Living wall for Tiny Leaf, London’s first zero waste organic vegetarian restaurant!
At the end of September I was the recipient of a wave of recommendations on Facebook’s Funemployed group. A young visionary food entrepreneur, Justin Alexander Horne, founder of Tiny Leaf, London’s first organic zero waste restaurant needed someone to build a living wall for the new iteration of Tiny Leaf at Mercato Metropolitano, the new “Borough Market” of Elephant and Castle. It was a humbling experience being recommended by so many people as the Permaculturist urban food grower fit for the job. The collective consciousness was right. Justin and I ended up collaborating.
With a very tight budget and in keeping with the zero waste ethos I put my Permaculture hat on and embarked on a mission to source the materials we used for the wall from the Mercato and it’s abundant waste centre. We settled on beautiful gold and red large tomato tins, a by product from the local pizzeria. They became our planters. The gym around the corner was refurbishing and we ended up sourcing all the wood for the skeleton that formed the back of the wall from them for free. It saved the gym skipping the unused wood and it saved us buying it. Win, win !
The plants curated for the wall are beautiful low maintenance Ivy (Hedera Helix ) Spider plants ( Chlorophytum comosum), Boston Ferns (Nephrolepsis exaltata) and the delightful Tarantula Fern (Humata tyermannia) were chosen for their superb abilities to remove noxious gasses, benzene and formaldehyde from the air. We added some Crissie or Bird’s Nest Ferns (Asplenium nidus) for added drama and rich deep green colour and texture.
In addition the wall contains a large selection of seasonal herbs that will be used by the restaurant kitchen as fresh seasoning as well as adding a bit of vital zing to the delicious cocktails served by Tiny Leaf. We are propagating a lot of scented Pelargoniums for their intoxicating smell which will be used both in food as well as potions.
It has been an utter delight collaborating with Justin and Alice on this project. It’s a bold step in the right direction and I fully support Justin’s and Alice’s vision and dedication to this project. The project was featured on the BBC and the Evening Standard, and the living wall is featured in all it’s glory.
Please come visit the wall and taste some of the delicious vegetarian food prepared at this visionary establishment.
Tiny Leaf is situated at Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, Elephant and Castle, London, SE1 6DR.