A TOWN could start growing its own food if a project to fill empty patches of land with fruit and vegetables takes off.

Verges, pot plants, parks and wasteland in Waltham Abbey could be filled with plants if there is enough support for a scheme being discussed by the town council this week.

The council’s leisure and community committee has looked at project in towns across the country where volunteers plant and care for crops in public spaces, which can be harvested by anyone in the town.

Franco Pullara, who grows salad crops at the Coronation nursery in Nazeing, just outside the town, said: “It’s a super idea. Self-sufficiency and sustainability is the way we should all be going.

“If people wanted to get ideas about how to grow under glass, of course growers would happily offer our time and advice.”

Norma Green, former mayor and chairwoman of the Waltham Abbey Town Partnership, said: “I think it’s important that we try and be self-sufficient, but I’m not quite sure how it will work at the moment.

“I’ve no doubt it ought to grow.”

Jenny Coleman is in charge of town centre vegetable plots in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, where the project, known as Incredible Edible, first started.

“A group of people just started doing it,” she said. “There was a bit of cynicism at the beginning, but it’s such an obvious idea, really.”

The town now has nearly 300 volunteers maintaining its fruit and vegetable plots.

  • If the council decides to support the idea at its meeting on Thursday, it will seek more information from other towns that have taken it up.