Author Archive | Site Coordinator

We are recruiting – Board of Directors

About us

Incredible AquaGarden is a social enterprise,which evolved from the success of Incredible Edible Todmorden, and shares its ethos and values.

Our Board of Directors has committed members from the local community, and we are now moving to increase its size and skills base.


Located in Todmorden, in the heart of the Pennines, the aim of Incredible AquaGarden is to provide access to good locally produced food for all, by providing incredible growing and learning experiences for families, schools and communities, in a dynamic and innovative environment, and by sustainably producing fresh fruit and vegetables all year round.

At the same time, our purpose is to work with a range of public, private and community and voluntary sector partners, to deliver outcomes for wellbeing and education, by providing urban farming learning opportunities, both on our purpose built site and at the heart of our communities, to help people live well and prosper through their own efforts.


We know that in our area there are great untapped strengths, the kind of which bring people together, strengthen families and communities and which span generational divides.

Our aim is to find and develop these great assets.

Our strategic focus is on empowering and enabling people to deliver this change for themselves. We believe that amazing things can happen when people decide to do something together for their communities.

We are a company limited by guarantee.



We are looking for committed individuals to expand the range of Director skills on our Board as well as to consolidate existing skills with an eye to future planning.  We require dynamic and motivated people, who are sympathetic to the aims and objectives of Incredible AquaGarden,  to fulfil these voluntary duties.  We expect Directors to contribute actively to the Board by;


  • giving strategic direction;
  • setting overall policy;
  • defining goals and setting targets;
  • evaluating performance;
  • ensuring the company’s effective and efficient administration and financial stability.

We want to have a wide range of people on the Board. However, there is no need to have Director experience in order to apply. At the same time, whilst we seek to be representative of the local community, it is not essential that you are a member of that community.


In addition, on the basis of our recent skills audit, we now seek people with financial, commercial and/or legal and HR skills, experience of the Health and Education sectors, as well as Company Secretary experience, to deepen our expertise in those areas.


Directors are expected to:

  • attend monthly Board meetings and an annual planning day;
  • get involved in support work, including fixed term projects and/or sub-committees as relevant to their skill base;
  • contribute advice and support on an ad hoc basis;
  • attend events associated with the work of Incredible AquaGarden;
  • become ‘champions’ of Incredible AquaGarden in order to promote its development



How to apply

If you would like to express your interest in this position, or require further information, please send an email message to Aine Douglas, our Business Development Manager, who is coordinating the recruitment process ( or telephone her on 01706 813448. We would welcome the opportunity to show you around and discuss the project further.

If you can send a brief outline of why you are interested in becoming a Director, together with a summary of your skills and experience, that would be helpful.


You will be invited to sit in on part or all of our next Board meeting, and if you remain interested, Aine and two of our Board members will then arrange to meet with you to talk about your ambitions and expectations in a little more depth. They will then make a recommendation to the Board and a response will be sent to you in writing.



Closing date

Completed applications should be returned to us before 5pm on Friday 19thth May 2017. Applications received after that time may be considered if we have any further places available.


Note that applications will be processed on a ‘first come first served’ basis as they arrive, and that the following board meeting will take place on the 25th May at 6pm.



Thank you very much for your interest, we look forward to hearing from you!

Inspiring workshops coming soon!

We are delighted to announce the start of Reconnect with Nature workshops.


All of these are designed to teach you new skills, inspire your cooking and growing techniques and bring you a little bit closer to Mother Nature.





Wild plants for skin and hair

We are starting with a fantastic workshop run by Rose Bax from Taste the Wild (, where Rose will introduce you to the array of wild plants to nurture your hair and skin. You will make natural skin and hair products using wild flowers, leaves and roots. The day will be a mixture of demonstrations by Rose and plenty of hands-on experience. You’ll have all your products to take home and the skills to make more.

Places are limited to 8 people


Build an Earth Oven

At the end of April, together with Chris Bax from Taste the Wild we will build an Earth Oven, in which we will be cooking over the summer. This course will teach you how to build a small cob oven from scratch. During the day we will look at all aspects of oven building from selecting your raw materials and mixing your cob through to the first firing. The course is a hands on experience and we will construct an oven together on the day so you can see and experience the different processes in action.

Places are limited to 10 people


Create a Kitchen Garden

May is the perfect time to think about what edibles we can grow in our gardens and how can we add extra flavour and nutrition to our cooking. This workshop explores all aspects of creating a kitchen garden, from seed to harvesting and cooking. You will develop life long skills to enable you to produce delicious meals for the whole family with home grown produce. No matter what size your growing space is, we will help you to understand how to make the most of it.

Places are limited to 10 people


Wild Food Foraging

This day will be all about what extra treats we can get from nature to funk up our meals. Led by the experienced team from Taste the Wild, who have been running foraging courses for many years, we will take you for a walk through Todmorden to explore, recognise and pick edible plants which often occur in the wild. Depending on the season we may be tapping trees for sap, gathering wild herbs or picking edible fungi, but no matter what we find you will learn how to prepare and transform foraged foods into great dishes, preserves and drinks.

Places are limited to 10 people


Field to Fork

Learn how to create delicious meals for family and friends which will add the wow factor to vegetarian cooking. This workshop will challenge the view that fine dining can only be achieved in high end restaurants. Turn your dinner party into a gastronomical experience, using freshly harvested, local, organic produce and learn how to make the most of home grown ingredients. We will demonstrate a selection of menus with unusual ingredients, which will taste great and inspire your cooking.

Places limited to 10 people


15% Early Bird discount if you book before March 24th 

To make a booking call on 01706 813 448 or email

Urban Farming Workshops

We have recently launched our first Urban Farming workshop and the first people to attend, were our co – Incredible – Edible groups from all over the country. The course is an introduction to Soil Science, Hydroponics and Aquaponics and whether you’re only starting your adventure with growing or you’re already an experienced grower and want to find new ideas, you’ll find in it something for yourself. This course will soon be launched for non IE groups, so if you’re interested in attending, get in touch.




Soil Science reminds us that it’s not just ‘dirt’ below our feet, but a vibrant and exciting world of living things, from bacteria, fungus to soil animals and worms. We looked at building a healthy soil for our plants, we had a go at looking at some soil animals under microscope (and I swear it wasn’t just shots of 1970s horror movies).

We spoke about some permaculture methods, worms and worm composting, learned about compost brews, how they affect the soil and its life and we even brewed our own.

What a healthy aerobic compost brew looks like:


What an unhealthy anaerobic compost brew looks like:

Second part of our learning was the basics of hydroponics. We discussed a wide range of topics, from what hydroponics is, why we need it these days and all the technical aspects. We had a look at some Autopot studies of hydroponics in developing countries and areas which struggle to use conventional food production. We learned about pest control and nutrients and finally we had a go at assembling our own Autopot set up.



The last topic was Aquaponics; we discussed its role in modern world, touched on urban farming options, sustainability and the future of our food. We had a go at assembling a small Hydrogarden aquaponics unit, which shown that it’s not as difficult as it first seemed.


Our attendees took away a set of small hydroponics to try and have a go at growing at home. We hope that you will have a great crop and will spread the word about growing without soil.


Thank you to Incredible Edible Network for making this course available to Incredibles.

Also big thanks to Autopot Watering Systems, HYDRoToPS and Tod Hydro for long lasting support in many areas.

‘A Journey to the Edge of the Human Mind.’ – Talk by Tony Wright

 December 4th – Incredible AquaGarden – 6.00-9.00pm

Click the following link to book

The theme of this talk is a diagnosis of the human condition based on a re-interpretation of existing scientific evidence as well as the Arcadian and spiritual traditions. From our symbiotic association with the hormonally rich sex organs of flowering plants (fruit) to our slide into all encompassing delusion alluded to in all major traditions. A simple explanation in language the ‘rational’ mind can understand that makes a compelling case for restoring/repairing our neural system.

Tony Wright is a consciousness researcher who studied horticulture and plant biochemistry at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. He lives in Todmorden. He is the author of  – ‘Left in the Dark’ / ‘Return to the Brain of Eden’, co-written with Graham Gynn, who is an agricultural zoologist, educator, and researcher, living in Cornwall.


Growing an Incredible Future Together? Incredible Edible Conference

Event Details

An Incredible Edible Conference

 Growing an Incredible Future Together?

 An alternative approach to policy and planning

 Incredible Edible is a model for rethinking our places our spaces and our behaviour

Through an action based approach to embedding local food at the heart of our communities it offers a challenge to policy makers and deliverers

Join us for a day of thinking outside the box, sharing thoughts and experiences and maybe through the power of small actions coming up with a few alternatives that help us see the future in a different way.

20th November 2015

Todmorden Town Hall, Todmorden

The Speakers include:


Pam Warhurst CBE Founder of Incredible Edible Todmorden, Chair of Yorkshire RSA Fellows,

Merrick Denton-Thompson, Trustee, The Landscape Institute,

Phil Crabtree, Former Chief Planning Officer (retired), Leeds City Council,

Lia Ghilardi, Founder Noema Cultural Planning Consultants


Costs to cover Refreshments and Lunch: £20 

Conference Partners: Incredible Edible, RSA Fellowship, The TCPA, The Landscape Institute, The RTPI, Leeds Beckett University

Do you have questions about An Incredible Edible Conference? Contact Incredible Edible Network

FarmHack @ FarmLab Manchester

Aquaponics Lab, one of our partners, is co-organizing a workshop to help solve farming problems by designing new open source tools, working alongside farmers, scientists, engineers, artists and designers. After a creative brainstorm and design session on 24 October, selected designs will be prototyped at FabLab on the 31 October 2015 and shared online via Creative Commons for farmers around the world to use, creative and open minds are very welcome.

This is a good opportunity to involve the community into creating tools – freely available to replication – that will increase local resilience.


Date: Sat 24 & Sat 31 Oct

Register here: 

Refreshments & Access

Tea, coffee & lunch will be provided on both days, so please include any dietary requirements on sign up. If you have any access needs do let us know on sign up.

What is a Farm Hack?

A brainstorming event that brings together people from all walks of life to collaborate as a community to come up with innovative ideas for problems that farmers are facing. It is the beginning of a community process of designing, building, and documenting tools for resilient agriculture.

Partners & Supporters

This FarmHack is run in partnership with Manchester Science Partnerships, Aquaponics Lab  and FabLab Manchester and supported by The Wellcome Trust, The University of Manchester (HEIF/ UMI3/HEFCE UnLtd) and The School of Social Entrepreneurs NW.

Presented as part of Manchester Science Festival

Our BeGreen project work in Oldham 2014 – 2015

Our BeGreen project work in Oldham

Since Feb this year , we have been part of a big Be Green –Get Oldham Growing project ,working in Partnership with First choice Homes, Contour & AKSA housing associations. This has been mainly covering two large housing estate areas, St Mary’s and Coldhurst. They are very diverse communities, with many cultures, a large proportion being Bangladeshi.

Our main aim has been to generate pockets of regular community ‘growing and cooking activities’ mainly around the already established community centres. Food poverty is just one of the issues that affect these residents. A lot are now dependent on Oldham food bank or are resorting to mainly shopping at freezer style supermarkets for cheap, easy convenience food. So a sustainable self-help source of fresh food was essential to build resilience and better health.

Communal gardens or growing areas were not included in the building of these estates. Residents don’t have the skills or resources to grow and use fresh food, so our help to set up community centre raised beds, growing sites together with home tray containers & bucket growing were a perfect partnership for our fresh cooking skills. This combination was vital to create some positive changes for challenged individuals and families.

Whatever we teach to grow, e.g. pea’s & beans, we taught a cooking skill and recipe that would use what they grew, e.g. Pea Risotto and home baked beans, stews and Tagines.

Our success has been in establishing a routine of learning what they could grow, how they could use it, and how we can cook and share a great tasting simple meal together.

Our main Site, Barker Street Community Tenants Hall continues to be our flag ship of growing & cooking activities. It has 6 raised beds bulging with veg – Beans, peas, Kale, spinach, Pak Choi and lettuces and lots of usable flowers – sunflowers, nasturtiums, and Marigolds. We also have many fruit currant bushes planted here and around the area as well as strawberries and Rhubarb. We also recycled tractor tyres for attractive bean and flower planters in the area.

One of our regulars won an award to recycle large catering tin cans into strawberry pot planters that could be fixed out within the condensed blocks of flats with it railing fencing. We had a fabulous group day with fun pot painting, planting them with mint & strawberry plants, then talking to neighbours about ideal places to fix out. We asked for help watering and caring for them.

Our regular community events and pop-ups have helped us engage with more areas and residents. We have helped to tackle the large proportion of restricted microwave cooking facilities with a healthy microwave pot noodle, omelettes and risottos. The restricted window and landing growing spaces now have tray and bucket planting. Residents have been part of nurturing the seeds we have sewn and planted out together.

They have learnt some basic fresh food preparation from their pickings and valued the variety of basic recipes I have shared and helped them prepare together. The fresh growing food now makes sense as a dirt cheap and convenient way to continue cooking some of the new meals they have enjoyed. Just working, learning and eating lunch together has inspired so much more growing and cooking ideas & activities, and made the residents we meet much more trusting and engaging in making a future of growing, eating and buying local food better.

Food Inspiring on our Todmorden Estates


Todmorden community outreach


As a Incredible Edible Food Inspirer, its been important to keep making connections and developing local growing, cooking and using locally produced food here in Todmorden.


Ive been out door to door listening to residents on the two large housing estates  of Ashenhurst and Longfield, to hear about the issues that affect residents living there and what ideas they have towards creating improved relationships and communal living. The Incredible Edible connections have struggled to benefit these estate residents and many live on limited incomes and some food bank use.


By consulting Pennine housing officers with our planned growing & cooking based event ideas, we are beginning to establish beneficial partnership toward activities and events that can tackle on-going anti-social and dis-connected neighbours.


Ashenhurst is a fantastic sunny south facing area of Todmorden. It has a long history of planted fruit tree’s and bushes, with tales of group foraging on the estate and rocky hills behind. I was told that when the birds come down onto the estate and leave purple poo, its time to go up to Whirlaw rocks to pick Bilberries (or winberries)  The old Quarry area next to the playground is the favourite place for Blackberries and Raspberries.


Id spotted plum, greengage and Apple trees on my door to door calls. When I asked why fruit was left on the tree’s, nobody was interested. With the help of one of the well-known residents, we picked around 8 pounds of Apples! I had met two residents who had requested Jam making know how. They both lived on Dinley Ave, so I quickly set up an Ashenhurst Apple and Aqua Garden mint jam making session. The two residents were both on long term incapacity and it was a delight to introduce and bring them both together to share some home based cooking. We made around 20 jars of Jam that could now be shared with other residents and family – A perfect sweet treat for handing out while out and about and at our planned estate growing events.


On the 21st April we had our very first growing event up on Dinley Ave at the Quarry area  play ground to kick start the possibilities of clearing some of this area for communal growing beds. Id also got to know most of the very experienced and knowledgeable resident gardeners who have lived many years on the estate, and I continue to be hopeful that once communal growing sites have been established, that these knowledgeable residents will share their skills and residents will start to come together to keep raised beds going.


The growing event successfully saw residents sewing take away tray pea seeds and learning more about pea shoot salad and tasting fresh creamy pea soup.


Our two Aqua Garden growers were on hand to help give out plants and advise how to care for them and other fruit and veg plants in their gardens. This was ideal for when families came on at the end of their school day. We served scones and Ashenhurst jam & fresh strawberries to visiting parents & children for an afternoon teas time Strawberry themed session, linked with a strawberry plant give-away. The aim was again, Linking their strawberry plant care to home grown fruity treats.


A growing questionnaire was a way to capture resident’s ideas and volunteer commitment towards a potential site on the estate & Playground area. – Both Adults & Children shared their raised bed planning ideas suggesting the best location was within the playground near fencing, away from ball game areas, next to the main road so that everyone could keep their eye on anyone trying to damage plants.


We are now in the process of planning a raised bed building area, in school holidays so that children help build the plots and help plant and protect what they are growing together.


In June this year I moved on to listening to Longfield estate residents, the perfect summer weather to catch lots of people out and chatting about their area.  This summer has been great for getting involved in outdoor community initiatives. The BIG LUNCH funded by the Eden Project was one that we thought Longfield residents would appreciate. It’s a simple street party BIG local food lunch that brings residents together to celebrate and improve their neighbourhood relationships.


The residents on Longfield grove particularly wanted to tackle the overgrown communal garden area at the end of their cul-de-sac and other rough bits of roadside plant beds now being used as dog toilets.


On 19th July we had a fantastic turnout of 30 residents for a delicious BIG lunch with a Tex-Mex, BBQ local meats and Polish food combo! A cookery demo from myself and a Polish resident went down well to help share and celebrate the local food from our Aqua garden produce and the Rochdale road Polish shop. Residents also sent the afternoon sampling their Cake Bake competition entries to decide a firm ‘longfield summer’ favourite.


The other fantastic outcome of the day was the residents enthusiasm to plan another BBQ get together where they will work with me to develop their own Incredible Edible garden areas. I will now be re-visiting and setting up ‘Longfield growing & gardening days to help them transform their neglected growing areas.

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