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Monday 22 December  
The Incredible Edible project, Todmorden, UK

Earth Beat - The Gift

On air: 18 May 2012 3:00 (Photo: Incredible Edible Todmorden Unlimited)

More about:

Earth Beat, 18 May 2012. Stories of sharing. We explain how not to look a gift horse in the mouth (especially when there’s free energy at stake) and meet the people turning every bit of green space in their town – ditches, roundabouts, abandoned parking lots – into glorious edible gardens where the fruit and vegetables are for the taking.

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Listen to 'The Gift'

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Free food ripe for the picking - listen in new player

It sounds like the script for a cheesy British comedy: a group of ladies get together to grow enough free fruit and vegetables to feed their friends.

But the town of Todmorden is no fairy tale – it’s a unique experiment in food production. View photos.

Mary Clear talks to host Marnie Chesterton about the Incredible Edible project which has turned the whole community into a kitchen garden.


The (expensive) gift of life

They say there’s no greater gift than a newborm baby and Earth Beat contributor Joel Stickley is about to find out if that’s true or not. As he and his wife prepare for parenthood, he writes a letter of thanks – and apologises for the extra pressure his offspring will put on the planet.

Anders Halverson
Anders Halverson
Rivers full of rainbows - listen in new player

In the US, a hundred million rainbow trout are released into lakes and rivers every year. And the Sierra Nevada region in California is no exception.

According to Anders Halverson, author of An Entirely Synthetic Fish - a book all about the rainbow trout - it’s the perfect place to fish. But what was once seen as progress and a joy for anglers also comes with an environmental cost.

Many now are on a mission to reduce the numbers of the rainbow trout and restore the destroyed ecosystems. Anders spills the beans on the gift that went awry. View photos.

The Love Affair With Nature ceremony
The Love Affair With Nature ceremony
Marriage among the mangroves - listen in new player

On Valentines Day 2011, Lucy and Tito Gehon tied the knot on the Filipino island of Palawan. But the wedding arrangements were not as you might imagine.

They were joined by 100 other couples taking up the offer of a free wedding. The major of Puerto Princesa offered this generous wedding gift on condition that each couple planted a mangrove sapling to help rejuvenate the plantation. View photos.

Lucy and Tito were the oldest couple taking part and describe their wedding day with a difference.   

Acmella oleracea
Acmella oleracea
Toothache in the Amazon - listen in new player

Dr Françoise Barbira Freedman was 22 and in the Peruvian Amazon with a native tribe, when her wisdom teeth started coming through, causing her huge amounts of pain. Her hosts gave her a wad of leaves that proved a very effective painkiller.

Fast forward 30 years and that "toothache plant" - acmella oleracea - is almost ready to join others on the pharmacy shelves.

And Dr Freedman is making sure that some of the profits go back to the Keshwa Lamas community who shared their botanical knowledge with her.

Victor Juchymenko
Victor Juchymenko
Free electricity from wasted heat - listen in new player

What if you could capture the heat created by compressors and generators used to force oil and gas through pipelines and turn it into green electricity? Turns out you can.

Victor Juchymenko from Great Northern Power Corp. lives in Canada’s oil-rich province of Alberta and has spent the last 10 years developing a system adaptable to the 10,000 compressors that crisscross the province – but so far, there haven’t been many takers, even though the energy’s free and green.

He talks to Marnie about how it works, and the hurdles he’s had to overcome.

  • Mary Clear meets HRH The Prince of Wales<br>&copy; Incredible Edible Todmorden Unlimited -
  • &#039;Please Help Yourself&#039; sign at Todmorden<br>&copy; Incredible Edible Todmorden Unlimited -
  • Weeding the Apothecary garden, Incredible Sunday, Sept 2011<br>&copy; Incredible Edible Todmorden Unlimited -
  • Volunteers at the station beds, April 2010<br>&copy; Incredible Edible Todmorden Unlimited -
  • New rhubarb and herbs at the health centre, April 2010<br>&copy; Incredible Edible Todmorden Unlimited -
  • Estelle shows visitors round Incredible Edible Todmorden. She does this almost every day of the week. This is outside the town&#039;s new health centre<br>&copy; Incredible Edible Todmorden Unlimited -
  • Fish culture has changed very little from the 19th century. First squeeze the eggs out of the ripe female by firmly sliding your fingers down the belly, then squeeze the milt out of the male. Swirl it around, and you&#039;re done. Provide them a safe place to develop and you&#039;ll have some nice fish in a year. This is John Riger at  the Colorado Division of Wildlife&#039;s Crystal River Hatchery<br>&copy; Anders Halverson -
  • A closeup of Colorado Division of Wildlife&#039;s John Riger spawning rainbow trout<br>&copy; Anders Halverson -
  • After they hatch, fish are raised in a rearing facility like this one. Here the manager of Colorado&#039;s Chalk Cliffs Rearing Unit, Chris Hertrich, examines some young fish, some of which Anders helped to spawn. They reside in a retrofitted castoff trailer from the Department of Corrections<br>&copy; Anders Halverson -
  • The Fingerlings that Anders helped to spawn, a few months later at the Chalk Cliffs Rearing Unit<br>&copy; Anders Halverson -
  • The California Department of Fish and Game pioneered aerial fish planting in the years following World War II. In this photo, taken about 1950 in Bishop, CA, Dave Ward, Lee Talbot, Carrol Faist, and Jim McGregor prepare to load an WWII-surplus Beechcraft C-45 with fingerlings<br>&copy; Anders Halverson -
  • After years of stocking the lakes of the Sierra Nevada using pack animals, the California Department of Fish and Game began using airplanes in the 1940s. Many of the lakes previously had no fish<br>&copy; Anders Halverson -
  • The Love Affair With Nature ceremony<br>&copy; City of Puerto Princesa -
  • The Love Affair With Nature ceremony<br>&copy; City of Puerto Princesa -
  • The Love Affair With Nature ceremony<br>&copy; City of Puerto Princesa -
  • The Love Affair With Nature ceremony<br>&copy; City of Puerto Princesa -


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