Edible Villages

“There’s so many people that don’t really recognize a vegetable unless it’s in a bit of plastic with an instruction packet on the top.” These are the words of Pam Warhurst, the co-founder of Incredible Edible in Todmorden, England. Pam herself is not new news, but her TED talk is provocative and ought to inspire countless ideas. Immediately I am thinking of my friend, a local Primary Care Physician, who complains righteously and correctly about the waste of money and resources in the plantings around the hospital where she works. Imagine if those of us with doctors appointments, or those of us visiting patients could pick an eggplant or a Big Boy  tomato and lettuce enough for the evening’s salad!

“Can you find a unifying language that cuts across age and income and culture? … ” Pam Warhurst knows through experience the answer to this rhetorical question. “Yes, and the language would appear to be food.”

This is a TED talk worth every second of the eighteen or so minutes that will be required of you.

I can picture a town, say the size of Burlington, Vermont, or an area of a city such as Brooklyn, in the way that Pam Warhurst describes Todmorden. I belong to the Central New Hampshire Permaculture organization, and its rapid growth is indicative of the passion and commitment to grow and eat locally.

Coincidentally I am reading Charles’ Eisenstein’s new book, Sacred Economies, (look soon for a review) and am finding my own sense of radical hope, not in one idea only, but in the ways that different thinkers across professions, across cultures, across generations, continue to add their brave voices to the work of articulating what must become our new and prevailing narrative if we as a biotic community are to survive and thrive.

Sacred Economies and Incredible Edible and countless others have as their starting points: kindness, gratitude, generosity, and the building of communities inclusive of human and non-human members, communities which understand clearly that every resident of this living web carries value equal to every other.

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