Our land, our people, our tea & our heritage.

Last update: 23.07.13 First posted: 22.07.13 by in

English Yew has made for a dramatic hedgerow, bordering Todmorden’s latest project – The IncrEdible Heritage Garden. Yew wood was used in one of the world’s oldest surviving wooden artifacts – a spear head estimated at 150,000 years old – found 1911, in Clacton-on-sea. Yew symbolises death before surrender, transcendence (found in lots of graveyards,) and a connection with the land, people, the ancestors, and ancient traditions.

The border represents an outline of an idea, but in true IncrEdible style we couldn’t wait for funding before just getting on with it. So here’s 3 vigorous and resilient ‘Sutherland Kale’ heritage plants, and they’re growing beautifully. Started by the Crofters, and donated by Mary Clear, thanks. Apparently they can shrug off “70 mph freezing sleet over winter…” so, good for Todmorden.


Sutherland Heritage Kale

“The old lady the Kale came from is Elizabeth Woolcombe, of West Drummie in Sutherland. She is in fact 93, and her daughter has remembered where they got the Sutherland Kale from. It was given to them by Angus Simmonds about 50 years ago, he was doing research on Kales at Edinburgh University at the time.”The Real Seed Catalogue

‘IncrEdible Heritage Garden’ is at the top of ‘Duke St. Gardens’, which also hosts the ‘IETea Plantation’ as well as growing organic veg – both served at Bear cafe-bar.

It really is a hot hot summer… Here’s some actual tea growing in the polytunnel:


Actual tea plants growing in Todmorden

Tea is a true English heritage, one from China. Legend has it Earl Grey was given the secret of blending Bergamot (the distinctive taste of Earl Grey) by a Chinese emperor – in thanks, after saving his drowning son. IETea has been having further tea tasting sessions of an Earl Grey blend… with Bergamot grown in Todmorden!


Earl Grey IETea

Fancy a cup of IETea to help preserve our IncrEdible Heritage?

Want to help?

There are loads of ways you can help us in our work. For more information click here. Or email Estelle.