Urban Garden has edible appeal

A group of Unitec’s landscape design students have transformed the inside of a silo into an edible urban garden as part of the Growing the Future event at Wynyard Quarter. 

Created in partnership with Auckland’s Urban Pantry, the garden is designed to offer inspiration and ideas for city dwellers on how to grow edibles in small spaces.

Melissa Marjo, one of four diploma students taking part in the project (the other members are Sam Jennings, Sally Trolove and Trish Reynolds), says the group have been involved in everything from concept, design and plant growing.

“We have been given a blank canvas within the space and taken the idea of urban food growing and created something with real visual impact to get people enthusiastic about gardening.

"The inspiration behind our garden is the origin and evolution of Wynyard Quarter. In our design we hope people will see the area's beginnings as an industrial site, including a working port and tank farm, as well as its more recent reinvention as a public park and green space.

“The materials we have chosen reflect this industrial history - scrap metal, concrete and scaffolding. The plant selection is deliberately broad and aims to show that even varieties such as corn and passionfruit can thrive in confined urban spaces.”

Melissa says the students have taken away invaluable learning from working on the project, particularly given the limitations of the space.

“The lack of light and windows in the silo, time of year for growing things and keeping the garden fresh and alive during the 10 days it is on display has meant certain challenges to overcome - however we are really proud of what we have achieved and hope it inspires people.”

Urban Pantry coordinator and gardening expert Emily Harris says the silo will become a source of inspiration for those interested in gardens and growing food.

"The Unitec students have taken the idea of designing an urban garden inside a concrete silo and created something really original that's going to expand people's perceptions of what an edible garden can be."

Urban Pantry creates edible gardens and events to engage Aucklanders in creating a vibrant, sustainable city.

“We bring creativity to food growing and sustainability to create fun experiences for people and to inspire them to bring more of this into their lives”, Emily says.

The urban garden is open to the public from 17 - 27 April at Silo 6, Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter. Drop in anytime during 10am-4pm to explore the garden and plant a seed to take home for your own edible urban garden.

Other events and activities on offer during Growing the future – an exploration and celebration of food growing – include art, workshops, talks, and a film screening inside a silo.

You can follow our students' progress and get more information at facebook.com/growingthefutureAK, and search Instagram using the hashtag #silounitec.