Studio Polpo has worked with Transition Crookes/Walkley to develop the micro-allotment network, being piloted in the Walkley area of the city.
This initiative has created a series of small plots for growing fruit, herbs and vegetables out of currently disused small front gardens. The project aims to increase the capacity of the area to grow food, but also bring social benefits. This would allow otherwise isolated residents contact with those tending their gardens for example, or local outdoor work for volunteers. Plots are supplied with composting and water harvesting equipment and tended by volunteers using a bike trailer based at the Transition Crookes/Walkley hub at the Hallamgate garden.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Studio polpo is a Sheffield based social enterprise architectural practice, who have teamed up with a series of other community networks including Transition Crookes/Walkley and Grow Sheffield. This network along with funding provided as part of the Climate Change Funding program allowed the micro allotment network to widen through the “bottom-up” efforts of individuals on private land. A systemic approach of small modifications in both behavior and micro-scale land-use have the potential to provide large benefits. Other considerations need to include the context to each garden intervention, the lack of control regarding its visibility and aesthetic quality as well as to the management techniques employed which might or might not be sustainable.