Berm gardening

Establishing a berm, or footpath, vegetable garden has been mooted by local enthusiasts as a better use of these public spaces than grass, with members of the Food is Free movement growing vegetables on the roadside for walkers to harvest. Not only does this provide food for local residents, it provides an opportunity for community engagement and interaction.

Councils have rules about planting on berms, so check with your local council to find out what you can do in your area. It is important not to build structures or plant vegetation that may interfere with council maintenance and access for utility services, such as water and sewerage, power, gas, telephones and internet cables. If you plan to ‘bomb the berm’ with a garden, building raised beds is advisable, to prevent interference with these services. However, note that in the New Plymouth District there is a by-law that prevents the building of structures on road reserves/berms without Council approval, so these raised beds cannot contain wooden framing.