The Edible High Road was a mad idea we had in January 2011 after hearing about plans for the new Chelsea Fringe. We imagined that local shops would each sponsor a fruit tree to be placed in front of the shop, thereby creating a river of trees as you walk up Chiswick High Road. We had no idea how many would want to take part, so we did a little mockup showing how the tree might look hoping that maybe 10 shops would go for it.
By February we had 25 shops and by May shops were calling us to ask if they could participate. We ended up with 55 in total. From butchers to dry cleaners, with many more telling us they wished they had taken part. We dashed round buying and planting up trees, pots and barrels so they could be planted up whilst dormant. Our friends at Cultivate London kindly hosted the trees for us over the winter and early spring.
Come the spring the trees started looking a bit more interesting and we moved to the next phase of adding herbs and edible flowers around the base. We asked the schools from our schools project decorate the trees with cut out apple and pear shapes.
Come early May the trees were ready and it was a scramble to create the Treasure Trail, tag up all the trees and hire a big enough truck. We learned that a project of this size and complexity took a lot more time that we thought but it was all worth it to see the response from local business and residents. Read more about the Edible High Road launch.