14 August 2016

Creating ‘an edible
urban Eden’ in Bray

Sunflowers in the sunshine in Albert Walk, Bray, this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

Patrick Comerford

I was back in Bray again this afternoon after a Sunday morning in Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Ballsbridge, and a brief visit to Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.

Two of us went to Bray for lunch in Carpe Diem on Albert Avenue, and I wanted to do some architectural photography in Quinsborough Road before going for a short walk along the seashore.

Albert Walk is a narrow passage that leads from Albert Avenue to the Railway Station, to the site of the former Imperial Hotel and onto Quinsborough Road.

One of the true pleasures of this narrow sidestreet is Caffe Letterario Gatta Nera, the delightful Sicilian café where I had lunch on Friday afternoon.

Edible Bray is creating a free food trail in Albert Walk and throughout Bray (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

But this afternoon, as I strolled along Albert Walk, which dates from the 1880s, I saw how Edible Bray is creating a free food trail around Bray with orchards and edible plants, free for all.

Edible Bray is creating a trail of public planting around the town of Bray, including fruit, herbs, vegetables and flowers to feed the body, mind and soul, as well as birds and bees.

Edible Bray is an initiative of Common Ground Bray, a co-operative, community based project.

The dream is to create an ‘edible urban Eden’ (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

The dream is to create a free food trail around Bray with apple orchards and fruit bushes, kale, sunflowers and edible flowers in the most unlikely places, as well as cherry tomatoes and delicious peas, and all free for the picking too.

The sunflowers, calendula and nasturtiums planted around Bray are now making a lot of bees very happy ... and quite a few people too.

Volunteers meet up regularly in Albert Walk to do the necessary weeding and watering, and to spruce up the beds. People are invited to bring along any spare edible plants they have, including herbs, flowers and vegetables.

The council is unveiling a plaque on Albert Walk on Wednesday evening (17 August 2016), which is public acknowledgement of a worthy, colourful and imaginative local initiative.

The initiative is keeping the birds and bees happy … and many people too (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

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