#GreenFests Blog: Celebrating Edinburgh’s Community Gardens

16th June 2016

The Power of Food Festival in Edinburgh

How do you connect local communities, creative performers and environmental sustainability all in one? In our yearly #GreenFests blog series, we have …

How do you connect local communities, creative performers and environmental sustainability all in one? In our yearly #GreenFests blog series, we have explored many a way to do this, and this weekend’s Power of Food Festival kicks off this year’s blog just as the summer festival season is gaining speed.

Edinburgh’s community gardens will open their gates again this Saturday and Sunday (18-19 June) following last year’s successful inaugural celebrations. Not only will the gardeners themselves be present and their produce be available for admiration and in some cases delectation, but also many of the gardens have organised activities for their visitors.

Making food production sustainable is one of the biggest challenges our society is facing, and inviting, encouraging and educating people about home-grown and communal food is one of the best ways to tackle this issue. The Power of Food Festival and team behind it are specifically promoting environmental sustainability; giving people an opportunity to source their food locally and learn about the processes involved in growing food. Additionally, the Festival and the gardens themselves teach visitors how to use seasonal produce, showcase opportunities for composting food waste rather than sending it to landfill and encourage people to be mindful about their food and their community. In the association’s words: “Community gardens (…) bring people together around a meaningful concept of growing food together.”

It seems like a perfect match to join community artists with community gardeners. Not only are creative activities attracting visitors, but also artists can engage their audiences with sustainability, and show its possibilities and advantages for everyone. The festival may also encourage the artists themselves to do work sustainably, on sustainability or both. Artists of all kinds have the chance to lead and support communities in their awareness of sustainability issues and how to tackle them. Projects like reusing and recycling materials and thinking more creatively can turn a simple shared space like a garden into one shaped by and representing the community tending to it.

The Power of Food Festival is also encouraging people to explore the gardens by bike, offering both a map with cycle routes to those interested and two guided cycle tours from garden to garden, organised by the charity, Sustrans.

The festival runs in the same vein as CCS’ Green Tease event series, connecting cultural practices and environmental sustainability. So have a look at the PoFF programme, check our Sustainable Travel Policy to find out how to best travel from garden to garden, and after a weekend exploring Edinburgh’s Community Gardens get excited about the upcoming festivals organised by members of the Green Arts Initiative.



Image courtesy of the Power of Food Festival Association.

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