Meeting Mary- Incredible Edible Todmorden

In summer last year we embarked on the long train journey from Falmouth to Todmorden… three trains and nine hours later, we arrive. We were there to visit Incredible Edible and listen to their story of community growing. To our luck the sun was shining, and we made our way over to Mary’s house to be greeted with a warm smile and a mug of tea.


Instantly, Mary captured us. She shares the story of Incredible Edible with such passion, kindness and determination. No question was a silly question, and she kindly invited us back the next morning to talk some more. Here’s her story… .

As well as telling us her story, Mary introduced us to her fellow Incredible Edible friend Estelle who was happy to show us around. Not your typical tour mind, we were off to see the sights in carparks, bus stops, derelict buildings…and we were strangely excited. It was great fun, and Estelle was a brilliant guide, we were even allowed to sample some of the food. A definite highlight was visiting the Police Station’s veg beds.

Estelle and local bobby swap hats!

After walking our socks off, we arrived back at Marys for a reboot with a cuppa and a warm bowl of soup. We didn’t stop for long though, Mary had arranged for us to visit the local school where they were growing veg and fruit in disused boats in their playground. Pretty cool!

So off we went to meet some of the schools most avid growers. We have to say their  enthusiasm was contagious, potatoes have never been picked so fast! They knew their stuff, and tricked Sarah to eat a mustard leaf… “it’s not bad… oh wait… erg!” followed by a raucous of children’s laughter!

proud potato pickers

The next day, brought another adventure. This time we went to meet Incredible Edible’s allotment gardener Nick and his partner Meg the dog – a welcoming team. Nick treated us to a guided tour, with a lesson in grafting. While Meg was more keen to show us Nick’s weed stew, a nutrient rich concoction that emitted a powerful rotten stench. We were careful not to get too close, Meg on the other hand couldn’t get enough.

mmm weed stew!

As our visit drew to a close, Mary took us to visit the only place we were yet to see, the grounds of the local church. Francesca was an enthusiastic sampler, luckily Sarah had a camera at hand for this one!

It was a fantastic trip, and a great way to start off our journey collecting people’s stories thinking about climate change. Incredible Edible’s kind and determined approach to local community growing can’t help but capture and inspire. Mary talks about climate change in an honest and relatable way, it was a pleasure to listen to her story.

For more information on Incredible Edible Todmorden, visit their website here –


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