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Edible planting scheme celebrates fine tradition of eccentricity
FEAST your eyes on this: residents of an Oxfordshire market town are hoping to transform it into a walk-through buffet.
Faringdon Free Food has already planted fruit trees, herbs and edible flowers in their town centre, but they want to more.
Over the next three years they plan to plant thousands more fruit trees.
They hope to educate young people about where their food comes from, make the town a more beautiful place and of course, provide some free, fresh, fast food.
The scheme was launched at the town’s Folly Fest earlier this month when a member planted four apple trees in front of the Roman Catholic church in Marlborough Street.
Group member, and mother-of-two, Mirabelle Mack is Faringdon’s Town Project Co-ordinator, paid by the Vale of White Horse District Council to improve the town’s environment.
She said: “Firstly, we want to improve the look of Faringdon, to make those neglected pockets owned by the council look nicer.
“Secondly, planting edible food educates children who are so used to buying their food in packets from supermarkets.”
“I have a five-year-old and a seven-year-old and they have had cucumbers and oranges held up in front of their class and 90 per cent of them don’t know what they are.
“We have been planting in obvious places so hopefully kids will understand what an aubergine or an apple tree look like.”
The group was inspired by the Incredible-Edible Todmorden group in West Yorkshire, who filled their town centre with edible crops from sweet corn to herbs. Currently, there are just four group trustees leading the charge but they hold their first public meeting in September and hope to galvanise more interest by planting in the town.
Two group members, Marc Crane and Albania Grosso, are both professional environmental consultants. The fourth member, Sjoerd Vogt, is a dad-of-three and head of Faringdon’s Pink Pigeons, a group set up to keep alive the memory of one of the last great English eccentrics, Lord Berners who lived at Faringdon House.
For Mr Vogt, the project is about bringing eccentricity to the town. He said: “There is a lot of scope for rediscovering eccentricity, that is one of the boxes that this project ticks.
“Guerrilla gardening is fun because it sounds slightly illegal, though we have permission for everything.
“This is for the community, by the community.”
- If you would like to get involved in the group go online to faringdonfreefood.org
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