In Dundee, Scotland, on the left side of the University Campus, there is a garden. Where Blueberries, Apples, Currants, and Plums grow. Previously unlabeled, people might wander in for a picnic, unaware that all the plants around them were edible. As part of my MFA project, I painted a mural on the back of the garden with the intention of helping the Dundee community access fresh food.
My project quickly gained attention from the University, resulting in an article on the website. However, apparently too much attention is a bad thing. Following the article, a local news site did a story on the Edible Garden which was wildly popular, liked and shared over 200 times within 5 hours of being posted. I woke-up joyful and filled with pride, only to check my email and find an angry message. Apparently, the garden isn't public access and was created for staff and students, the gate would be locked unless I got the video taken down and issued an apology to the landscaping staff. Signs were re-worded and the video was quickly taken down, but my frustration towards the University administration continued to bubble.
I never finished the mural. I couldn't stand to see a garden filled with food, which would ultimately rot because not enough people from the University used it, be cordoned off from the public. The location of the garden is next to a community fridge where people can get food not offered at food banks, perfect to help a group of people in desperate need for fresh fruits and vegetables. The opportunity to educate people about their food system sits, seldom used.
I hope my mural has helped more people discover the edible landscape behind the foreboding green fence surrounding it.