Public Garden Plots Put Town On Path To Food Independence

Rarely have we seen an entire town support the idea of long-term food independence the way the small Victorian mill town of Todmorden, West Yorkshire has.

Public Garden Plot

Self-sufficiency is a big part of living a more sustainable lifestyle. When you’re not dependent on others for your food, water, energy, clothes, or entertainment, you have more control over how those things are grown, purified, and produced.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen individuals become self-sufficient by growing their own food or going off-grid through renewable energy, but rarely have we seen an entire town support the idea of long-term food independence the wayΒ the small Victorian mill town of Todmorden, West Yorkshire has.

Citizens in the town have rallied behind an effort called “Incredible Edible,” a program and website dedicated to making the town of Todmorden food-independent by 2018.

Todmorden Garden Beds

To that end, townspeople have constructed raised vegetable, fruit and flower garden beds on almost every available nook of groundspace throughout the town. There are plots in front of the police station, the railway station, and even down by the canal. Citizens are invited to help themselves to whatever happens to be in season in the beds, at absolutely no cost.

Incredible Edible is also about much more than plots of veg, writes Wake Up World, it’s also about educating people about food, and stimulating the local economy.

There are lessons in pickling and preserving fruits, courses on bread-making, and the local college is to offer a BTEC in horticulture. The thinking is that young people who have grown up among the street veg may make a career in food.

The Incredible Edible effort has also helped to stimulate the local economy, as now local cafes and restaurants can source many of their ingredients from right within the city limits.

Top Image Credit: Flickr – vicki moore

Written by Beth Buczynski


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  1. Up here in TBay, Ontario, weather is good. Our grow zone has changed over the years, and we now can grow more varieties than before. We have long summer days where the sun is up in summer from 4am, to after midnight! Our winters can flux by 20degrees in one day! We grow more in short period of time because of the long days in summer. We also get nice sunny winter days, though, and with even the simplest of protection, we can grow into the long cold winter too! If our community gardens were supported, and some aid to put structures and covers on them, we could sustain growth for much longer. Our city counsel is notoriously useless! We have about 60% population on government funding to live – and NO motivation! With a bit of fight, we could work together here, to grow our own on small, and large scales. I want to join this fight for this! Wake up, City! Thanks!

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