Get The Incredible Edible Bug

Helen Yates gives us the lowdown on Incredible Edible - a scheme set up to promote growing your own fruit and vegetables

Incredible Edible is a movement that started life in Todmorden, West Yorkshire in 2007 and has since been spreading at a super speed into other towns across the UK and abroad. The Prince of Wales was there last year, as part of his sustainability tour and Todmorden has a regular stream of visitors with enquiring minds.

If you visit Incredible Edible Todmorden, you get the bug - you see how it works and you want to do it too. Just one person taking a single visit to Incredible Edible Todmorden was all it took for Incredible Edible Wilmslow to be born and only 7 months down the line, George Osborne was taking a tour of Wilmslow to see what it's all about.

So what is it all about? The aim of Incredible Edible is to increase the amount of food grown and bought locally and the front line of this is using public spaces and town centre planters to grow herbs, fruit and vegetables. That means the people of the town can see it, smell it and most importantly taste it and it becomes part of their daily lives. They then begin to truly understand what is in season, right now, because it is there in front of them.

Community is at the heart of this project: share the land, share the labour, share the harvest and all of this delivered locally, to keep carbon emissions low. Council, schools and businesses are not only sharing the land with the community volunteers but they are actively involved in the maintenance, watering and care for the plots This is team work on a grand scale, but it does not take a huge management structure; there are no long, drawn out meetings. People simply do it because they care and want to get on and make a difference.

This is a project that any town can do, with a minimal budget and no mammoth action plan. It simply takes a few Incredible people to love their town, love their world and have a just do it attitude. So will your town be next? Go on be Incredible.