Columbia, Norway, the Netherlands, France. Edd Colbert gets around. And everywhere he goes, the British student doing an MSc in Agroecology tries to grow vegetables.
Edd was living in Bogota, Columbia before he spent five months in Ås, Norway for the first part of his double-degree programme last year. ‘Ås was very quiet. It’s smaller than Wageningen and there’s even less to do, but I enjoyed the peace and quiet. Now I feel almost ready to take on another city like Lyon in France, where I’ll go in September for the final part of my degree.
While he was in Norway, Edd heard about the community in Droevendaal from other students who really enjoyed living there. And now he’s the one enjoying it. ‘In my house there are six of us, plus two cats, and four chickens. We live quite communally: we pay 15 euros a week each and that covers all of our food. We take it in turns to shop, usually from the market. People take on different roles in the house, kind of spontaneously. I bake a lot of bread and do some gardening, other people bake lots of cakes. We all share cleaning tasks, and we eat together most nights, which I think is important.’
Edd and his housemates also started growing vegetables in the garden. ‘I really enjoy that. The people who lived in my house in Norway before me left their crops in the soil, so I harvested potatoes and squash. Since my arrival in Wageningen I have filled my room with seedlings and I’m starting to plant them outside now. The main harvest will begin in July when I leave, but I hope my housemates will enjoy the food. As I’m moving every few months its hard to see a whole season through. But I like to stay connected. In Lyon, I’ll see if I can find another garden. If not maybe I’ll just grow a chilli plant in my room!’