It’s changed lives, is changing education and is spreading round the world with remarkable speed. Especially when you consider it was just an idea in a little town in the South Pennines just over seven years ago. It’s Incredible Edible Todmorden. A citizen action led project to rebuild communities and create jobs by working through food.
Food that grows in public and private spaces around towns and cities, where you can just come and take what you like when you need to. Something, as the initially sceptical policeman addressing this celebration of their achievements, said was pretty amazing. You could go outside the police station, pick and take away fruit and vegetables that didn’t belong to you and even be encouraged to do so by the police inside.
Listen to the various people involved talk about what’s been going on, including the sceptical policeman:
Many of those involved in the project gather in what Pam Warhurst, a co-founder with Mary Clear, described as a greenhouse at the back of the high school. It is actually far more than a greenhouse. As well as providing a place where students from the school come to grow things it is the home to a social enterprise that developed out of the initial project called the Aquaponics Lab.
This Lab is a cross between a fish farm and greenhouse growing plants without soil using hydroponics. Moreover, this research and development project, which attracted over half a million pounds in funding, is being done in an open source manner, sharing all the lessons, good and bad, with others as it goes along. Just as the open source computer community does. Take a tour round the lab – Aquaponics for the common good – with Paulo:
The special guest for the evening, Catherine Simon, had come over from France where she is the national coordinator for the over 400 Incredible Edible communities in France and the international coordinator for Incredible Edibles that now exist in around 25 countries. She describes the five step plan they share with anyone wanting to start one where they are – in under 2 minutes: