Jessica Hilton-McPherson

Jessica Hilton-McPherson

Unused plot reclaimed by Incredible Edible to grow food downtown

An unused planter alongside Main Street is going to be supplying food instead of weeds, thanks to a group of volunteers.

An unused planter alongside Main Street is going to be supplying food instead of weeds, thanks to a group of volunteers.

“Incredible Edible is reclaiming a site that has been left abandoned for a number of years,” said project leader Hilma LaBelle, as other volunteers removed existing plants from the plot alongside the 300 block of Main Street. “We are cleaning it up. We are repurposing plants that we can repurpose and our intent is to plant edibles. We’ve got kale, we’ve got corn, we’ve got tomatoes.”

The Incredible Edible project started in England in 2008 and has grown quickly since, inspiring community gardens in locations around the world.

In this case, LaBelle said they decided to go ahead and clean up the plot, which had become something of an eyesore.

“Our mandate is to go out, clean it up, and make look beautiful,” said LaBelle. “As people come along, they can actually make a meal from what we have planted.

“This way, we are making a statement, and we are encouraging anyone in the community to come on down here and get involved.”

LaBelle said that converting sites like this to mini-gardens has more positive affects than just growing food. In England, she explained, they have found that crime rates and the amount of littering has dropped.

“Once they are beautified, people tend to value them more,” said LaBelle. “If people think there is garbage there, then what difference does it make?”

Volunteers for Incredible Edible can now sign up online at http://ow.ly/Ove63.