May 22 community meeting about the Incredible Edible Gardens.

May 22 community meeting about the Incredible Edible Gardens.

On May 22, 2013 the WHRL held a community meeting about the Incredible Edible Gardens.

Inspired by a community movement in the town of Todmorden in England, WHRL called a community information and action meeting to show a brief talk by Pam Warhurst of Todmorden (check out her presentation on TED Talks) and invite the public to get involved in such a movement here in our area.

Just a few years ago in Todmorden, a town of about 15,00 people, 3 people sat down and tried to figure out how to ignite community spirit by getting individuals, schools and businesses working on something together. They realized that food is a universal language—everyone eats! So they invited individuals, local businesses, banks, the police and fire stations to plant vegetable and herb gardens as a way to work toward food independence, better health and economic growth. Sixty people came to their first meeting, and were fired up to get the project off the ground. It has grown exponentially and been replicated around the world. See www.incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk to really see the extent of what they’re doing.

Now it’s our turn to take that seed and plant it, so to speak!, here in Milbridge and surrounding towns. On May 22 at WHRL, we had our first meeting of the Incredible Edible Gardens. Twenty people came. We talked about Todmorden. We had “show and tell”—a beautiful flat of microgreens to demonstrate how easy it is to grow greens for your family, a raised bed frame to talk about how much food one can get from a small area.

We had a number of handouts about how to build compost piles and compost bins, what makes healthy soil, companion planting. Before the end of the meeting, people had identified seven businesses or intown sites that they would contact about starting an edible garden. More businesses and individuals, including teachers at the Milbridge and Ella Lewis Elementary Schools, have been contacted since then

We have already had lumber donated from Viking Lumber in Milbridge and Coast of Maine compost donated from Downeast Coal and Stoves in Goulsboro as well as vegetable and herb seedlings from community members. One person has donated an old garden cart that we plan to fix up, paint and letter with “Incredible Edible Milbridge”, and then plant with herbs and vegetables. We hope it will become our traveling garden in town to demonstrate the Incredible Edible Garden Project, and maybe even take part in the Milbridge Days parade.

The ball is only just beginning to roll, but it’s moving at a pretty good clip. We’re all about action. We hope to have more people join us at our next meeting: Wednesday June 5 at 6:30 at WHRL, 24 School St in Milbridge.