The Forest Hill Society joined with Chelsea Fringe’s Edible High Road scheme again this year when we distributed 100 tubs of plants sponsored by local businesses throughout Forest Hill and Honor Oak Park.
Linking with the RHS’s 50th ‘Golden’ anniversary of their ‘In Bloom’ competition, we chose sunflowers, poppy and strawberry seedlings and, at the station forecourt launch in May, accompanied by music from Holy Trinity School band, more than 200 vegetable plants donated by the Horniman Gardens were given away.
Has it been a success? Well, many people stop to check the labels and admire the tubs. The shopkeepers, on the whole, have been watering and are pleased (intrigued?) to see their sunflowers getting taller and taller - and the strawberries being popped into passing mouths!
So, yes, decorating the main streets of our town centre with plant life seems generally to be considered to be a good thing.
Going forward ... if the Edible High Road is about anything at all, it is to raise awareness of the simple way in which edible plant products can be produced.
Anyone can grow their own using an old bucket, tub, window sill or grow bag and with little effort beyond regular watering the pleasure of watching seeds turn into things you can eat is immense. It's an educational experience for children to observe the natural world evolving, especially those living in the inner cities. It's good for children, too, to take responsibility for care of plants by becoming the official waterer or weeder. In Forest Hill the local shopkeepers, having invested in procuring a tub, seem happy to take on this role too.