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Incredible Farm, Walsden

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Incredible Farm Tour in Walsden,Todmorden...
The "Incredible Edible" approach to local production is encouraging growing vegetable in public areas. This site continues that by growing rhubarb and other fruit round the perimeter encouraging local people to come and pick it - and see what is going on.

This site offers lots of other opportunities for learning and discovery...

Incredible Farm has taken over a patch of land in Walsden, Todmorden. Belonging to the local garden centre, Riggs, the land has been loaned to them for five years. It was like many bits if land you see in towns - marshy wasteland. This is an experiment, exploring the relation between the two worlds of 'thinking' and 'doing'. Here are ten topics - with questions, to look out for..
Incredible Farm
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1 Polytunnels
The first thing you see are the Polytunnels. They need planning permission in order to construct. Planning is required as some people object to them seeing them as 'spoiling the view'. 
Others consider Polytunnels as a simple way to extend the growing season, and thus enabling us to produce more food locally.

What do you think - good or bad, for the environment?

2 Raised Beds

There are several raised beds, which various individuals or groups look after, in order to produce some home grown produce.

What would you grow if you had access to a raised bed?

Raised Beds
3 Ducks n Drains
The first job was to drain the land. This involves putting in round tile (or plastic currugated) drains to take underground water into a ditch or pond.
Did you know that most land was 'drained'? And what are the environmental impacts - both positive and negative?

Thus several ponds were created, and ducks introduced (for eating).

Do you know why Duck is so common in Chinese Meals? Ans

4 Water water everywhere

Water is always an issue - either too much or not enough. So for those dry spells water is collected off the polytunnels in water butts.

What are the advantages of rain water compared with tap water - in the ponds and on the ground?

Ponds

What would be the advantages of putting the water butt under ground?

Water System


5 Growing plants in a tunnel

The Polytunnels enable plants to be grown better, producing flowers and fruits which otherwise could not be grown in a northerly climate like Todmorden's.

They have been placed on ground that is otherwise poor to grow on. The underlying clay may have come from the cleaning froPolytunnel Charactersm the nearby Railway or Canal.

There are 3 different sorts of plastic used for the tunnels. How would you make an experiment using these different plastics?

6 Permaculture

Permaculture is one way to grow plants that makes a lot more use of the relationship between plants. It seeks to work out how plants can compliment each other - whether in terms of collecting water or sharing out nutrients. Often unusual plants are brought in - like borage that collects trace nutrients from deep down only to leave them on the soil when it composts. Click for more on permaculture or 'Farming with Nature'

What are the advantages and disadvantages of 'Farming with Nature'?

Borage is also liked by bees...

7 Bees

Bees are the main pollinators for many plants. While flies and beetles can also pollinate, bees are much more specific to particular flowers, thus keeping them truer to type.

They also produce lots of lovely honey..

Do you know of any other bee hives in the area?
Do you know the main concerns about bee keeping at the moment?

Click for more about bees

8 Fruit Trees

Sadly we have lost many of our fruit trees, especially in the North. Yet they could be grown in all sorts of areas, even higher up the hills. These seedlings are based on the famous Malling rootstocks (named after the fruit research station in Kent), and 300 are going to be sold at Riggs in the autumn. The main skills are in 'grafting', as they do not multiply by pollination.

Can you name 3 varieties of British eating apples?

9 Re-using Resources

These tyres were being thrown away. They are expensive to dispose, but if you are an allotment holder you know how easy it is to grow plants with them. Like raised beds, the soil warms up quicker, helping the plants to grow

Can you name another 2 benefits of raised beds or tyres for growing plants?

Plants grow twice as fast each 10 degree rise.

10 Chickens

If we want to eat our healthy outdoor organic chicken, then somebody has to kill them.

Most chicken we eat now comes from broiler houses which house up to a quarter of a million birds in cages. The chickens here enjoy the outdoors, dirt baths, and clucking around. More on Keeping Chickens

When you eat chicken, do you ask where it has come from? Do you know the difference between 'Free Range', 'Organic' 'Barn' or 'Cages' ?

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