|I recently watched a TED Talk. If you don’t know about TED Talks, I suggest you Google it – it will open your eyes to a world of innovative ideas put forth by inspiring people.I watched Pam Warhurst, from Todmorden, England, who speaks about “How we can eat our landscapes”. This video, just over 13 minutes, is definitely worth a watch. What an amazing story! I’ll give you a short recap here, but I highly recommend you head on over to see her speak.
Through a process she lightly calls ‘propaganda gardening’, Pam and her team have transformed this town of 50,000 from a lifeless city of pavement and brick into a gardener’s paradise. With all sorts of plants popping up in the most unlikely of places (corn growing in front of the police station was one of my favourites), the greening of the city is obvious. Pam calls her program Incredible Edible – incredible, indeed!
Pam began the program because as she says, she was looking for a “unifying language that cuts across age, and income, and culture, that will help people themselves find a new way of living, see spaces around them differently, think about the resources they use differently, interact differently.” That language is food. She combines community, learning, and business, to not only bring the idea of sustainable gardening to the community but to teach the idea to the younger generation. The program had such a profound effect on a local high school that it now teaches agriculture. There is an orchard with active beehives, an aquaponics unit to raise fish, and a vegetable garden behind the high school to further support the learning process with a hands-on approach.
The program has affected the community in a huge way and it all started with a few people getting together and wanting change. Through volunteer effort and cooperation, Pam and her team have made changes that will no doubt benefit generations. A simple idea with a lot of enthusiasm.
Check out the TED Talk here for the full story.