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

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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