I heard an NPR special interest article about a town in the UK called Todmorden. Historically, this little town isn’t known for much except for the world’s largest weaving shed. Nowadays, Todmorden is known for a food movement called “Incredible Edible”. It started with one woman who decided to plant a vegetable garden in an effort to provide fresh food to her family and neighbors instead of buying the unsustainably grown vegetables at the local store.
In her own backyard, she put up a sign inviting people to help themselves to no more and no less than what they need. It was ridiculous that people paid money to ship food to their little town when they could simply grow it there themselves. After starting her own ‘public’ garden, she moved on to more communal areas like boulevards and up the sides of buildings where she and those who eventually joined her, could plant cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and other salad faire and make available to the citizens of the town.
Todmorden is the center of a food movement – away from the mass grown crops toward locally grown, free food
I look to my own yard, with a patch of grass and marginally pretty bushes. Both require Scott and I to attend to them through the summer with little reward. Little Todmorden has inspired me from a world away. What if I just planted some easy to grow vegetables (if there is such a thing) in our front yard to both fill our table and share with our neighbors?
I didn’t get the farming-gene that everyone else in my family seems to have. Maybe with a little help from friends, I could be an Urban Farmer? And then, what if others followed suit with their own gardens? Just one small step toward a greener, more sustainable town.