Edi­ble Bray grow­ing food across the town

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS SPECIAL - BY MARY FOG­A­RTY

PEO­PLE may have seen the Edi­ble Bray gar­dens in the Al­bert Walk and at the Bray Re­cy­cling Cen­tre and won­dered what they were about. The idea of grow­ing veg­eta­bles, herbs and fruit on un­used pub­lic land, goes back to the west York­shire town of Tod­mor­den where ‘In­cred­i­ble Ed­i­bles’ be­gan a few years ago.

In 2014 Annie White, Ciara Bre­hony and Sara Fon­tan­naz from Com­mon Ground in Bray, vis­ited Estelle Brown and Mary MacNeill from the In­cred­i­ble Edi­ble team in Tod­mor­den, in their kitchen where it all started, grad­u­ally ex­tend­ing their gar­dens out onto the road and down to shops, the po­lice sta­tion, schools and the lo­cal health board of­fice.

Now the town has vis­i­tors from all over the world to learn how to do the same.

Edi­ble Bray be­gan from that visit. The idea is to grow ‘ed­i­bles’ in pub­lic places, both for demon­stra­tion and ed­u­ca­tion but also to create a free food trail around Bray. Ed­i­bles in­clude veg­eta­bles, herbs and some soft fruit. Any­one may help them­selves to the pro­duce. Some of the cafés in the Al­bert Walk use the herbs in their dishes.

The start-up was sup­ported by Bray Tidy Towns, Bray Mu­nic­i­pal District Coun­cil and Bray Grow It Your­self. Fund­ing has been pro­vided by the Lo­cal Agenda 21 fund from Wick­low County Coun­cil.

One of the first projects was plant­ing 64 na­tive Ir­ish ap­ple trees in Bray schools. The Bray School Gar­den com­pe­ti­tion has con­tin­ued the idea and this has been the third year of the com­pe­ti­tion. Ap­ple trees have also been planted in Sid­mon­ton Square and at the rail­way sta­tion.

The stu­dents on the hor­ti­cul­tural course at BIFE have also been in­volved by help­ing to spread spent hops as a mulch in the au­tumn, pro­vided by Wick­low Wolf brewery.

‘There has been al­most no van­dal­ism and we have great sup­port from the busi­nesses and res­i­dents in the Al­bert Walk and from the staff at the Re­cy­cling Cen­tre,’ said Richard Webb of Edi­ble Bray. ‘Un­for­tu­nately, the poly-tun­nel at the Head­lands Com­mu­nity gar­den has been van­dalised and we are look­ing for sup­port for re­pairs.’ There is a small Edi­ble Bray team that meets every Wed­nes­day at the Com­mon Ground cen­tre in Church Ter­race, to de­cide on tasks, such as weed­ing, plant­ing and wa­ter­ing, usu­ally tak­ing place on a Satur­day morn­ing.

‘Edi­ble Bray could do more if more peo­ple were in­volved and we def­i­nitely wel­come any­one who would be pre­pared to help and to sug­gest new sites,’ said Richard. The group can be con­tacted at: ed­i­ble­[email protected] com/face­book.com.

Maeve Wil­liams, Ben­jamin Tay­lor and Masie Judge show off some of their pro­duce in their poly­tun­nel af­ter St Fer­gals Na­tional School Gar­den win the Grow it Your­self and Edi­ble Bray Schools Gar­den Com­pe­ti­tion.

One of the Edi­ble Bray sites at Com­mon Ground

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