Six nations present to swap growing ideas

Around 160 delegates from Britain, Europe and even as far away as Brazil attended a conference to take part in workshops and exchange ideas about growing food.

The Incredible Edible Network linked up with venues and businesses in Todmorden to stage the event, which also gave them the chance to look around the town, where the Incredible Edible movement was nurtured.

With so many delegates, two venues were used for workshops and discussions, Todmorden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society’s Hipperholme Theatre on Halifax Road and the Unitarian Church at Honey Hole, which was also hosting the Royal Society of the Arts members’ Yorkshire conference.

The RSA has close links with Incredible Edible and has developed Incredible Campuses at Leeds, Sheffield and York.

The newly re-opened Vedas Restaurant, Fielden Square, Rochdale Road, which is close to the church, served up some sumptuous food to 105 of the delegates and food was also available when RSA members joined them later.

Mary Clear, of Incredible Edible Todmorden, said: “It was to bring together all the Incredible Edible activity across Europe and beyond. People could see what other activities were going on across the world, an exchange of ideas.

“There were a lot of presentations of other ideas, for example, one where IE ideas are being used to work with prisoners at a prison in Hull. It was a really interesting and varied day,” she said.

Network lead for the event, Tanya Wall, of IEN, said delegates from Brazil, Ireland, Spain, France and Denmark attended as well as from the UK.

“We invited them on tours and we had workshops at the Hippodrome to share ideas and take part in challenges in groups. After that we joined with the RSA conference at the Unitarian Church.

“It was absolutely fantastic. Everyone came round full of inspiration and ideas and wanting to get started. We were even given a van load of trees to give away to groups.

“We also gave out cardboard plates for people to write their contact details and exchange them, as well as ideas for future growth,” she said.

IE were delighted to work with local organisations and businesses like the theatre, the church and the restaurant. “We also asked everyone attending the conference to pass on ‘a pound for the town’ - a chance for them to spend some money locally.

“Pam Warhurst and Mary Clear sowed the seeds of Incredible Edible here and now it is bearing fruit. There are 300 branches of Incredible Edible worldwide and the French IE rep said it is literally a phenomenon in his country,” said Tanya.