The Gray Street community garden in Etterbeek, Brussels was established in 2007 by the organisation Le début des Haricots. In 2010 the gardens running was taken over by the local community. The garden demonstrates urban vegetable growing and provides a community space for local residents. It also operates a community composting system for local households.
Modern plant varieties of tomatoes and beans are often developed for their storage and transporting ability rather than their flavour. Heirloom varieties are types of plants handed down by generations of growers for their unique flavours. The seeds from heirloom varieties can be gathered and used the following year.
The basement corridor of the garden is an ideal example of underused city space that is ideal for vertical gardening. Using natural climbers, beans, tomatoes and cucumber, the plants seek out the light and are strung up with string to lead them.
The first experiments with the aluminium frame system on the raised bed in 2009. This was a free standing frame standing parallel to the wall to gain extra height. Once the tomatoes, beans and cucumbers were fully grown the frame became unstable after heavy rain.
Pictures from previous years, tomatoes grown in pots against the fence to the basement area. The plants are supported by string and canes. It makes for a colourful display to have different varieties in each pot. Altogether about a dozen varieties were grown in this spot.
Growing salad in containers and trays is an efficient way to produce fresh greens. By using several containers each with a different mix planted at different times there is a fresh supply daily for several months. Ideal for sandwiches. Even a small balcony or window sill can produce a good supply of fresh salad.