Location: Glastonbury Festival, Pilton, Somerset, UK [MAP]
Designer: Mike Feingold
Project Type: Temporary Event, Urban Agriculture, Permaculture
Completion Date: 1989
Access: Access during Glastonbury Festival, off the old railway line (Festival Ticket required!). At other times please get permission from the site owner as the land is private.
I am sure you have heard that The Rolling Stones played this years Glastonbury Festival1, which plays host to 220,000 festival goers once a year, making it the largest greenfield festival in the world2. However you may not have heard about Glastonbury’s Permaculture Garden, the festival’s very own secret garden.
Started around 24 years ago by Bristol’s inspiring permaculture guru, Mike Feingold, the Permaculture Garden is the festivals only permanent, year-round garden3. It showcases the permaculture design principles through its planting of fruit trees, herbs and medicinal plants.
The garden can be found just off the old railway line, between the night-time revelry of Shangri-la, the fire-spitting Arcadia and innovative Green Fields. A gap in the trees and the smell of vegetarian delights draws you through the glade to a clearing.
You are bombarded with colourful, makeshift permaculture propaganda, tips on how to grow you own mushrooms and how to compost, whilst carefully carved wooden benches create clusters of seating for lucky discovers to feast upon the gardens produce which is served up in an outdoor kitchen.
As you go deeper into the garden you can hear the crackling of fire and the smell of smoke and you see a group of hungry (and most likely hung over!) festival goers eagerly awaiting pakora which is being deep-fried right in front of them on the fire. Venturing on you discover a blazing clay oven, which has been formed into the shape of a badger, no doubt to campaign against the controversial badger culling proposals. Around the corner is the £300 demonstration house, made from trees felled on site, good ol’ Glastonbury mud and an edible green roof.
So if you are lucky enough to be one of those attending the festival next year, forget the Pyramid Stage, go and discover Glastonbury’s most secret garden and enjoy its delights!
© The Secret Garden Atlas, 2013