Chard and spinach growing in Arup's allotment in Bristol. Credit Matt Gitsham.

+ With rising prices making growing your own food more appealing, we wanted to show how it could be done.

I’ve been excited about growing my own food since primary school. I love watching plants grow taller, more valuable and more useful. Now, fifteen years later, our team in Arup’s Bristol office has started a vegetable patch to get people talking about food, to teach and learn from each other and show people what’s possible.

Why does this matter? I often feel that, as engineers and architects, we focus a lot on energy and water but overlook food. Yet factors like reducing fossil fuel use and increasing water stress due to climate change will have a dramatic impact on the system of food production we currently rely on – pushing up food prices as these resources become scarcer.

With rising prices making growing your own food more appealing, we wanted to show how it could be done. Working with the local council we found a site 50m from the office – a disused park that the council were happy for us to use – and created our urban 'veg patch'. Our plot is made up of three beds and this year the 15-strong team has planted beans, courgettes, chard, beetroot, swede, onions, salad leaves, potatoes, spinach, beetroot, carrots, leeks and parsnips.

It really is simple – all you need is ground, water, seeds and sun. And that’s what we want to do: give people an example of what can be achieved. From the support we’ve had from passers-by it seems that a lot of people agree. There seems to be a real understanding that the way we currently supply our cities with food is unsustainable, and that something will have to change soon.

What do you think? Do you dig our home-grown philosophy or feel food belongs in a supermarket?