Placemaking with dirty hands: why local food matters – Todmorden, UK
“By growing and sharing their own food, people are building independence from global supply chains and a degree of resilience, cushioning the impact of shortages or price rises.”
By Julian Dobson
‘You have to act to hope.’ Todmorden shows how such action can become viral.
The town’s schools are just one example. Every local primary school was given a disused pleasure boat to use as a planter. One school got permission to grow vegetables in a graveyard. All of them have now clubbed together to plant their own orchard.
At Todmorden High School, where head of catering Tony Mulgrew has been a champion of home-grown food for several years, there is now a commercial-scale polytunnel that supplies the kitchen with fresh produce. A £750,000 aquaponics unit is also on the way, secured with a £500,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund and a donation of land from Calderdale Council. It will produce fish, fruit and vegetables to be served in the canteen and used in food technology lessons. Any surplus will be sold to the town.