Incredible Edible

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= Incredible Edible Todmorden, project for freely available local food production.



1 By Khushboo Balwani:

Back in 2007, a woman in a small town called Todmorden, in the northern part of England, dug up her prized rose garden. She planted vegetables, knocked down the garden wall, and put up a sign saying, “Help Yourself.”

This small action grew into a movement that has transformed Todmorden into a town in which citizens are reshaping their surroundings. The incredible edible Todmorden movement has turned all the public spaces, from the front yard of a police station to railway stations, into farms filled with edible herbs and vegetables. Locals and tourists pluck fruits and vegetables for free.

This novel idea, which is also called “open-source food,” promises a future with food for all. The project shares a participatory vision of “three plates” – community, education, and business. Schools grow food, businesses donate goods and services, and shops sell planter boxes." (

2. John Robb:

"You can see it all over the town. In yards and public spaces. On top of that, they did it in a way that looks like fun.

How did the movement get its start?

This is a critical bit: The financial crisis of 2008 provided an opportunity for the movement to get its start. The crisis knocked townspeople out of their stupor.

Many people were upset and truly concerned about the future. They wanted to do something, but didn't know what to do. We're going to see lots of that in the near future as financial and economic systems unwind, don't waste it (on anger/politics/protest).

In Todmorden, a couple of smart citizens put up a sign asking if anyone was interested in changing the world with local food. They held a meeting and sixty people showed up.

The next step they took was also critical: when it came to what they should do, the initial organizers rejected the idea of a formal plan or leadership.

All they provided was:

   a simple goal:  food self-sufficiency for Todmorden
   and a way to get there: to just get on with cooking, sharing, and growing.

That simple approach is exactly what was needed. Ad hoc groups exploded and Todmorden was off to the races." (Resilient communities newsletter, june 2012)



• As a result of the huge success of the project, the Incredible Edible Network was set up in 2012 to attract grant fundings and support the replication of the project globally. There are now 100 Incredible Edible groups across the U.K. More are popping up all the time around the globe.

• The inititative has opened up a new marketplace for local farmers as well as the tourism industry.

• The movement has also fostered a sense of community and responsibility among the local residents, interaction and bonding among the neighbors, and connections with spaces like police stations, cemeteries, and prisons."


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