Edible Estates is a community interest company established in 2017 to promote and establish community growing projects, particularly in Council estates. At this time our work is focussed in Edinburgh, but we hope to work in other Scottish cities in the near future.
The term ‘Edible Estates’ was first coined by Fritz Haeg an American architect/activist, involved in the creation of edible landscapes in the suburbs of American cities. We have developed the idea as a framework for the regeneration of greenspace around social housing estates, principally through the development of community food growing projects.
Whilst local food is a goal, community growing projects also provide an opportunity to encourage and support residents to become involved in their community, learn new skills, and improve their health & well-being. They can have a positive impact upon the communities in which they are based, increasing the environmental sustainability, and supporting the development of local community resilience.
Since 2021, we have delivered the ‘Edinburgh Growing Together’ project on behalf of Edinburgh Council. EGT supports community gardens across the Council’s estates.
Over the years, we have developed a variety of project models and services which can provide communities with inspiration and a starting off point in developing their own ideas for community greenspace projects. The sidebar on the right lists the model and services we have developed thus far.
There are many kinds of community gardens, we work with two models, which can be used independently or in a blended approach. At Neighbourhood Gardens, each household gets its own growing space to manage (4′ by 12′), at Community Growers sites the growers work as a group managing several growing sites across an estate.
We have developed the Growing Youth programme to provide training and work experience for young folk through the construction of our community gardens, learning joinery and landscaping skills.
We are also interested in Greenspace as a place for play and recreation. Our Natural Play workshops take children out to nearby woods and greenspaces for free play in the outdoors. We are particularly proud of the creation of School Farm projects in primary schools, where children are learning to grow throughout the year.