October 27, 2022
Many residents in the western German city of Andernach pick up flour, eggs and other staples at local stores and markets, but pick their produce in the town center.
Since 2010, Andernach began planting special gardens in areas that were previously overgrown and unkempt. These days, these areas are now full of peach, almond and pear trees, as well as patches that grow tomatoes, onions or anything else the town decides.
Everyone is welcome to pick what they can carry, for free.
The town of 30,000 is part of a growing global network of “edible cities” which have developed gardens and orchards for the public, the Washington Post reported.
The Edible Cities Network comprises about 150 cities around the world that have implemented fruit trees and vegetable gardens in public places for anyone to access free of charge.
Funded by the EU’s executive body, the network has been supporting community gardens and urban food forests for cities in Cuba, China, Tunisia and Uruguay, among others.
Similar edible cities have also popped up across the United States: For example, Detroit has an urban farming movement and Philadelphia has food forests.
Ina Säumel, a principal investigator for the Edible Cities Network, said the organization wants to encourage people to get more involved in their urban parks and not see them as simply passive places.
“Public green natural spaces in cities are incredibly valuable, and even more so as temperatures rise and cities become more densely populated,” she said.