Why we are here

Agriculture presently withdraws 70% of global freshwater supplies and threatens to take more in the future. Ancient aquifers are being drained annually of water that will take thousands of years to replenish. The invention of ‘cheap’ chemical fertilisers, pesticides and targeted herbicides has led to the excessive spraying of fields. In addition to degrading soils, the leaching of these contaminants into riverine and coastal ecosystems is causing eutrophication and habitat loss. Large swathes of the planet’s forested land are being cut to make way for cattle, soy and oil palm plantations. Trees and soils, like our oceans, are natural carbon sinks; their damage and loss accelerates global climate change. 

We inhabit a wounded planet. The release of carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide traps heat in the earth’s atmosphere, warming the planet to levels that threaten habitable life. Ice sheets, glaciers and permafrost are melting and sea levels are rising. Feedback mechanisms are accelerating these changes as ice-free land and water absorb more of the sun’s heat, and methane is released from melting permafrost. At the same time we are rapidly losing species and planetary biodiversity. Humans and farmed animals now constitute 96% of planetary biomass. Wild birds make up only 29% of avian biomass –  the rest of avian biomass (71%) is farmed birds.

These dramatic changes have led scientists to coin a new word, ‘Anthropocene’ – hitching together Anthropos (the Greek word for ‘human’) and cene (from Latin meaning ‘age of’) – to convey the fact that humans are now a major force in transformation of the planet’s climate and ecosystems. Moreover, there is broad consensus that agriculture and the food system are key drivers of anthropogenic change. The food we put on our plate, the shirt on our back, the furniture in our workspaces and homes – our whole of way of life connects us back to our environment and profoundly shapes the future of life on earth.

Edible's Food Forest. Mizuna, Chard, Rocket, Asparagus, Pok Choi and much more growing how nature intended.

Recognising that we live in a world of wounds, Edible Guernsey’s vision is one of repair. At Edible we are growing organic foods (free of fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides) that are abundant and delicious. We are pioneering ‘low till’ and ‘no till’ forms of growing that not only protect, but actually enhance our soil’s health. Our verdant forested garden brings together trees and vegetables – plants typically kept separate in monocultural landscapes – while in our raised beds we grow the ‘three sisters’ (maize, bean and squash) in a system of ‘companion planting’ practiced for centuries by indigenous communities in North America. We are also harvesting water in ways that retain and recycle rainfall, rather than treat it as limitless resource. We have other projects that remain germinal or embryonic: aquaculture, hydroponics, wicking beds, composting, mushroom cultivation, tool repair, food preservation and more, always using upcycled materials wherever possible. Our aim is to be the change we need to see.

Community is central to our vision of conservation agriculture and agro-ecology. Our members experiment with these and other sustainable techniques and exchange knowledge and best practice through peer-to-peer support. The food we grow is eaten, swapped or sold on our vibrant hedgeveg stall. We work closely with the States and charitable organisations to provide opportunities for vulnerable members of our society to work on our various projects. Gardening relieves stress, provides exercise, and introduces peer support. In this way a community is seeded and grown alongside our wonderful crops.

Our vision at Edible Guernsey is integrated and holistic: plants, people, planet. Together we can grow a better future. Together we can repair some wounds.