Did you know there are fruit and vegetable plants growing in Elgin’s Cooper Park, ready for you to pick and use?
Above: one of the beds growing a circle of lettuce around a currant bush.
As part of REAP’s Grow Elgin project to grow more food locally, and so reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we have stocked four raised beds in Cooper Park with a variety of edible plants.
As well as some soft fruit bushes and herbs , the beds have a variety of vegetables growing in them, depending on the season. We invite you to help yourself to a bit of fresh food;
- A few parsley leaves or chives to go in your sandwich.
- A strawberry or two or a few currants to go with your lunch.
- Some lettuce, spinach-beet leaves, nasturtium leaves and flowers etc for a wee salad.
- Some kale or beetroot for a hearty soup.
Above: Young kale plants surrounded by a variety of herbs.
Can anybody just help themselves?
Yes! The plants are there to be harvested and used by anyone and everyone. Please be sure to wash what you pick before eating, and only pick food from the four REAP beds.
How much should I take?
Just harvest small amounts for your or your family’s immediate needs. Many of the leafy vegetables can be harvested on a cut-and-come-again basis, taking a few leaves from several plants rather than a whole plant. With other vegetables like beetroot you will obviously take the whole plant. Be sure to compost whatever part of the harvested plants you don’t eat.
Above: Strawberry plants and herbs around a young apple tree..
When should I harvest?
On a separate page updated seasonally you can find out what is ready or nearly ready to harvest just now, and when and how to pick. This will also show you what the different vegetable plants looks like, and include a recipe. If you’re passing and see something that you know is ready to be eaten then help yourself!
Above: a last bit of weeding among the herbs and black kale.
Where are these edible raised beds?
There are four raised beds together in Cooper park. They are located close to the old aviaries. The developing community orchard is also shown on the map below.