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Planters made from old pallets with herbs and tomato plants in pots ready to go in Planters made from old pallets with herbs and tomato plants in pots ready to go in

Ten Incredible steps to support the planet

By Sara Venn

Incredible Edible has always been a movement where we look for local solutions to global issues, to create a kinder future for us all.

We know now that this is now of the ultimate importance and many of us will feel that those in power are not focusing on what we feel to be important – the horrors of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss around the world. It can feel a lonely place but there is plenty that we can do as individuals and communities to make our own personal change and to influence political change.

  1. This is obvious but vote. And get others voting! We live in a democracy and it’s our right to vote so we must encourage our communities to get voting.
  2. Plant edible trees and hedgerows where appropriate. Not only do trees and hedgerows support us with food and in some cases herbs for teas and medicines, they also provide habitats for small mammals, insects and birds, supporting both people and planet. Trees will also capture carbon too, supporting the climate as well as biodiversity.
  3. Look after our soil. We have all seen the stats around our farmlands struggling and being depleted of nutrition but it has been proved that many urban and peri-urban soils are far healthier, having been gardened and looked after by individuals in the same ways as they have been for generations. Piling manure and compost into our soils has kept those urban lands healthy and therefore supporting carbon capture. Sign into our website to access some great advice about Composting and wormeries.
  4. Support bird life with boxes and bird feed where it’s possible to do so. You might worry that this will bring in birds that might eat our crops, but ensuring the birds are well fed will increase predation of slugs and snails and bring in smaller birds that will eat caterpillars that might cause havoc. If you have an issue with squirrels or rats eating the food, cover it with chilli powder-the birds won’t notice but the rats and squirrels will and will leave them alone. It’s also possible to buy bat boxes which will ensure both the bats have insects to predate and you won’t need to use any pesticides as the bats will eat the bugs! Biodiversity in action. And it doesn’t stop there – hedgehog homes, spaces for frogs and toads can either be bought or made, and the reality is if you build it they will come, as the saying goes.
  5. Good signage. Now that might sound an odd thing to highlight when talking about biodiversity and climate but it’s so important that folk not only see what’s going on but also know how to get involved and what is going on. One of the biggest learnings from most groups growing in the public realm is that many people don’t recognise food in the gardens and so it’s vital we not only talk about what we are doing but also what everything is, how to harvest it and when it will be harvestable. But most importantly tells people how they can get involved!!  Sign in to our website to read our tops tips on great signage.
  6. Be a connected community. Invite everyone in and ensure the whole community know what is going and and how they can get involved as well as ensuring you support folk to get involved who perhaps don’t want to do your main activity but do have skills to offer. Ensure your group embraces the full community, and avoids niches or bubbles and reflects the community around you. Invite small communities within your community – we are stronger together for sure. Sign in to our website for information about Building your Incredible community.
  7. Go organic and work towards agro-ecological methods where food is grown alongside an understanding of biodiversity and the importance of nature.
  8. Grow food for pollinators and mix those with your crops bringing those pollinators into your gardens and supporting them to support you.
  9. Use our resources with care. Try to capture rain water and make sure you use good mulches to keep soil moist and hold moisture into the soil. And think about what you can reuse and recycle in your growing spaces.  Sign into the website to access our ideas on Recycling and upcycling.
  10. Remember kindness – it goes an awfully long way to making the world feel a better place and just a smile at someone might really make their day.

We hope these help to support you all as we continue to make enormous change through celebrating the power of all our small actions – together we are supporting a wave of kindness.

To find out if there’s an Incredible Edible group near you then look on our map here, and sign up to the website to access a whole range of resources for groups, including our Getting going resources for new groups.