Food for Free

In this workshop we have started to explore attitudes towards foraging and free food available in public space. We had two very inspiring presentations: the first one, discussing parks managers’ attitude to plant and let people harvest edible plants in public parks, and the second showing the number of edible species already available in Leeds’ public land.

For our discussion, we have then asked 5 questions to our participants. Below are some of the answers.

  1. Where would you like to see food growing?
    • In existing ornamental beds
    • In communal grounds/street verges etc.
    • All new developments to include food growing spaces
    • On roofs
    • We need to change planning regulation

  2. Would you harvest/eat it?
    • Food safety – growing and contamination – need to know what is safe
    • Responsible/sustainable level of foraging
    • Community ownership: society needs to learn to share
    • Tweet and tell – when it’s ready, what to do with it, when it’s gone

  3. Would you make it happen? What would you do?
    • Local authority to design a brand new plan
    • Temporary space and meanwhile use lease should be made available
    • Guerrilla gardening

  4. What if it becomes very popular (a city of foragers)? Ecological intensification or “tragedy of the commons”?
    • Greater resilience to
    • peak oil, poor harvests/climate change. Food security
    • Less reliance on supermarkets, health services
    • Preserving food heritage. Greater awareness of growing food and foraging
    • There might be disputes over taking – fair share. Need to maintain wild untouched spaces

  5. How would it change the local economy? Food, waste, prices, quantities, is there a way to link them?
    • Improved work life balance and shared jobs
    • Could have negative impact overseas
    • Change consumer choices
    • Grow green economy (jobs)


Download Introduction, Chiara Tornaghi
Download Wild Food, Mina Said
Download Edible Landscapes, Siham Bortcosh

Other Documents

Download Edibles in Public Spaces (Dissertation Summary), Siham Bortcosh
Download Edibles in Public Spaces (Dissertation), Siham Bortcosh