Mighty oaks from little acorns grow
In 2007 Incredible Edible Todmorden founder Pam Warhurst approached the Community Foundation for Calderdale with an innovative project for the upper Calder Valley.
The idea was to create a community food growing initiative with several fruit and nut orchards & space for community food growing in and around the town of Todmorden. Earlier that year the Group had won a Silver Gilt & Best Town Award, with the help of six local schools, at the Royal Horticultural Show.
Community Foundation for Calderdale could see Incredible Edibles vision for the future and understood the social benefits the project would bring, and in early 2008 awarded a grant of £7250. Within the year the group had attracted the attention of the BBC & Channel 4 who featured the group on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage.
Since then the project has gone from strength to strength & Community Foundation for Calderdale have been there every step of the way. Over the past six years they have awarded grants totalling £45,340 to the group, allowing them to expand and have a greater social impact in the area.
Mary Clear Community Lead for Incredible edible said “we have achieved more than we could ever have dreamt of, the small beginnings of a community orchard have led to continued actions, and we have grown from a Todmorden focused community group to a worldwide network.
We have become sustainable by vegetable tourism! Folk visit from across the world come to see what we are doing, we have had many interesting visitors including HRH Prince Charles, the Japanese Government & film crews from most of Europe.
We have 72 Incredible Edibles in the UK and 300 worldwide. In this last year alone we toured 1,000 folk around our projects”.
Incredible Edible Todmorden now includes an 8 acre plot where local residence, the long term unemployed and young trainees can grow and sell produce to local food led businesses. Most recently Incredible Edible created an Aqua Garden that provides learning opportunities through the growing of vegetables using aquaponic, hydroponic and permaculture techniques.
Mary continued “It all began with the Community Foundation for Calderdale supporting those first small but hugely important actions”.
If you to would like to support projects in Calderdale like this one please take a moment to visit our how to get involved section here.