Growing and campaigning for
There wasn't a newsletter in May owing to illness. So this is the second of two in June: our official June 2011 bulletin.
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(Archive of past newsletters here)
If you're looking for news about bees...click here or scroll down...
Sugar maple at the site, with ducks
and the polytunnel beyond
Shear Incredibleness - That's Richard White, this year's Mayor of Tod, pictured opening our new centre at Walsden. Richard walks his dog by the land most days, and sometimes pops in to help out. Flanking him in the picture are Peter Rigg, of the local award-winning garden centre, who donated the land to us; and Nick Green, Grower-in-chief, whose seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm have made the whole thing happen.
Learning by doing - Creating the centre since November 2010 has been a steep learning curve. Read the blog of the opening for a reminder of who's helped us out with money. Hundreds of volunteer hours have made it happen.
What's it for? - Walsden will be where we try things out, grow new stock and develop our knowledge. Primarily we want the centre to train apprentices in growing skills equipping them to start their own new food growing businesses. We've just been talking for instance to LANTRA, the land training agency, about how this facility is needed here, where town meets country.
In the Walsden blogs you can track back how we got from there to here - including water-finding, chick hatching, rainwater-catching and the secrets of Vitamin P, (yes that is what you think it is) how that surrogate mum in the pic came to be so, and being filmed by BBC Look North. And the work goes on: here's the latest blog, including wing-clipping, strange manoeuvres with tyres, and a sad fate for a duck.
Show-offs as ever - We put on our usual good show at the Tod Show this month. We rung the changes on the apple press by not pressing apples on it! - Instead pears were the order of the day, these lads from Tod High on the left proved dab hands at it. And you haven't seen the ancient art of sheep-riding, right, before? That's because it's new not ancient :)
No young children were harmed in taking this picture.
Our tent was packed with people seeking information about bees, and checking out the schools' competition entries. More details and pictures of them here. The quality of entries was stunning, Mayor Richard White nearly had to find prizes for everyone they were so good.
Incredible word reaches Chancellor the Exchequer -Our friends in Incredible Edible Wilmslow have already made great strides as you can see from their website. And they seem to have a way with people in high places. They're featured on Prince Charles's website, and persuaded George Osborne to pop in and sample what they're doing for himself. (Read about more Cheshire visitors here)
Plus we're still spreading the word in Todmorden itself. The Incredibles are co-partners with Tod in Bloom, Tod Pride, the town council and Bee Credible in promoting a Green Route through the town. This would follow much of the short route our visitors take through town, with exciting ideas for art works, town improvements, growing plans and - well, at our exhibition in May townspeople put their ideas on the blackboard pictured. Read all about it here.
And the word keeps spreading. Julian Dobson, well known for his Living with rats blog, has written us a pamphlet to help. And we're in NESTA's civic compendium. (A fine thing to be in, a compendium: sounds like it should be read while eating humbugs by a roaring fire) Your Editor's Guardian managed a casual mention the other day, here, including our herbs-on-railway-platforms among bright ideas of what can be done on stations. And over in Canada at Niagara-on-the-Lake they're thinking of going Incredible too!
And finally, the news you've all been waiting for...
£44,000 plus for Bee Spoke Todmorden!
Thanks to everyone who voted.