This summer, FoodSmiles will be transforming two unloved spaces in the heart of St Albans into two brand new community food gardens! In the style of Incredible Edible, they will be open to all: anyone who lives, works or plays in St Albans is invited to help out and to pick food from the gardens - and we'll be joining the Incredible Edible Network to promote them and link up with similar gardens. The gardens will bring local people together, and they'll provide free food for anyone who wants to take it. They'll also enhance the town centre, provide food and shelter for wildlife, and enable us to teach and share growing skills and promote the benefits of growing-our-own.
We're still bringing together the last few details, but we hope to be making a start on the gardens during the summer holidays (if not before). We've already been pledged significant donations from three local businesses: Aylett Nurseries will be providing us with tools and seeds to get us started, Carpenter's Nursery are giving us lots of berry, rhubarb and herb plants, and the Hare and Hounds are helping with a generous cash donation and a team of helpers for our launch day! However, we still need to raise up to £5000 for noticeboards and signage, raised beds and compost, and a few other bits. If you'd like to make a donation towards setting up the gardens or if you know someone who might sponsor us, please get in touch.
The first garden is on Russell Avenue, behind the multi-storey car park. A lot of it is shaded by trees so it will be suitable for a forest garden, featuring wild edibles among others, and a shade-tolerant berry and rhubarb patch. We'll also include a wildlife area, herb garden, raised vegetable beds and a flower border to support pollinators and catch the eyes of passersby!
The second garden is in the Civic Centre, next to the Alban Arena and a stone's throw from the council offices. It'll be a great place for lots of people to see what we're up to! It will include a similar variety of herbs, flowers, fruit bushes and low-maintenance veggies.
If you live, work or play in St Albans, these gardens are for YOU! If you're interested in getting involved it'd be great to hear from you. Please email us at the address below.