A social movement that began in England has made its way to Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG).

Incredible Edibles is a worldwide initiative that encourages city dwellers to make the most of green spaces.

A group of enthusiastic gardeners who wanted to follow in the footsteps of a small community in Todmorden, England, started the NDG Incredible Edibles initiative in 2013.

“It’s dripping with food that has been planted in public and private spaces that are accessible to the public and where food to share is grown,” says organizer Jane Barr.

Anyone who walks by one of the 11 sites across NDG is encouraged to take something from the planters that are set up in front of stores, restaurants, churches and even fire stations.

Organizers and volunteers are assigned a garden that they water and help design. All the food that is grown is free, you just pick what you need.

The idea is to bring agriculture back into the city.

“It’s part of the general environmental movement of making the world a more resilient, greener, healthier place,” says volunteer Evelyn Ginzberg.

Each garden has something different to offer, but most focus on herbs and edible flowers. Although, to some, it may seem weird to grow food on an urban sidewalk, passersby get a kick out of it.

“Daycares come around and they all try out the mint and the thyme and the sage,” says Barr.

“Everyone has a little taste and people come and take handfuls of mint for their tea or they take a little bit of coriander for their Thai dish.”

Organizers hope those who pass by spread the word to friends and neighbours, and it encourages more people to get involved. Anyone looking for more information and a list of where the gardens are located can visit IE.NDG on Facebook.

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