Bwyd Bendigedig Incredible Edible Llandrindod

 

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Dorienne outside the Coversure shop on Middleton Street, with some of the plants the group gave away

The Incredible Edible Llandrindod group had a brilliant two weeks outside Cover Sure in Middleton Street as part of the HAF Llandrindod summer holiday activities organised by Becky and Ellie of the Llandrindod Wells Working Together project.
 
We gave away over 150 plants, all of which were donated by IE members, so a very big thank you to everyone who took the time to sow, propagate and plant and to those giving up their time to be on the stall.  It was the first time we have been able to have a public presence and the praise and enthusiasm for what we are striving to achieve was wonderful. We have quite a few new members on the face book page and some keen and experienced gardeners willing to give a hand. The event was focused on the children and we were all bowled over by the excitement expressed by many in having a plant to look after. Hopefully we will have young growers joining our ranks soon!
 
Incredible Edible Llandrindod came out of a community event held at The Commodore in October 2019 called ‘Facing the Future'. One aspect of the event was Food Security in the light of Climate Change and Post Peak Oil. Participants were invited to form a group to discuss and take the subject forward and to also form/join a Llandrindod seed library. The uptake was very positive with over twenty people in the two groups. 
 
The food security group met to discuss ways forward such as Community Supported Agriculture, which aims to engage and support farmers to transition to horticulture and agroecology. Engaging with the farming community is still one of our agreed aims. The group also felt it was really important to be visible in and around the town with vegetables, herbs and fruits grown in appropriate places and free to the public. Another idea was ‘Garden Share’ where the group works with householders to develop food production and bio diversity in their gardens. Part of the produce is donated to the Food Hub where it can be for sale, or free to those on low incomes. Incredible Edible Llandrindod joined The Wholesome Food Association in order to guarantee environmental standards in their food production and urges all IE members growing food for the community to adhere to the standards. See http://www.wholesome-food.org/ for details of these. 
 

We are now eight months on from the initial event, so where are we and how are we doing?

Incredible Edible Llandrindod (IE) has had talks with Powys County Council about using spare council land in the town for producing food. The council has been very supportive and given permission for the group to develop a disused tennis court in the middle of the town. If successful they will donate further sites for IE to use. A successful bid to Awards for All has given IE £6,400 to spend on developing the site by building a series of raised beds for vegetable and fruit production. This should have been started in May but the pandemic has meant these plans are on hold. Because the main growing season is spring and early summer the ‘core’ group has decided to delay developing the site until Spring 2021. 
 
IE now has a ‘town polytunnel’ donated by a member of the core group. The Town Council very generously funded the building of a large raised bed plus top soil, which is the main growing area in the tunnel. The tunnel has been producing plants to share since early spring and now has a fine crop of salads, tomatoes, courgettes and beans. Surplus produce is now being donated to the Llandrindod Food Bank as a simple way of supporting the local community.
 
The virus has created a massive surge in interest in gardening and food production country wide. Here in Llandrindod we have 199 keen gardeners in our Facebook group. Gardening tips, plant swapping and seed exchanging has all been going on and there is a real buzz. So while IE has not had a hugely visible public face as yet, it is witnessing a massive groundswell of support.
 
England has eased the lock down and Wales may well follow soon. We have put together some ideas for ‘post virus’ events, which we would like to share with you.
 
1. Dave Burridge from the walled garden, Doldowlod, is offering courses for IE members. The first one day course will be on ‘Protective Cropping’, including how to protect from weather and predators. The course will be £10 for the day with £5 going to IE. This will go towards the seeds we will need for next year. We are looking to run the course in August/September, date to be confirmed. If the lock down is still in place then distancing is very easy and course numbers will be limited to 15. If lock down is lifted then the numbers can go to 30. Please let us know if you are interested as it will be a first come first served arrangement.
 
2. Play Radnor has asked IE if we would be willing and able to develop a one day event, during the summer holidays, which is free for families on low incomes. The event venue needs to be in and around the Llandrindod and Howey area, so ideas welcomed. We have the offer of a willow weaving workshop so far.
 
3. Trefonnen School contacted us a few weeks ago about running a similar school holiday event at the School. Unfortunately they have decided to cancel because of the lock down. However, when the school reopens they would like IE to run an after school gardening club for the pupils which will culminate in them growing food in the school grounds. We have already met with a member of staff to discuss practical details.
 
4. Compost has been tricky to get hold of and quite a lot of it still contains peat. We are discussing setting up a small, ethical compost making scheme using bracken and sheeps wool, something like that made by Dalefoot Composts. It lends itself well to Wales where we do have a lot of bracken and an awful lot of sheep. The compost will be available to IE members. Anyone interested in getting involved in the scheme or helping with funding bids to get it started please get in touch.
 
5. On the subject of sheep. One of IE’s missions is to engage with the farming community to encourage, help and support them into transitioning into horticulture. Growing our own food as individuals is vital and very beneficial in many ways other than just producing food. However, if we are to be sustainable in food production we need to get farmers on board. This needs to be taken forward as a separate strand of IE so again, anyone interested in this please get in touch.
 
6. We have an established seed library, which growers can avail themselves of. The seeds are free but, ideally, the grower will save some seed at the end of the season to give back to the library. However, seed saving is a skill to be learnt and while some plants are very easy to save seed from, others can be problematic. For the moment supporting people in food production by making seed available is a priority. Help with how to save seed is available and group sessions will be organised as soon as lock down is lifted.
 
If you are interested in any of the above subjects or events, or are interested in joining the IE core group please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

Local seeds to plant, save and share!

Incredible Edible Llandrindod has its own Seed Library. It's free to join and you can 'borrow' seed. All we ask is that at the end of the season you save some seed for yourself and some to replenish the library for next year or to grow in our community garden. In these unpredictable times the library can play an important part in food security, sustainability and self reliance for our local community.

Some crops are easy to harvest for seed and some have more specific requirements so we can provide guidance notes if you need them. We are registered with the Wholesome Food Association which means that we undertake to grow and process food using sustainable, non polluting methods as close as possible to those found in nature. If you aren't able to save seed then you can always make a donation towards next years seed.
 
See below for the latest seed list. There are lots of interesting varieties on offer from lettuce varieties, oriental mixed leaves, climbing french beans etc. If you would like to join the library and try some of the seed on offer then e-mail Catherine, our seed librarian, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

New food security initiative for Llandrindod Wells wins lottery funding

Last October concerned locals in Llandrindod Wells came together at an event held at The Commodore Hotel in Llandrindod Wells to discuss climate change and how the community could ‘face the future’ by becoming more resilient. 
 
One of the speakers gave a presentation on food security and land use, which inspired the forming of a new group called, ‘Incredible Edible Llandrindod’. The group’s aim is to encourage local food production in and around the town to improve food security and reduce the carbon footprint of global food production. Food security is now even more relevant in the current pandemic.
 
Dorienne Robinson, spokesperson on food security said: “ We want to try and grow as much food throughout the town as possible. To this end we have liaised with Powys County Council who have been hugely helpful and allowed us to start our project on a disused tennis court in the centre of town.  A large variety of vegetables and fruits will be grown in planters and would be for the public to pick and use. If successful the Council may be able to offer us more space.”
 
The group is delighted that an Awards for All funding bid has been successful, though development of the project will depend on when the current restrictions are lifted. Planning and preparation continues.
 
The project has also been gifted a poly tunnel, which has been put up in a garden in the middle of town. This will initially be used to propagate the plants for the tennis court and then go into seasonal ‘protected’ vegetable production.
 
Dorienne went on to say, “The group is very grateful to Llandrindod Wells Town Council for funding the raised bed and soil which is enabling the town poly tunnel to go into production.  We are delighted to have them on board and supporting the project”.
 
One key desire of the group is to encourage as many people as possible in and around the town, with gardens or even window boxes, to consider growing fruit and vegetables. This is called ‘Garden Share’ and allows householders to join the group and access free help with gardening know how or actual physical help if they can no longer do the hard work, or do not have the time. The produce is shared between the household and the project. The project will then offer its share at a local food hub where people can come and buy locally and sustainably produced seasonal produce.
 
A most important and fundamental aspect of food security is the humble seed. Incredible Edible has another string to its bow and that is the formation of a unique Seed Library for Llandrindod.
 
Seed librarian Catherine Smedley said, “Would you like to join the Llandrindod Seed Library? This is how it works:- It allows you to 'borrow' seed for free, grow the plants and eat the bulk of the produce. At the end of the season seed can be harvested for the following year,  some for you to keep and some to return to the library for others to use.
 
Once you have joined we can let you know how to stay in touch,  what seeds are available and how you can continue to access the library.  When the time comes to harvest seed we can give advice on the best way to do that too. In these unpredictable times the library can play an important part in food security,  sustainability and self reliance for our local community.”
 
Looking to the near future Incredible Edible would like to connect with the local farming community to support future farming and local food security. One local farm has expressed interest in moving towards horticulture and setting up a local veggie’ box scheme. Expressions of interest in this scheme are welcomed.
 
If you are interested in any aspect of the project, would like to volunteer or offer support, or would be interested in a regular veggie box, please contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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