Growing Vegetables on the Sidewalk

Growing Vegetables on the Sidewalk

A tempest in a tea pot? The English town of Todmorden mixes politics and growing lunch. Their gardening group advocates using unused land for growing vegetables as a driver for change.

Todmorden is a English town that is 17 miles from Manchester and has a total population of 14,941. The name Todmorden first appears in 1641 but the community probably dates to 1086. In 2010, the town was featured in the BBC Radio 4 programme "Costing the Earth: The New Diggers".

Todmorden's guerrilla gardening group has reached a certain notoriety that transcends borders and continents. Their goal is for the town to become self-sufficient in food. ‘And we want to do it by 2018,’ says Mary Clear, 56, a grandmother of ten and co-founder of Incredible Edible, as this revolutionary plan is called.

Vegetables are grown wherever there is available space -- in the flower bed outside the police station, at the train station, in the medians in the parking lot of the local supermarket, alongside the sidewalks -- anywhere there is any soil.

Anyone can help themselves to the food growing anywhere in town. ‘This is a revolution,’ Mary says. ‘But we are gentle revolutionaries. Everything we do is underpinned by kindness.’

So this is what it means "TO OCCUPY". Move over guys and give the gals a chance.

Carrots in the car park. Radishes on the roundabout. The deliciously eccentric story of the town growing ALL its own veg

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Growing Vegetables on the SidewalkThe Daily Mail

"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."

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Incredible Edible Todmorden


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