Posts Tagged ‘Community Garden’

Allotments in Europe can best be described to those in other parts of the world as similar to community gardens, with the emphasis on that each individual gets a designated plot (if available) to grow primarily, healthy food for themselves and family.
This is not restricted to food growing, at least not in the UK that I am aware of, I have seen plots dedicated almost 100% to growing certain tree / shrubs which are good for weaving and others where the owner (tenant) just wants a small shed with some kind of cooking devices, seed storage, sitting area and a kettle to make tea or coffee with a garden mostly covered in ornamental flowers and plants.

Within the UK, interest in allotments surges during economic recessions etc. often causing dismay when people find out there is a 10 year waiting list for one in their area!


Allotment numbers in Europe are as follows (Source: allotmentphotogallery.com):

Germany 1.4 million allotments
United Kingdom 330,000
The Netherlands 240,000
Denmark 62,120
Sweden 51,000
Belgium 42,000
Austria 38,000
Switzerland  27,000
France 26,000
Finland  5,000
Norway  2,000
Malta 50

In countries like Denmark and England, allotment gardening can be traced back as far as the 1730’s, whilst the rest of Europe started joining in around the 1800’s onwards till today with Malta starting 50 allotments in April 2011. In Germany, the largest provider and user of Council / Municipal supplied allotments, the land used for the 1.4 million allotments accounts to 470 square Kilometers !

Click HERE for Quick Tour of Britain’s Best Allotment Winners Plot 2015 (Video)

Click HERE for a previous post of an Allotment site in Bristol which is managed by Mike Feingold, an old school Permaculturist (Video Tour / educational)

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Over the last few years, I have been quite interested in observing how some buildings especially large warehouses in Industrial Estates have such huge roof space and all that it is used for is mounting a few air conditioning units!
With the improvements in Solar Cell technology (including wind turbines), surely if at least 50% of all larger buildings in Estates such as these as well as Shopping Malls, Schools etc. were to be fitted with Photovoltaic Solar Panels then we would see a massive decrease in the need or reliance on polluting fossil fuels as well as Nuclear ! ?

City Square Mall Singapore, Rooftop includes Solar Panels, Green Living Plants and Rainwater Harvesting!

City Square Mall Singapore, Rooftop includes Solar Panels, Green Living Plants and Rainwater Harvesting!

I completely agree that renewable energy is not something we can 100% rely on just yet, but slowly phasing out the need for these other primitive and environmentally destructive forms of energy until we gain the know how to become 100% reliant on renewables, is definitely something that needs to be done as a priority worldwide. Click Here for the Article on City Square Mall (Above Photo) in Singapore.

Solar Panels on an IKEA Superstore

Solar Panels on an IKEA Superstore

This is not entirely restricted to energy production, there is also food production as an option and this is becoming more popular worldwide! In England and also in many other countries, local authorities provide plots of land for rent to local residents at a rental fee (per year) which they can use to grow their own food, host a few bee hives etc. even just to be able to garden … Unfortunately, they cannot provide enough of these plots (Called Allotments in the UK) and some councils are selling them for private development! Not only this but running your own little plot on an allotment site also requires you to have reasonable transport options, many people do not own cars and also allotment sites can be too far from ones home.

Rooftop Gardening may help alleviate this problem:

Note: I read somewhere a few years ago that New York is estimated to have enough roof space to feed 15 Million people! I do not know if this is on an annual basis calculation but if I ever come across the study I will most definitely post it here as an article with a link!

Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (NY).  20 June 2010. Photo: Antoine Doyen

Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (NY). 20 June 2010. Photo: Antoine Doyen

rooftop farm New York

rooftop farm New York

Rooftop Farm - Brooklyn Grange NY

Rooftop Farm – Brooklyn Grange NY

Rooftop Farm - Brooklyn Grange NY 1

Rooftop Farm – Brooklyn Grange NY 1

Rooftop Farm - Location Unknown

Rooftop Farm – Location Unknown

Rooftop Farm Antwerp, Belgium

Rooftop Farm / Garden, Antwerp, Belgium

Stacey Kimmons and Audra Lewicki harvest lettuce at the Chicago Botanic Garden's 20,000-square-foot vegetable garden atop McCormick Place West in Chicago.

Stacey Kimmons and Audra Lewicki harvest lettuce at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s 20,000-square-foot vegetable garden atop McCormick Place West in Chicago.