The Chelsea Fringe presents

IMG_4218An edible garden in the space of a car parking space!!

This year, as part of Bristol’s Chelsea Fringe, Alan Down of Cleeve Nursery has grown an edible garden, all in containers, that literally fits into the space that is the equivalent of a car parking space. This is brilliant for many reasons. Firstly it shows that pretty much anything can be grown in a container as long as the container is large enough. Secondly it shows that you can get a whole lot of fruit and veg into a very small area and keep it looking very beautiful, with a seating area, trees, shrubs, herbs and annuals. Thirdly it’s inspirational and will give everyone who engages with it food for thought and encouragement to get growing in whatever space they may have.

The garden has been moving around Bristol, starting with a day on the harbourside and spending today on a parking space opposite City Hall on Park St, which was great as it meant George Ferguson could pop over for a chat and a sit down in the garden this afternoon, and then tweet about it! For the weekend the garden will be in the garden area of The Folk House on Park Street. To see it you will need to walk down the dark corridor to The Folk House and when you come out of the darkness the stunning garden will be in front of you in all it’s glory. Do go-Chelsea Fringe is an exciting garden festival and the Cleeve Edible Garden is beautiful.



Edible Millenium Square

For several months we have been working very hard behind the scenes with @Bristol and Almondsbury Garden Centre, on the huge planters that are in Millenium Square. They have had some very sad looking hawthorns and shrubs in them since they were first put in but now, with @Bristol about to begin a new exhibition about Food, it was decided that they should go edible.

The first bed will be worked on next Thursday, June 5th, and we would welcome any help that you feel you might be able to give on that day. The groundwork will be done on the bed in the morning and planting will begin around midday. The other 4 beds will be put in over the next few months.

We are immensely excited by this project as we hope it will inspire people to get involved with Incredible Edible Bristol, and food growing in the context of the @Bristol food Exhibition and beyond. IMG_4113

The Get Growing Trail

The Get Growing Trail is an opportunity for everyone in Bristol to get to see some of the amazing Food Gardens and projects that there are in our wonderful city of Bristol. This year there are 32 gardens open on the weekend of the 7th and 8th of June, ranging from large scale urban salad production fields to community spaces and orchards.

Th gardens participate in the trail for a wide range of reasons but it gives everyone of them a chance to show their achievements, talk to local people who might like to get involved through volunteering and makes a few funds through plant sales or tea and cake!

The Get growing Trail map is live now here

St Agnes Park Edible Garden-PLANT

St Agnes Park Edible Garden-PLANT

Planting at Castle Park

The plants in the Pop up allotment

The plants in the Pop up allotment



The Vegetable Bed in Castle Park was the brain child of Steve Clampin, Bristol’s allotment manager and has been run by him for several years. We decided at the beginning of the year that this year Incredible Edible Bristol would volunteer with the planting of the bed, whilst hoping to find a community group to look after it.

The plants were all grown by Rod Pooley at Blaise Nursery, Bristol City Council’s award winning nursery that provides not just plants for Bristol, but for lots of areas around the country. Council nurseries like Blaise are few and far between today but in the past were often the starting point for many horticultural careers, including Alan Titchmarsh, who went from this type of nursery to then study at Kew Gardens. They always turn out true plantsmen.

The plants were used first at the pop up allotment at Food Connections and then we planted them out properly on the last Friday of Food Connections Week, in glorious sunshine. We also had the pleasure and honour of being interviewed by the BBC’s Gardeners Question Time team and it was a real honour to meet Bob Flowerdew and Pippa Greenwood and talk all about Incredible Edible Bristol.

The plants finally planted into Castle Park Veg Bed.

The plants finally planted into Castle Park Veg Bed.


The Land and Food Forum at Feed Bristol

The Land and Food Forum was held as part of Food Connections week and organsied by the wonderful Matt Cracknell of Feed Bristol, alongside The Bristol Food Network. It brought together some amazing growers, organisations and people to discuss urban growing and land use within the local landscape and beyond. The weather was not on our side as there was a gale blowing but spirits were high as we talked about what is a passionate will to upscale food production within the urban landscape of Bristol.

These meetings are always amazing, and don’t happen often as us growers are usually more likely to be found elbow deep in compost at this point in the year, so it was fabulous to hear Tim Lawrence talk about Sims Hill, Matt talk about Feed Bristol and the Avon Wildlife Trust talk about the importance of looking after and respecting top grade soils looking forward into an era when climate change will be upon us for real.

The beginning of the results of a fascinating survey of food growing groups in Bristol were also discussed by Susan Rogers of Windmill Hill City Farm. This survey has looked at growing projects all over the city, from large scale business to small scale community gardens, and discussed with them, their workers and volunteers, how they have got to where they are today, what they grow and how they wish to move forward. This survey has been put together and fascilitated byThe Bristol Food Network.

There was also a Tiny Trowels session run, where we search soil to see what was to be found in it. There were worms aplenty but we also found wood lice, a spider and alot of baby spiders and millipedes and a grub or two, all showing how wonderful the soil at Feed Bristol truly is.

Feed Bristol is on Bristol’s Blue Finger, a finger shaped piece of land that straddles the M32 and is also home to Sims Hill and Stapleton Allotments. This land is at threat from development for a Metrobus scheme that will see the allotments and Feed Bristol cut through by a road that will only be used by buses, and see Grade A agricultural soil concreted over for ever. Only 3{2f2874fc6125dd5cf7bd0be296e4e150855e421b2444f8743791b81c4b31d296} of our UK soil is of this quality. Fo further info please see

Polytunnel at Feed Bristol

Polytunnel at Feed Bristol

The Incredible Edible Bristol Legacy Bed at Food Connections

Food Connections was a collaboration between the BBC and the Love Food Festival folk here in Bristol, which took place over the May Day bank holiday weekend.

Long ago, right at the start of the year, I met with Lorna Knapman who runs the Love Food Festivals, and talked about the exciting prospect of planting a Legacy Bed during the festival, that would remain in place and be a great commemoration of the first of these festivals. After adding a further collaborator, in the guise of Almondsbury Garden Centre’s marketing manager, Richard Truscott, who kindly donated all the plants, the bed and the compost, it was decided it would be a sensory herb garden, that children would plant throughout the festival.

It was an amazing weekend that co-incided with the first Make Sunday Special and the Park Street slide, and we had the pleasure of introducing lots of children to the herbs and helping them to plant them, whilst their parents talked to us about Incredible Edible Bristol and how they can get involved. The bed below is the bed we created and can be seen in Anchor Square, next to the entrance to @Bristol.


The beginning of an Incredible Edible Revolution


IEB Green


The Incredible Edible network picked up early on on the buzz in Bristol.

“Bristol as a city is vibrant, fiercely independent and proud of it’s food culture. On every corner there is an restaurant or cafe, all offering different menus from all across the world, from our wonderful Thali cafes with their offers of tiffin and spicy wonders to the wonderful Bristolian cafe whose breakfast I am yet to find anywhere to beat, to the amazing Poco, offering tapas, some of which is sourced from the U.K and much of that from very close to Bristol.

Bristol also has amazing food growing projects. The Severn Project gives people in rehabilitation programmes the skills and knowledge needed to grow food professionally through salad growing in the centre of the city. . . .

And yet, as always, there are areas that come across as complete food deserts, areas where land is underused and seemingly unloved. There are areas of poverty, social isolation and no community spirit. I arrived in Bristol just over a year ago and several things struck me immediately. Firstly I sent a lot of emails to projects I thought I’d like to volunteer with and I was only replied to by one.bSecondly it was really hard to find information about community projects and often it literally is a case of stumbling over one, and finally there was a lot of urban space just sitting there, doing nothing…”(But that’s not the end of the story, folks! Read the blog piece via the link for more.)

Bristol 365 coverage of our crowdsourcing initiative published a story about our crowdsourcing initiative with Spacehive.

“Incredible Edible Bristol takes to crowd sourcing website to raise funds to transform Bristol into the UK’s first edible city”

IEB Green

“Incredible Edible Bristol is a grassroots movement to transform Bristol in to the UK’s first edible city through helping groups based across Bristol to grow their own food on whatever land is available. Incredible Edible Bristol aims to do this by offering plots of land, seeds, tools and advice to groups of volunteers who are looking to start growing edible plants in their neighbourhoods. They are also engaging schools and universities through a series of education programmes and also aim to run health programmes with hospitals and care homes in a quest to transform Bristol in to the UK’s first Edible City.”

Gardening is defiance, plus you get strawberries


Bristol 24-7 gave us some good media coverage back in March when we were just getting started! It captures our ethos and spirit really well. You can find that coverage here.

“Incredible Edible Bristol is a new initiative set up by a dedicated group of gardeners and community leaders in Bristol. The idea behind it is to get people across the city growing food in as many places as possible including shared and unused spaces. . . Incredible Edible Bristol is about creating a revolution of kindness and resilience in Bristol. It draws on the wider Incredible Edible movement for inspiration, but also, because this is an urban environment, it also draws important inspiration from the edible cities movement all over the world – and in particular, from Ron Finley’s work in South Central Los Angeles.”

Incredibel Edible 3 poster