I know from time to time this question pops up, particularly when most people's entry into our Incredible Edible world is through the Community plate, propaganda gardens and all that.
I'm hoping that in the future we will all be able to have a real brainstorm about the potential of the business plate but let me try to have a stab at a starter for ten.
Originally, the three plates represented three aspects of what we all experience in our lives - Community, learning and business with local food smack bang at the heart of things.
For me the business pate is nothing at all to do with sponsorship or asking others for help. It's everything about what we as individuals can do to support a local food economy. Getting pounds into the pockets of small local food businesses so that over time they might be able to produce more and employ more people.
It's dead simple, if it's possible, the more people shop for local food, the stronger our local food economy is.
So what did we do?
We fundraised for six blackboards originally which cost £15 each. £90, not impossible. The local banner making shop put Incredible Edible Todmorden at the top and we gave them to market stalls selling local food so they could let everyone know what was on offer.
People stopped to read and ask questions and over time more produce was sold. More stalls wanted them so we sold them to them at costs etc etc.
Didn't cost much. Not rocket science but did show to these small retailers and producers that we really did want to help them stay and thrive in our town.
The Green Route
The other thing we did which anyone else can just copy if they haven't already is create the Incredible Edible Green Route. Linking up our propaganda sites, but also taking people past our market and small shops and cafes. Wonderful young people drew us a map to hand out. Free of course.
We applied for some money to create beautiful signs which not only explain what's growing but tell the story of the importance of pollinators. Sometimes you need money, sometimes you don't. Over the years we keep adding to the route. What's also happened is businesses themselves along the route have made their own herb boxes in front of their shops so the edible trail just keeps expanding.
Many of you will be doing other things. We need to share ideas and support those people who make and sell our wonderful local food.
That's the business plate.