Growing and campaigning for
This is our September 2011 bulletin.
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'By getting people to think about food and the impact of our food choices, in encouraging people to grow and cook their own food, and in mobilising volunteers from all sectors of the community as well as demonstrably building civic capacity, IET is a microcosm of the new ways of living we need.'
Matthew Taylor, former government adviser and now Chief Executive, Royal Society for the Arts. Read his blog here.
Matthew joined us on an Incredible weekend - The last weekend of September has been packed full of fun, frolics and hard work. Here's Estelle's account of the whole thing. Or click through to The Guardian's Northerner blog.
It's been our Harvest Festival, where we joyfully celebrated the year, the Unitarian Church packed to the rafters. We put the squeeze on the recession all right. Eight cheery chefs deliciously launched 'Come dine with us' (project explained here) - events in Tod over the winter in pubs, markets and around town will focus on growing food and cooking with local food.
Tod Talks - Before that, on the Saturday night we had our first major speaking event sponsored by the Royal Society for the Arts, and chaired by the RSA's Chief Executive Matthew Taylor. Our main speaker was Professor Tim Lang talking on the theme “Getting a grip of our food system: today Tod tomorrow Westminster?” The Hippodrome Theatre was packed. The place was buzzing. Pam talked nineteen to the dozen. Here's our first report!
Edibles from Everywhere - And that's not all! Over the weekend we hosted other Incredibles from Accrington to the Isle of Wight, all inspired by the Todmorden example and doing their own thing under the Incredible banner. This was the occasion too for the first meeting of 'EdibleGardens.eu' - well, we think that's what we'll be called! Read 'Grundtvig kicks off'. Six projects from around Europe, led by the redoubtable Nataša from Slovenia, have won some EU money to meet at each other's projects - here, in Ireland, Slovenia, France, Germany and Hungary - and share knowledge and mysteriously-flavoured soup.
News from elsewhere - Excuse us if we sometimes gush, but other people have been saying nice things about us. Completely unbeknownst to us, Good Food Shops blogger Bill Pearson visited us a month ago and liked what he saw: link here. ' Everyone I spoke to,' he writes, 'was enthusiastic about Incredible Edible Todmorden. It seemed a very happy place and I felt that Incredible Edible Todmorden had helped it to become that way.' Also last month research published by Jenny Aird, financed by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, highlighted our achievements so far: full details here. And visitors from New Zealand have taken away some ideas for the rebuilding of Christchurch. And our old friends in Montreal have vastly expanded their programme of edible planters around the city streets. How far the word is spreading!
Brass tacks - But we're not resting on our laurels. This month saw the first ever group of students from Todmorden High School come to use our new training facility at Walsden. Read about it here. What a fantastic reward for the hours and hours of rabbit-proof fencing, polytunnelling and ground preparation of the last year. And as you can read in the growing blogs like this one, we're starting to develop outlets for what we produce - fruit trees for the garden centre, vegetables for pubs, cafes and market stalls. But there's still plenty to do round town, as you can read here. The contractors for flood alleviation even lent a hand here: it's raining men. Hallelujah!
When Derren met Sally
Incredible women in action
New voices - You may well be used to some of our regular voices now: Your Editor's, Nick the grower's, Estelle the communications dynamo's (there's a rare pic of Estelle in dynamic action on the right). This month though we welcome two new voices.
We're pleased to announce we have a dynamic new part-time paid worker, Sally. That's her persuading visiting celebrity Derren Brown - on the trail of 'luck' in our town - to tweet about us. Here's her first blog as a Food Inspirer.
We also welcome the eloquent Joe as a volunteer and blogger, here and here. Let Joe have the last word on how it feels to join our campaign: 'The real thrill is feeling like you made a small but significant difference; it’s there in front of you, and your community gets a benefit. It’s great to be part of something good for our community, proud to be able to say “We did that, because we care!”. It’s been an honour, IET, and I can’t wait to do it again.'