Green fingers have been digging in the soil outside the Isle of Wight Council offices in Newport, planting one of your five a day as part of a community food-growing project.
Behind the project is Transition Island, which is aiming to grow “Incredible Edibles” in what have previously been flowerbeds. Cucumbers, tomatoes and beans, along with herbs like basil, rosemary and mint, are now in the raised beds outside County Hall.
LISTEN: Tanja Rebel speaks to Isle of Wight Radio.
The little plots were previously looked after by charities Age UK and Men In Sheds, but will now churn out vegetables for us all to eat.
Isle of Wight Councillor Michael Murwill was at the launch on the first day of spring. He told Isle of Wight Radio:
“We want to spread the word of what we are doing on the Island and the idea came up to have edible produce outside County Hall. I was thinking it was going to be flowers that were edible, but no. There are vegetables.
“I think it is really good. Transition Island have done a great job and it is another step forward. We hope other groups [and] Parish and Town Councils take part. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
LISTEN: Councillor Michael Murwill chats with Isle of Wight Radio.
Tanja Rebel, Chair of Transition Island, who was helping to plant some of the produce in the flower beds, said:
“We want to transform the Island into a more self-sustaining place where you grow your own food because of climate change and it’s really important that we take action.
“We have taken away the weeds and kept some of the plants. We have added compost and planted vegetables and herbs so the sky’s the limit!
“It’s meant to be for everybody. It’s for sharing. It needs to grow up first so we can tend to it. It is meant to be a communal thing and that’s what is the future.”
If you need a couple of basil leaves for a recipe, you’ll be able to grab a couple of sprigs from immediately. Tomatoes, on the other hand, will take a couple of months to grow but after that we are urged to help ourselves.
By Louise Hill.