About the Movement
Incredible Edibles is a social movement that began in Todmorden, England in 2008 and has since spread the world over. Its proponents reclaim empty public spaces in towns and city neighbourhoods where they grow Food to Share. Their larger aim is to build a resilient and more compassionate world through acting at the community level.
The movement’s motto is “If you eat, you’re in!” This means everyone is welcome to plant and harvest, pick a few tomatoes, pluck a few herbs, pull a couple of carrots, all the while leaving something for the next person and to ensure the plant replenishes.
Incredible Edibles NDG
The NDG Incredible Edibles (IENDG) initiative was started by a few enthusiastic gardeners who wanted to follow in the footsteps of Todmorden. Since then, the IE Working Group started the Planters project (2013) and the Sidewalk gardens project (2014).
The Planters project was started in 2013 in collaboration with Eco-Quartier. Self-watering containers were made out of recycled materials, filled with soil and compost, and planted with vegetables and herbs. Attractive planters were also built with wood recuperated by taking apart pallets. Located on Sherbrooke St. for two years, the planters were moved to Somerled in 2015. In 2016, the Borough allowed the project to expand to 14 City-owned cement planters between Cavendish and Walkley streets on Somerled. IE volunteers water and tend them throughout the season, passers-by enjoy the produce, and any surplus is given to the NDG Food Depot. People in the neighbourhood have said they enjoy the positive energy of the project and some help out with watering and gardening advice.
The Sidewalk gardens project began with the planting of three plots of land belonging to the Solar Condos on the corner of Draper and Sherbrooke streets. Condo owners supported IE’s mission to plant and share food by supplying raised beds and soil. Jardins sans frontières partnered with IE to hold workshops on designing urban gardens using Permaculture principles and on making herb spirals. The gardens were a huge success in the community but circumstances prevented its continuation in that location.
Funding from a food resilience organization and revenue from a garage sale allowed us to plant two new gardens in 2016:
- The Post Office Gardens—three raised beds located in front of the Post Office on Sherbrooke Street near the corner of Wilson with food to share as well as culinary and medicinal herbs and flowers to attract pollinators.
- The CJE Gardens—four large raised beds near the corner of West Hill and Sherbrooke streets built with Carrefour Jeunesse Emploi in front of their offices. The organization’s intern and volunteer youth tend the gardens and share the food with the neighbourhood.
Expanding Into New Territory
A community-minded team member has donated a large strip of land beside her house on Monkland Street to be planted and tended by IENDG. Work began in the Spring of 2016.
Most of our gardening supplies—containers, soil, compost, seeds, seedlings, pallets, bricks, etc.—are donated by generous individuals and organizations. Our volunteers tend the gardens, chatting with the many passers-by who stop to look, appreciate the beauty, and munch on something freshly plucked from the soil. The gardens and planters have generated lots of local interest and have been featured in media stories about our neighbourhood, contributing to Transition NDG’s mission to create thriving communities.
IENDG has been helped by, and collaborates with many local community groups, including
- Coopérative la Maison Verte;
- Ferme du Zephyr CSA and local organic market;
- Zephyr café;
- Décomposition Über Decay Urban Compost Pick-Up;
- Jardins sans frontières;
- Urban Seedling;
- Compost Montreal;
- NDG Coalition for Food Security;
- Fonds pour la résilience alimenterre;
- BioCyclette, and
- NDG Food Depot.
Friendly and cooperative relationships have also been established with many merchants along Sherbrooke and Somerled Streets.
Please join us! We need and welcome involvement from all kinds of people in our projects (starting seeds, building, planting, watering, tending, sign making, funding, etc.). Please contact us at ttndg.info@gmail for more information and to be on our IE mailing list.
Ideas for future projects are welcome. To see what needs to be considered in setting up an IE garden, please see our guidelines here.