Skip Garden: a mobile, sustainable temporary restaurant

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Amongst the crops grown at the Skip Garden are apples, pumpkins, beans, tomatoes, ginger and chillies(Credit: Skip Garden)

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A community space, garden and kitchen in the King's Cross area of London is feeding its customers with food grown in skips (aka dumpsters). The Skip Garden is designed to be easily moved around unused development spaces. It is built with recycled materials and employs organic farming techniques.

King's Cross is undergoing large-scale redevelopment, and the Skip Garden takes advantage of this by setting up on areas of land that are earmarked for development but that are currently unused. It has recently moved to its third home in the area, adjacent to the King's Cross Pond Club freshwater swimming pond.

Created by educational charity Global Generation in collaboration with the Bartlett School of Architecture, the Skip Garden has seven new structures at its new location, which Global Generation says is its "most exciting" to date. It is described by the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership as a project that has become far more than simply a moveable vegetable garden built in skips.

The structures are built using a variety of reclaimed materials, such as sash windows, railway sleepers and coffee sacks. Amongst the structures are a Greywater Dining Scape that provides a wetland dining area and is claimed to be the "first large-scale commercial reed bed water filtration scape in London."

There is also a Chicken Coop built around a silver birch tree, and until recently there was a Hydroponic Hedge used to grow herbs. The Hydroponic Hedge utilized suspended upcycled wine bottles held in place by 3D-printed bottle holders.

Amongst the crops grown on-site are apple trees, pumpkins, beans, tomatoes, ginger and chillies. Polytunnels made with water pipes and polythene are used to aid the growing process. In addition, growing is aided with the use of aerobic and worm composting, comfrey juice fertilizer (from the comfrey plant), companion and rotational planting, rainwater harvesting and beekeeping.

Once ripe, the produce that is grown is used in the Skip Garden Kitchen to create seasonal dishes. Young people from the local community are involved in creating the menu, cooking and serving the food. The Skip Garden also runs a program of events that includes twilight dining experiences, family gardening sessions and lunchtime talks.

The Skip Garden and the Skip Garden Kitchen are open between 10am and 4pm from Tuesday to Saturday.

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