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York restaurant to grow edible walls
A RESTAURANT in York city centre is set to go green – by growing an ‘‘edible garden’’ up its front wall.
The owners of El Piano, in Grape Lane, want to grow herbs and vegetables on the building’s exterior, fulfilling their sustainable aim of using locally grown food.
Founding director Magdalena Chavez said the Incredible Edible Walls (IEW) project was a positive attempt to overcome the issues of growing food in an urban environment by using vertical systems for food production.
“It’s challenging but fabulously exciting,” she said. “We see it as a natural progression for both our business and the city of York, embracing sustainable thinking and education alongside food growth, community involvement and national profile.”
A spokeswoman said the project, which would need planning permission, was being run in association with York Civic Trust, local schools, City of York Council, Askham Bryan College and local growers Edible York.
She said a public consultation will be held at El Piano on Monday from 10am to 10pm, with everyone invited to go along and meet Magdalena, who will provide more information and answer questions about the initiative.
She said the concept of Incredible Edible had been gaining momentum over the last few years in both the UK and Europe and was based on the concept that individuals should try to grow their own food as locally as possible.
Most such schemes in the UK were rural, using existing open areas, but this was difficult to achieve in urban areas, given the restrictions on available space.
She said green walls had been in existence for centuries, traditionally training plants to grow up from the ground to cover a wall.
But new systems had been developed over the last couple of years that allowed the planting of walls within containers which were fixed back to the walls, allowing more complex schemes to be considered, including edible crops.