Todmorden's growing ConcernLast update: 18.10.11 First posted: 18.10.11 by joe trochan in Courses and Training
Inspiring and nurturing; that was my wife’s answer. I asked my wife what she thought was most noticeable about IET; she said she thought it was nurturing; how it inspires people to learn food industry skills in a nurturing way. These skills I believe will become marketable in our town’s growing tourist, horticulture and catering future.
I’m retired now, so my kids and grand kids can be inspired to learn skills about the new industry surrounding our food and our town. I’d say that’s a good way to describe this Incredible Edible Todmorden (IET) group. My wife witnessed it for herself, since I started to volunteer with them in the summer we now have our own chickens laying our breakfast eggs, and we are eating tomatoes in our salads we grew ourselves, and we are now planning for the next growing season of potatoes and cabbage. I still make mistakes but I am learning. I work as a volunteer with two independent groups in Todmorden. There are plenty of good choices. Each is unique in how it brings its skills and talents to our communities’ table. I like IET because I have no experience in horticulture and they are, as my wife points out, a nurturing group of inspirers, if there is such a thing. Their message is “experiment and take action”, “get involved”, and “feel empowered”. They inspire people to do more locally, more learning, more teaching, more asking, more planting, more growing, more cooking
and more working together towards a better quality of life for Tod.
IET especially campaigns for more education, leading young people in Todmorden to a higher personal financial stability. How? By teaching how to use a range of horticultural and catering skills to help gain income opportunities in Todmorden’s developing a new industry; sustainable local economy in natural food production, catering and marketing.
It’s a real existing opportunity, developing, funded, and very effective. Demand for local food is on the rise. I like the experience, it doesn’t feel elitist. I’ve never been asked for any money, not even for classes I have attended.
Saturday I asked a friend if he wanted to go to the Wild Food Walk class at IET Walsden. After it was over we were about to leave and he looked at me and said “That was good, I enjoyed it, I didn’t know what to expect…I would do that again, how much do we owe?” and he reached eagerly into his pocket. When I answered, “Nothing, it’s free from IET” you should have seen the look on his face. He was genuinely shocked. He couldn’t imagine that the day was all free! All they ask is that we think about Todmorden’s future and think about helping Todmorden’s young people gain from developing a horticultural and catering industry here. IET have special things they do, and others have special things they do, their message is “pitch in somewhere, anywhere, and learn a marketable skill locally”.
It’s about helping our community get stronger and better, isn’t it? It’s all about helping ourselves. IET’s courses are aimed at 19 to 30 year olds who may find it difficult to find work locally, but everyone at every age is invited. Mothers and fathers who want to teach their children useful food skills, single people trying to find new food related career opportunities, retired people looking to top up their dinner tables all can benefit. There are lots of ways and reasons to get involved, as I mentioned earlier lots of Todmorden group’s plant and care for our town’s future, lots of leaders in public and private organizations passionately spend their time as volunteers with one group or another, all aim to make Todmorden a better place for you and I to live. I think we are lucky to have them all. Because of them I now know what it means to have a passion for high quality locally sourced home cooked food
And the good news is everyone is in on it, the kids in the schools, their moms and dads in their kitchens and the orchard owners in their barns and garages. Everyone loves to feel they participated in their food’s quality; it’s Todmorden’s “growing concern”, it’s a growing passion. In that list of passions I include Todmorden local homemade brews from fresh pressed local fruits. Over the last month we have been busy lending the IET apple press out to people in our community. Everyone is impressed with the delicious results. Now there is even talk about a local cider competition. The consensus is 10 kilos of apples will give you 1 gallon of fresh juice, that’s enough to compete. I suspect the upcoming holiday season will see Todmorden home brewers of cider making a big hit. Gallons of fine local apple juice are “working” in home breweries right now after being pressed this month.
Every kind of fruit and berry you can imagine is being pressed around Tod’s valleys, and whispered formulas and brewing techniques flying around guarantee to make it all taste even better. If your pub, restaurant, social group, church, school, private organization, company, family, or “sit on the sofa-bunch”, want to drag your apples or berries, (pears/other fruits as well) down to our IET Polly Tunnel site in Walsden, the press will be made available to you with a few days notice. Use it at our site, or if you have a large quantity to press you can arrange to pick it up for your own home use. You can squeeze it all out here, or there. It’s great fun, and it’s a great day with the family and friends. Contact me, Joe, on the contacts page for more details or check the IET website “Come dine with us” calendar for upcoming courses, cooking classes and events.
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