Incredible Edible column: Tourism alive and well in Tod

European visitors enjoy their trip to Todmorden
European visitors enjoy their trip to Todmorden

With all the uncertainty over Brexit and anxiety about the future it’s great to see that visitors from Europe still want to come across the channel to spend time and money in Todmorden.

This is important to Incredible Edible Todmorden as well as to the town.
As a group that no longer takes public money, or grant funding and hasn’t done for several years, the donations they make mean we are financially self-sufficient and are able to carry on growing free food for everyone to pick and enjoy.
There are lots of berries ready for picking right now at the health centre and Pollination Street.
The apple trees are looking especially productive this year and are covered in fruit that should be ripe and ready to pluck from the branches later in the year.
This month as well as a student from Canada we have had visitors from France, Holland and Spain.
This meant accommodation was booked for 20, some of our guests staying several nights.
As well as tours of the town centre they spent quality shopping time in the town.
The group of 17 from Spain arrived on Monday. dined out that evening and came to hear about what we are doing and why on Tuesday.
After a talk we spent two hours going around the growing sites munching leaves and juicy berries as we went, some of the group had been before a few years ago and were impressed by the new growing beds at the community college and on the old Omerod site.
When we finished the tour they went off to the Old Co-op for a late lunch where I joined them again half an hour later to share the meal.
It was a delight to see them enjoying themselves so much.
I think they must have stripped the kitchen bare, when I mentioned the amount of food on the tables the tour organiser said they wanted to try it all so had ordered every dish on the menu.
As one platter was emptied another with something new took its place, they really did have a great time.
Sadly it being Tuesday they couldn’t go to the markets shopping, so they set aside part of Wednesday to explore the treasures all the stalls had to offer.
We may be leaving the EU but Europe is certainly still keen to visit our incredible market town and bolster our economy by booking accommodation and shopping with our independent traders.
We hope vegetable tourism is here to stay whatever changes may be coming our way.