To create a food growing site and inspire people to learn about growing food.
A sense that there was useable space in the hotel car park.
Seeing pallet beds being made on a YouTube video.
Outcomes so far:
A group of local residents who come together every Friday afternoon to work on the site.
Increased interest in sustainability issues by the hotel.
Visibility in the community and serendipitous conversations with passersby and hotel guests.
Very strong bonding of the group members
Ease of making pallet beds once we stepped back from the Boys Own ‘saw up the wood and bang in the nails’ mentality
Constant supply of greens, salad and herbs for group members
Obstacles, and how we overcame them:
Getting permission: asked hotel managers one after another for about a year until one said “yes”.
Water: installed guttering along a wall and water butts.
Visibility is better than hideaway events if you want to reach more of the community.
Although the hotel staff have shown interest, they haven’t broken out of their silos to join in, which may require a senior manager to give the green light for staff participation.
Sources of funding:
Thornton's Budgen's Pennies for Plastic Fund
Last year the Transition Belsize Food Growing group installed raised beds made from old pallets in the corner of the Premier Inn Hotel car park on Ornan Road (see photos). The site was and is a huge success. A group of local residents maintain it and harvest food from it. Hotel staff are very proud of it. Hotel guests and passersby visit it. Rainwater is collected from a nearby wall to water it. Food waste is recycled through two wormeries and returned to the site as compost. It’s wonderful example of both Transition and permaculture in practice.