Paddock Farm talk
Edibles Co-op, based on their seven acres of rented land in the South Pennines.
It was fascinating to hear how they had patiently observed the nature of the land and what grew naturally in the area and then mapped the effect of of sun, wind and rain on their plot before planning their small-holding. 'We grew to love working on the land,' Rosie explained, 'and that's what led us to set up Edibles.'
Edibles use permaculture principles to work in harmony with nature rather than fight it, and often the various elements of their work have multiple functions. The hens they keep in moveable pens are a graphic example. As well as the eggs they lay, their droppings act as fertiliser and their rooting about in the ground helps to break up the soil ready for planting when they are moved on to a new patch.
It was especially encouraging to hear about Edibles' educational work. Not only the two-week permaculture course they run every August but also the two permaculture-based GCSE courses they run at Colne Valley High School in Huddersfield.
So much of what Rosie said chimed with what IEPAD is trying to do - it's not just about self-sufficiency but also about creating a more connected and collaborative community. Our Forest Garden and the Ostrich Pub Garden both adopt a permaculture approach and in a small way, with our Growing Schools project, we too are hoping to influence a new generation of potential growers.
We found Rosie's talk really inspiring. If you missed it or would like to find out more, check out the Edibles website.