the sustainable food sources in the area.