What a year!
First of all we'd like to say a big thank you to all our supporters throughout 2020 - it's been a tough year for everyone and there have been times where we have struggled. So it has been great to have your support; be it morally, physically or financially!
If you would like to know more about our vision at Manchester Urban Diggers CIC, please follow this link to read about it. Otherwise read on for a summary of our activities & projects throughout this past year - things which have been made possible with your support, so thanks.
Buzz - Manchester's Health & Wellbeing Service
Our partnership with buzz has blossomed over this past year as we have developed innovative ways to help the local community feel connected to one another - something which has been so difficult this year.
We have created over 1400 packs in various forms with the help of our volunteers that were commissioned and delivered to buzz. These comprised of herb planter packs, spring bulb packs, mini kitchen garden kits & our meditation DVD packs. Head over to our YouTube channel to see the videos that have been created to compliment the packs.
We have also been running sessions at Ridgeway Street Community Garden, funded by buzz. We created a butterfly garden (albeit 4 months later than intended due to the lockdown) that is now looking lovely. We still need more volunteers to help us maintain it, so if you are local to Miles Platting then please come along - Fridays 11am - 1pm.
NHS Wellbeing Fund
We delivered our second wellbeing course based on Platt Fields Market Garden (PFMG), Dig Together. The sessions are focused on using horticulture and nature as a method to improve wellbeing. We cover a wide range of topics from sowing seeds to building bug hotels, with the intention for participants to build confidence to garden more often. The sessions are designed to leave participants with a sense of achievement, the opportunity to socialise in a safe environment and become part of the MUD community down at PFMG.
The Landing with WTLGI
Over the past 9 months we have been creating a rooftop garden in collaboration with Chef Sam Buckley of Where The Light Gets In.
Our endeavours at the Landing are part of a wider discussion surrounding urban growing, efficient use of unused spaces within urban areas, the education and skill sharing within the community in order to grow these initiatives into other neighbourhoods, back gardens, balconies and even window sills.
We have been funded this year by Patagonia who have been a great help to us.
"This February in collaboration with @mud_cic the urban growing talent behind @plattfields_marketgarden we took over a disused rooftop car park In Stockport to increase our growing initiative. Here we concentrate on rarer herbs and other produce you may not have expected to see at WTLGI.
The Landing will also be home to a community workshop space and dining area for guests to enjoy ‘Wtlgi Al Fresco’.
We have built planters, installed irrigation, erected a greenhouse, shifted 20 tonnes of compost and nurtured seeds into plants. It’s now a space for nature to take course and for those who wish to use to learn, grow, share and enjoy."
Taken from @arestaurantwherethelightgetsin instagram feed, May 2020.
PATCH @ NOMA
PATCH is a small urban growing project right in the city centre in NOMA. The project is funded by the people at the Old Bank at Sadlers Yard who are trying to create a community space where considerate organisations can collaborate & thrive.
During lockdown, PATCH went virtual and we delivered online workshops for interested attendees about a broad range of topics from herb harvesting & drying, to making herbal teas, to building bug hotels & bird boxes all with the focus of using what you had at home!
Most recently we hosted workshops on Sadlers Yard during the Good Market and repurposed the old planters into a waste-free Christmas Tree as you can see below.
If you want to know more about Gleaning go to our gleaning page here. This year we've been funded by WRAP to glean fresh vegetables from the local area. Through this funding, we acquired the first MUD van which has been useful not only for gleaning but helped us infinitely with our other operations. As well as this, we are creating a store room within the brick building to store our gleaned vegetables helping extend their life and giving us a vital few days to help find more charities we can distribute the vegetables to.
Tom our Gleaning Coordinator has been leading on our gleaning operations and is a student on a placement year with us.
So far this year we have gleaned a massive 13 tonnes of vegetables from 16 separate farms and donated this veg to 48 different charities!
Platt Fields Market Garden
Our spiritual home and flagship CSA market garden, PFMG, has come on leaps and bounds in the last year. Mainly thanks to over 200 volunteers who have signed up to help us over the year & the customers who have helped fund us!
It'll take too long to talk about all the things that have happened throughout the year but if you've helped us out over the year then a big thank you!
Have a browse through the slideshow below to see a summary of what we've achieved - here are some of the highlights.
- Donated greenhouse installed
- Old polytunnel dismantled (destroyed) & new one erected!
- The weekly market started with bread, cake, coffee & most importantly veg!
- Taken over the 2nd side of the old bowling green!
- Doubled our growing space
- Created our new yard area
- Bees on the garden!
- Dug for clay including creating our new pond
- Created a wildflower pathway
- Improved our herb garden with lots of new additions
- The container roof was sealed and a small kitchen & toilet installed for the volunteers
- Hosted several safe events (despite the circumstances) inc. the Bank Holiday Weekend.
- Brand new shed & workshop area
See you next year
Finally a special thanks to all our volunteers & staff (you know who you are) & anyone who has given their time to help us out at the gardens & elsewhere and helping us make it happen. We are hoping for more gardens, more volunteer opportunities, more gardening & growing, more friendships, more green spaces, more locally grown & bought food (the list goes on) for next year.
Merry Christmas & see you next year!