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British town grows own vegetables, improving local life and reducing crime | Healing Talks
Published On: Thu, Dec 29th, 2011

British town grows own vegetables, improving local life and reducing crime


British town grows

own vegetables,

improving local life

and reducing crime

Julian Georgiou, Healingtalks Contributing Writer

(Healingtalks) Picture walking through the local streets  of your home town and seeing lush lawns full of veggies and flowers, and where the police station grounds grow potatoes and the supermarket parking lot has a mix of herbs.

Welcome to the world of the small Victorian town of Todmorden, West Yorkshire.

Tomorden townspeople have created a community that is really making a difference. Currently there are thousands of vegetables planted in 70 ‘free-help-yourself’ garden beds around town. The amazing success means Tomorden is well on the way to becoming the first town in all of the UK to have self-sufficient food.

Power of female inspiration

Pam and Mary two women who both shared a concern for the state of our world founded this project. They started simply by getting friends, mostly women, together at a cafe.

‘Wars come about by men having drinks in bars, good things come about when women drink coffee together,’ says Mary.‘Our thinking was: there’s so much blame in the world, blame local government, blame politicians, blame bankers, blame technology, we thought, let’s just do something positive instead’.

Knowing that an ingredient to healthy consciousness is healthy food, the team utilized the community spaces available in order to turn their town into an eatable delight.

A community that gets it

With  a walk through Tomorden you’ll now find

    • Raspberries, apricots and apples are now on the canal path
    • Blackcurrants, redcurrants and strawberries adorn the grounds of a doctor’s office
    • Beans and peas can be located amid the college lawns
    • Cherries grow in the supermarket car park
    • Mint, rosemary, thyme and fennel shoot up by the health center
    • Potatoes and carrots grow around the police station

‘We’ve filled the flower beds with fennel and they’ve all been taught that if you bite fennel, it tastes like a liquorice…So when I see the children popping little bits of herb into their mouths, I just think it’s brilliant’

The community spirit is thus more alive in Tomorden ‘were in this together’ to nurture each other.

Mary Clear, 56 grandmother of ten and co-founder of Incredible Edible states that ‘by 2018’ the town will have a self sufficient supply of food. ‘It’s a very ambitious aim. But if you don’t aim high, you might as well stay in bed, mightn’t you?


Plant-based revolution

So is the world ready for a plant based or garden revolution?

Similar plans are being piloted in 21 other towns in the UK, and there’s been interest shown as far as Spain, Germany, Hong Kong and Canada. ‘This is a revolution,’ Mary says. ‘But we are gentle revolutionaries. Everything we do is underpinned by kindness’.

Pam says ‘if you’ve got schools, shops, back gardens and verges, you can do it.’

So out goes packaged and processed GMOs and in comes freshly harvested carrots from your neighbors and herbs and fruit from the middle of town.

Sounds great doesn’t it?

Related Articles

Incredible Edible Todmorden



Self sufficient, self sustainable, sustainable living, female inspiration, Tomorden, essence of community, Incredible Edible, Plant based revolution, urban gardening, city gardener, community gardener, vegetable gardens, garden flowers, gardening ideas, gardeners world, gardening zones, urban agriculture


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