Incredible Edible is a food growing movement that started in Todmorden in west Yorkshire in 2007. It shows what difference a small number of people with creativity and generosity can make. Two women in the town, Pam Warhurst and Mary Clear, were really worried about their community and also about the terrible state of the environment. They both had grown up children and they could see that something urgently needed to change if their grandchildren were going to have any kind of future. However, they knew that the authorities were slow moving and that lots of people felt powerless about the environment.
So Pam and Mary decided they needed to do something that would catch people’s imaginations, get them asking questions and then get them taking action together to create a greener, stronger, more resilient town.
They decided that what they should do was grow food. So Mary, whose garden is in quite a prominent place in the town, dug up all her roses and replaced them with vegetables and a sign that said ‘Food to Share. Help Yourself’.
Meanwhile Pam had gathered some more supporters and within a few months, vegetables began to pop up in some rather unusual places. Runner beans in the cemetery, for example. Sweetcorn outside the police station. Cabbages beside the main road. And every plot had a sign saying ‘Food to share. Help yourself.’
Recently, a group of enthusiasts gathered at St Mark’s Church, and decided that we will give it a go in Hale. We will start small and see if it grows! Farnham Town Council will let us have three large planters – one at St Mark’s, one outside the school and one at the war memorial. There is compost at the Town Council’s greenhouses and a local charity that serves disabled children can provide seedlings for us to plant. The food that will be grown will be free for all. Everywhere where food is grown we will write “Incredible Edible Hale: Food to Share, take some, it’s free”
You can find out more about Incredible Edible here: http://incredibleediblenetwork.org.uk/