I’ve found people shooting up in my alleyway, plus a few needles and other waste from users. This goes back a while. You can read about it here.
Rather than just whinging that the cops or council should just do something about it, I decided to reclaim the alleyway space by activating it as an area for growing vegetables. Maybe I’m just a naive optimist, but I suspect that by activating a space and getting locals to take some ownership of it the risk of crime or anti-social behaviour will be reduced.
Even if it doesn’t, I still think I’ve done something cool.
I made raised beds and used the vertical space with planter boxes. Aside from the bolts and chain, everything else was recycled, mostly from vergeside collection: discarded sheet metal, wooden palettes, chicken wire, hessian coffee sacks – even any screws I used.
In all, I’ve created 2.5 square metres of growing space. In the process I’ve had 8 conversations with neighbours, 4 of which have been about behaviour change that would reduce their ecological footprint, one of which has involved a neighbour to growing her own food.
And that’s just in one week, with no actual plants growing yet. Imagine what will happen once they do and I’m able to share my produce!!
If you happen to be walking by, you can check it out where it runs off Brennan Street. If I’m around and you’re interested in chatting about how I did it (especially if you want to make you own!) or you’re interested in maybe doing some food swaps, I’d love to talk to you.