Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The town that grew together

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Todmorden is a small town in West Yorkshire. It has few claims to fame. John Tettley the weatherman is from here, Cherie Blair’s dad lives here, and in 1980 a local policeman claimed to be abducted by aliens.

If you visit Todmorden today, I would wager that you won’t see John Tettley, Cherie Blair’s dad or an alien abduction.

But you probably will see some peas being grown. And carrots. And leaks. And potatoes. And pretty much any other vegetable you can imagine.

For pretty much anywhere you turn in Todmorden, people are growing food. Go for a walk along the tow path: vegetables. Visit the local community centre garden: more vegetables. Park your car outside Lidl and look at the grass next to the Tarmac: yes, more vegetables.

Starting with one or two local residents who thought unkempt bits of grass should be put to use, Todmorden now has an epidemic of people coming together to plant and grow. They’ve even given the movement a name: Incredible Edible.

With every school in town involved and more and more people around the UK setting up their own Incredible Edibles, the people of Todmorden have done more than grown food, they’ve grown community spirit.

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