Incredible Edible Todmorden column: Aqua Garden is taking shape

Taking shape - the Incredible Aqua Garden at Todmorden High School
Taking shape - the Incredible Aqua Garden at Todmorden High School

It’s been a long time since we got the Big Lottery grant, but after much hard graft and loads of team work, we’re now very close to opening the new Aqua Garden behind Todmorden High School.

Green Future Builders, our contractor, is motoring on with the final jobs and we’ll be arranging all the fitting out of the new building during the school summer holidays ready in time for September 2 when Todmorden High school pupils return to school.

The new building, The Aqua Garden, is a state of the art aquaponics, hydroponics and permaculture centre behind Todmorden High School. Representatives from Incredible Edible Todmorden and Todmorden High School will run the centre as a growing and learning centre. The vegetables grown in the Aqua Garden will be sold to the school as part of school dinners. The pupils will be learning to grow the vegetables, harvesting them and then eating them.

The Aqua Garden employs a manager, Steve Welsh, a Food Inspirer, Aine Douglas, and two horticultural apprentices, Danny Haymonds and Patrick Howard.

We’ll be growing salad crops and more exotic, Mediterranean type vegetables. The Aqua Garden is heated by an Air Source Heat Pump which will allow us to grow vegetables all year round. Part of the roof is sloped and faces south to maximise light and we’ll be able to grow hydroponic crops right up into the 5 metre high roof space.

Finally, it’s all coming together and we’re excited about being able to start use our new – and very large – building.