Meet the Brummies reclaiming urban space to feed their local community
Dan Blyden is growing food and connections in a disused concrete corner of Aston
In Birmingham, the UK's second largest city, concrete extends as far as the eye can see. But some of the city's residents are reclaiming the space around their homes with greenery. Dan Blyden is one community activist growing food in his "urban farm experiment."
Across the tarmac from a row of garages in Aston, an old wash yard has been converted into a tiny allotment by Blyden. Vegetables and herbs reach toward the sky after a heavy thunderstorm the night before. Now the morning sun is burning and the farm is verdant.
Squash, spinach, beans and carrots congregate randomly in a central planter. Between them tinnies cut in half with a little beer in the bottom attract and drown rogue slugs. Other flowers and inedible vegetation are scattered between the crops. The intention is to create a more natural mini ecosystem.
It's a complete novelty to Dan and most of the other growers, learning as they grow. Tricks like the tins are omnipresent. Carrots are flourishing from small segments of drain pipe placed vertically into beds. "Quote from Dan about growing nice things."