Incredible Edible Todmorden Twitter Roundup

by Lu Paradise • December 18, 2011 •   270 views •   13th September 2010

todmorden Last night we all tuned in to Channel 4 to watch the River Cottage Autumn programme featuring brilliant Landsharers Incredible Edible Todmorden (IET) (see a clip from it here), scheduled twitter chat with the Todmorden growers. We watched as Hugh made wintery spicy beef, noticing that he showed no sign of heading north to the Yorkshire/Lancashire border. He spent some time foraging for mushrooms, grew some chillies…. and by the time he’d posed in a rabbit fur thong for the Womens Institute ladies we were really worried. It was the wrong programme. But the Todmorden team were not put off by a last minute change of the TV schedule, and turned out in force to answer your questions in our live tweet Q&A. @incredibledible, @Todsprout and @Herbytod answered a barrage of questions from Landsharers online. Here’s a roundup of their questions and answers in full. [Image by Incredible Edible Todmorden.]

Questions and Answers from the Todmorden Team

@Shyman33: what veg would you recommend for complete beginners?
@HerbyTod: Herbs are always a good beginner… they grow almost anywhere and enhance everything you cook. Potatoes are good too!

@landshare: When and where did you first start growing veg in the town
@HerbyTod: we started guerrilla gardening in 2004 with fruit trees from lidl planted all over. They fruited for the first time this year! 6:36 pm, Sept 12 from Web

@Kymbogs: what do you think is the most influential thing you have done, that has got the most people involved?
@HerbyTod: The community Orchard planting day..70 fruit trees to plant, 100 volunteers turned up and all planted in two hours! 6:39pm, Sept 12 from Web

@landshare: How does it feel to be influencing a nation?
@Todsprout: if we truly are, then humbling

@HatonHead: How many people live in Todmorden
HerbyTod: we have a population of around 15 000 people including the surrounding area

@Shyman: How did you get the whole town involved?
@Todsprout: a few public events, then folk volunteered

@ Whittlerus: What were Prince Charles thoughts on visiting Todmorden this week?
@Todsprout: read it here
@incredibledible: He really gets the need to give out a positive message not just scaremongering, switched on guy.

@Shyman: How did you get the whole town involved?
HerbyTod: we also made sure all the schools were involved…. also, in Tod..if you eat, you’re in!

@Spyman33: Do you have to display disclaimers by produce for help yourself?
@Todsprout: we don’t display disclaimers
@incredibledible: no disclaimers, but our insurers know what we are doing and are ok with it.

@hatonhead: How much of Tod’s food is local as a result of Incredible Edible?
@Todsprout: quite a lot, but we aren’t there yet, work in progress

@landshare: are you all volunteers at Incredible Edible or do you have paid staff?
@HerbyTod: we have two paid staff now, thanks to a lottery grant for a food hub at the high school
@HerbyTod: we also use people funded by the future job fund scheme, but we rely heavily on volunteers
@incredibledible: until just recently all unpaid

@hatonhead: How much of Tod’s food is local as a result of Incredible Edible?
@incredibledible: lets be realistic, we have a very long way to go, but weve started,and have big plans

@Shyman: How did you get the whole town involved?
@incredibledible: giving produce away really does catch attention!

@IERossendale: We think you’re INCREDIBLE!! Hope to meet in the middle sometime!!
@Todsprout: work toward each other and join up in the middle


@landshare: What would be your advice to other people wanting to use Landshare and grow their own veg?
@incredibledible: often people start with great enthusiasm, try and do too much and get disheartened

@landshare: What would be your advice to other people wanting to use Landshare and grow their own veg?
@incredibledible: Breaking new ground is massively hard work, about 5×5 metres square per year is enough.

@isleofeigg: is there an incredible edible shop?
@Todsprout: No we don’t have a shop, but never say never
@incredibledible: its important we don’t undermine local biz so we sell through them rather than compete

@landshare: does Incredible Edible have any events that folk who don’t live there can attend?
@HerbyTod: we have this year’s conference in Peckham, London on Oct 9th, details on our website
@HerbyTod:other events where incredible edible are giving presentations are advertised on our website

@landshare: What kind of places do you grow veg
@HerbyTod: Lots! With permission from the Council, veg mixed in with their flowers, water cress in the park’s stream, old lawns & dev land

@landshare: What are you planning next for Incredible Edible in Todmorden?
@Todsprout: graveyards, railway station, police station, Fire station, anywhere we can
@incredibledible: Conference on Oct 9th, training in veg production, meat, chickens, community cows, aquaponics, apprentices, & harvest festival!

@landshare: how does IET avoid having gluts of too many tomatoes, courgettes etc?
@incredibledible: there ain’t no such beast as too much tomatoes, Ketchup em!
@HerbyTod: is there such a thing as too much? a number of community ventures use what we produce

@Kymbogs: do you think there’s any hope of Halifax following in Tod’s footsteps?
@incredibledible: No, Halifax couldn’t possibly! but you could, in your street!

@landshare: On the allotment waiting list and want to follow @incredibledible footsteps? Try LetsGrow
@incredibledible: Don’t wait for an allotment, find a disused corner and plant a sprout!

@Rebecca_teee: how are you funded?
@incredibledible: lots of small, mostly non public grants, total of around £30k spent so far, so not lots, a little goes far!
@HerbyTod: we raise funds by applying for a variety of grants for specific projects

@ a_whittle: we have surplus eggs in backup, would you consider extending the egg map?
@Todsprout: Will pass the egg map suggestion on the the every egg matters guys
@incredibledible: I don’t see why not, e-mail Pauline on contacts page of IET website

@landshare: Coming to the end of our @incredibledible time with the team in Todmorden…. any last questions out there in twitter land?
@Todsprout: keep following Landshare and all of us on twitter Peas and love to all
@HerbyTod: our contact details are on the Incredible edible Todmorden website if folk want to share what they do with us
@HerbyTod: Thank you..and folk can keep in touch with what we do or let us know what they are doing, here on twitter. Feel free to add us all

Massive thanks to the guys from IET, who did a great job answering questions. Find out more about Incredible Edible Todmorden by visiting their website and following their blog on Landshare. Want more live twitter chats? Get in touch to tell us which inspiring landsharers you’d like to chat with online.


Quote from HRH’s Wednesday speech in Manchester, food for thought ….

“You really don’t need to know anything about the biology of bees or ‘ecosystem services’ to know that having a whole lot more beehives in Newcastle has to be a good idea, nor do you need a degree in either nutrition or soil science to know that having fresh vegetables growing along the streets of Todmorden is good for everyone.”

and a quote from earlier in the speech, posted because it shows if we can… you can….
“During my tour I have seen some truly remarkable examples of what can be achieved when people really start to look at things differently. Who would have thought that Newcastle City Council would start to install beehives across the city, or that almost every green space (and some that weren’t originally very green at all) in Todmorden would be turned over to start growing vegetables, maintained by volunteers and picked by all?”

You don’t read speeches?
Well neither do I as a rule, but this one is a must if you are looking for a simpler life, a different way.

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