Green Agriculture | January 24, 2012 |
Public Garden Plots Put Town on Path to Food Independence
by Beth Buczynski
Self-sufficiency is a big part of living a more sustainable lifestyle. When you’re not dependent on others for your food, water, energy, clothes, or entertainment, you have more control over how those things are grown, purified, and produced.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen individuals become self-sufficient by growing their own food or going off-grid through renewable energy, but rarely have we seen an entire town support the idea of long-term food independence the way the small Victorian mill town of Todmorden, West Yorkshire has.
Citizens in the town have rallied behind an effort called “Incredible Edible,” a program and website dedicated to making the town of Todmorden food-independent by 2018.
To that end, townspeople have constructed raised vegetable, fruit and flower garden beds on almost every available nook of groundspace throughout the town. There are plots in front of the police station, the railway station, and even down by the canal. Citizens are invited to help themselves to whatever happens to be in season in the beds, at absolutely no cost.
Incredible Edible is also about much more than plots of veg, writes Wake Up World, it’s also about educating people about food, and stimulating the local economy.
There are lessons in pickling and preserving fruits, courses on bread-making, and the local college is to offer a BTEC in horticulture. The thinking is that young people who have grown up among the street veg may make a career in food.
The Incredible Edible effort has also helped to stimulate the local economy, as now local cafes and restaurants can source many of their ingredients from right within the city limits.Reprinted with permission from Insteading