If the stakes are high then grow some beans | Incredible Edible Todmorden | Blogs

If the stakes are high then grow some beans

Last update: 5.03.17 First posted: 5.03.17 by in

Whilst preparing two new lectures for my students, one on the local impacts of the 2015 floods in the Upper Calder Valley and another entitled ‘Climate Change: facts and alternative facts’, it has been all too tempting to lapse into a somewhat melancholy frame of mind.

Whether adopting a local or planetary perspective, things don’t look good. Global warming in our part of the world does not mean warmer summers but more moisture in the clouds above, water they offload onto the very Pennine hills we have systematically rid of the very trees and vegetation which once absorbed it. Meanwhile, across The Pond they have elected a President who makes stuff up and has tweeted that “The concept of Global Warming was created by the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”. What can we do in a world and set of circumstances that can leave us feeling overwhelmed, disempowered and small? The answer is quite a lot. Who would have thought that ten years ago our small town of Todmorden, and the inspiring and creative people who live here, could have sparked an ‘Incredible Edible’ initiative that would be replicated across the country and indeed the world? Why has this happened? It is because we have created an idea whose time has come and a model which powerfully challenges the prevailing ethos that little people in neglected places cannot make a difference. We personally cannot change who is elected the President of America, and have scant influence on who is the Prime Minister of the UK or the European Union. Yet we can all make a difference in our home community. This can be through growing food in left over spaces or getting involved in local people-centred campaigns (such as the Todmorden SOCIT initiative to help create a positive and viable future for a local community college under threat), or signing petitions and marching alongside others who share your views and aspirations for a better world. Now more than ever before we must embrace the power of small actions and the power of kindness and simply getting involved. The stakes are high.

You can grow beans up these stakes and you can grow dreams up them too.

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