A great Article from Gentoo housing association:
Community partnership is planting the seeds of a good idea to combine healthy eating and environmental improvements in Pallion.
Leader of Sunderland City Council Councillor Paul Watson has helped Pallion Traders and Gentoo launch an 'Incredible Edibles' project.
Local shops will take responsibility for 'planters' outside their businesses, with each planted with 'incredible edibles' such as herbs, plants and flowers which local people are invited to pick and take home to use in their kitchens.
The planters and herb gardens will help raise awareness of healthier eating, with local schools and voluntary groups encouraged to get involved in looking after them as way of sharing pride in their local community.
They will stretch along St Luke’s Terrace to create a ‘green route’ through the community.
Also a ward councillor for Pallion, the Leader of Sunderland City Council Cllr Watson said: “This is a fantastic way of bringing everyone together to help improve our health, environment and community spirit.
“The support ‘Incredible Edibles’ is receiving from Pallion Traders shows what we can all achieve working together, and Gentoo’s contribution of land and support has helped make it all possible.
“I’m sure this project will capture everyone’s imagination, and I hope that if it’s successful we can introduce the idea in other communities across the city.”
Cllr Watson added: “Creating community herb gardens has been successful elsewhere but has never been attempted on this kind of scale before in a more urban environment, so I hope everyone in Sunderland will support the idea.”
‘Incredible Edibles’ is funded by West Area Committee as part of its 'maximising greenspace strategy' to make the best use of all available shared, open community spaces, and will be managed by the City Council’s Responsive Local Services team in partnership with Gentoo.
Network Chair Pam Warhurst, is the co-founder of the Incredible Edible Project which began in Todmorden, as a community initiative dedicated to growing food locally. The idea is to take over some unused, unloved land and turn it into communal gardens where food can be grown and shared by all for free.
Sally Hancox, Director of Gentoo Green said: “Gentoo has been working with Pam Warhurst for a number of years and we are delighted that Sunderland City Council have been inspired by her work. Incredible Edible is a fantastic initiative that that everyone can get involved in and we are thrilled that this worldwide initiative is gaining traction in Pallion.
“By sharing skills and resources we can all play a part in supporting local communities, businesses and schools to grow and share food. Edible landscapes will undoubtedly bring benefits to our communities in Sunderland, and we encourage everyone to get involved.”
Some of the planters will be personalised and designed to reflect the nature of shop or business looking after it, such as a tool box for a local DIY shop, cupcake for a local bakery and tyres for a local garage.
Each of the businesses involved will be responsible for taking in their individual planter every night, watering the plants and flowers and replenishing stocks for next year.
Chair of the Pallion Traders, Richard Downey said: “This is a great idea and will really help brighten up the area, hopefully attracting more people to shop locally and support their local economy.
“The Traders Group is delighted to support his latest community initiative. We’re all looking forward to getting our planters, and I’d encourage everyone to get involved and help make ‘Incredible Edibles’ a success.”