Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Guerilla Gardening

Once upon a time the town of Todmorden in West Yorkshire, England
was a thriving community. However, decades of industrial cotton milling
and opencast mining have left the area in economic decline, its buildings
covered with soot, and a large percentage of its residents unemployed,
living in government assisted housing. Two summers ago a revival of
greenery broke out in Todmorden, an outbreak of guerrilla gardening.
Todmorden revitalized its food economy through a grow-your-own
initiative that uses publicly owned spaces for raising fruits and vegetables.
Vegetables, fruit trees and herbs have been planted on the abandoned
demolition site in the center of town, from heaps of spoil, and outside the
railway station and bus stops. Not only are individuals feeding their own
families, they are selling produce to local shops and restaurants. Today,
Todmorden's three local schools serve only locally grown vegetables and
locally raised meats, and its restaurants draw tourists from all over Great
Britain. Is this a model that could work in our/your community?
Think globally--Act locally... Homegrown is a good thing!