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Paul Rainger
Paul Rainger
Dr Paul Rainger is Head of the Sustainable Bristol City-Region projects at Forum for the Future, the UK's independent sustainable development experts. Former Head of Farm Animal Welfare at WSPA, Director of Campaigns for the UK Liberal Democrats, and a research astronomer.
 

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Will Business Embrace Lunchtime Allotments?

Sep. 12, 2011 5:55 am
Categories: Food, Visions

Used only with express written permission

Growing your own is all the rage. With long waiting lists for allotment space, we’ve seen veg beds spring up in parks, guerrilla growers taking over derelict land and even veg growing on supermarket roofs.

The beneficial effects of reconnecting which nature through growing are well studied, from healthy eating itself, through to general improvements in health, happiness and even productivity at work.

So, could leading business embrace Lunchtime Allotments as the next must have staff perk? Will tomorrow’s young generation of more values led employees see an hour lunchtime break to tend their veg as another key differentiator between good and bad employers, just as secure bicycle parking and showers are for many today?

One company in Bristol, Arup, are already leading the way in the city. Staff in their city centre Bristol office haven’t let lack of space get in their way. They have simply taken over the nearby wide grass verge by the main bus lane.

Used only with express written permission

Bristol City Council leader, Barbara Janke, with Arup staff at their Redcliffe road side allotment.

Now beans and courgettes pass by the window of the traffic heading up to the train station. You can even follow their adventures on this blog.

What if every business played its part in greening our city?

Not the bland corporate shrubbery we see today, but the real veg growing of Lunchtime Allotments like this. Businesses would benefit from the improved productivity, health and wellbeing of their staff. And in these times of recession in the public sector, it may now be the best way of achieving the truly edible city.

 
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