Just over a year ago I visited Incredible Edible Todmorden. Like most people who visit this fantastic project I came away impressed and inspired. The idea is now spreading (Todmorden gets visitors from afar away as Australia and Chile) and similar initiatives are beginning to bloom in France (see here).
I thought I’d visit Wilmslow to see how it’s going there. I wanted to be green, so went by train:
and found herbs, edible flowers, and even strawberry plants growing on the station platform.
Outside the station I gather Community Payback had helped to create beds:
there’s wild flower meadows and apples, damsons and blackcurrants.
explains about the shared town centre growing space and encourages you to help weed water and plant spare edible plants.
I then used their map to visit some of the other plots in the town. My first stop was the King William pub:
to admire the edible flowers at the front, and the edible courtyard around the back.
Then it was on to Waitrose, where I found herbs growing outside their store:
where a very helpful lady told me what they’re doing to help tackle climate change, fossil fuel depletion and economic contraction.
The man at Growing Places:
besides selling stylish garden tools, was also actively involved in the project.
I didn’t get as far as Shenton Farm Shop in Handforth (where they have a herb bar), but they also had a stall in the market:
There was a composting area:
and a few planters helped make this area look better:
Off South Drive, four large raised beds are packed with herbs and vegetables:
Even outside Sainsbury’s they were doing something different:
The Incredible guide told me to find trolley attendant Mark, for more cookery ideas than Jamie Oliver!
Even businesses with no land had managed to grow hanging baskets with edible flowers:
and two opticians and a dentist are also involved:
You can see all the places I visited here.
I didn’t manage to get to the community orchard site as I spent longer than I’d intended in the Artisan Market.
They’re just making a start at Wilmslow Health Centre, which I think is great. A better diet had obvious benefits for our health, and I suspect the psychological benefit of communal growing are even greater. Everyone I spoke to about the project was so positive about it. They’ve achieved a lot in a very short period and I left Wilmslow feeling a happier person.