Why grow your own is better!
Whether you have a massive plot, or just a few patio or window box planters, growing fruit and vegetables is great fun as well as healthy. From brassicas to blueberries, nothing tastes like home grown! To get inspired, visit Incredible Edible Todmorden to see what a community has achieved to provide access to local food.
If space is limited your windowsill is just the right place to grow herbs, salads, microgreens (mini salad leaves!). A balcony is also a good option for growing in containers and can provide a sheltered place to grow tomatoes, peas, beans and herbs. If you have a garden, then you may have more choices on what you can grow; both sowing directly in the soil or by using containers.
Renting an allotment gives you the chance to grow flowers, fruit, and vegetables. The council manages 1,609 plots spread across 32 sites in the city; a further 9 are run independently with approximately 220 plots.
The council run sites have lengthy waiting lists. In some sites, the committee have a noticeboard and may be willing to display an advert if you are willing to support someone who is interested in volunteering at the site.
There are opportunities to get involved in gardening and growing with many of the community-based projects. Volunteer Edinburgh hold a database of current vacancies. This could provide you with outdoor activity, support a community organisation to manage their outdoor space and help you develop skills and growing experience.
Offer an opportunity to meet your neighbours and enjoy growing in a shared space. In many of the gardens, there is a communal cabin which is used for shared meals and growing activities.
Visit the links to some of our local community growing projects, to find out what is happening in your local area, see our Growing Map
Grow Veg has a garden planner, growing guides and how to start a garden on a budget
Garden Organic provides growing advice and help to get you started.
The Federation of Edinburgh and District Allotments and Gardens Associations (FEDAGA) represent all Edinburgh Council sites as well as many independently run sites; provide advice on gardening and run an annual allotment show.
The Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society works for plot holders to provide information about allotments including legal issues, news and general information. The association also produces a range of useful publications.
Changeworks provide advice on composting.
National Society of Allotments and Leisure Gardeners gives a range of advice for new gardeners.
For information on how to use your allotment to help encourage and protect local wildlife, view the Gardening in Harmony with Nature booklet below.
Download Gardening in Harmony with Nature – PDF
Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust has activities to help you connect with the outdoors and growing.
Growing Locally, Edinburgh’s first food growing strategy was developed in 2020 following a citywide consultation and in collaboration with Edible Edinburgh. It brings together the council, growing communities and partners to encourage more local food production, more sustainability in food growing and develop the ongoing discussion as a city about what a diverse and vibrant food economy looks like.
The aim is to encourage greater participation in food growing, promote healthy and sustainable food and support local businesses to thrive.
The vision of the plan is to:
- Grow more food in Edinburgh
- Increase consumption of locally grown food
- Increase awareness of and engagement in sustainable food across the city
The Food Growing Strategy promotes the benefits of growing to health and well-being, and encouraging growing in ways that help encourage biodiversity.