Cultivating your community! is based on a conversation with Anne Grete Orlien. Learn more about her here.
It was important for me to do something in Ellingsrud in memory of my two sons. I started an association, then contacted the city environmental agency (bymiljøetaten) and asked if we could create a parcel garden. We then received a 20x40 meter parcel where we could set up cultivation boxes. It started in 2016 as a test project and now we have an agreement for October 2020.
We have about 200 cultivation boxes, and 70 members (60 active and 10 support) coming here; families, singles, kids from the kindergarten, activity school, and from the secondary school. The idea is that it should be open and that anyone can come. Many of the members live in high-rise buildings and didn't have access to a garden before coming here...I think it's healthy as it makes people come out and meet around a productive garden.
Many have asked if the cultivation boxes are allowed to be there, asking,“isn't that vandalism?” And it's not! I think the project is knowledge related and people can see that it is possible to grow food in open places.
I've learned how to use more herbs and cook more vegetarian meals. Many of our members gather in groups around the parcel garden in the evenings. I have been invited to taste food from several different cultures. The garden is also very important regarding social aspects and how we learn from each other's origins and food traditions. In the area there are many edible wild plants, so we arrange tours called "edible plant walks" for people who live in the surroundings and want to learn about the plants they can find outside their home.
Creating Ellingsrud's parcel has generated more dimensions than just growing food. Teaching children how to grow has a great value. They see the whole process, from sowing small seeds, to harvesting and enjoying tasty produce. Afterwards, they go home and persuade their parents to grow! I have seen the activity of growing food migrating between generations, despite the fact that the parcel garden is no more than three years old!
This year they started growing under the snow as early as March. We have had lots of snow peas, strawberries, berries, potatoes, fennel, radishes, various kinds of beans. Now we will soon harvest the carrots, squash, and pumpkins... The activity school starts growing in March, and then they can harvest already in May. We grow as long as we can...until the snow comes.
Anne Grete Orlien was born and raised in Oslo and moved to Ellingsrud in 1986, Alna Oslo. She is educated as a nurse and worked as a psychiatric nurse for 36 years. Human nature is adaptable, with its own stubbornness and willingness to survive and adapt, which Anne Grete learned after the death of her 2 boys Kristian and Øyvind. An association in memory of Kristian and Øyvind was founded in 2016 and provides founding for Ellingsrud Parcel Garden.
edit / atelier – is a young innovative landscape, urbanism and architectural practice co-founded by Eric Reid, Gauthier Durey and Linn Runeson.
We work at the interface of Landscape, Urbanism and Architecture. We believe in open, borderless processes and we strive to create synergies between spatial environments.
Linnea Bågander - Linnea is a PhD-student in Artistic Research at the Swedish School of Textiles. She works with movement, materials and bodies, and how together they create expressions and experiences. Her work ranges from how materials interpret body movements, to how materials give impressions, inspiration, and movements to the body.
edit / atelier
Myntgata 2, 0151 Oslo, Norway
An ongoing research by edit / atelier