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Happy Earth Day!

Today is Earth day! An international celebration of our planet and environment and a call to everyone to work towards protecting the Earth. At Manchester Urban Diggers we believe that local, sustainable food systems are a pivotal part of this fight, Earth Day is every day at MUD.

Being involved in the environmental movement means we get the opportunity to work with some amazing people. To celebrate today, we'd like to introduce you to one of our amazing volunteers, Klaudia!

Klaudia has volunteered with us for over a year at Platt Fields Market Garden, as well as some of our other projects, and her dedication to making the world a better place is inspiring. Below are some words from her blog for Branch Project. We hope you find them as inspiring as we do and get out into the garden.

Three lessons gardening has taught me

Working with my garden this spring has got me feeling very reflective. I have been gardening for over a year at a community garden, and this year I have had the chance to start growing things myself. Today I leave you with three lessons that gardening has taught me. The moment Throughout the past few years, we’ve been told quite often to live in the moment. Don’t wish for the future, enjoy the present while you can! they say. I feel like that is much easier said than done. Being mindful of the moment has not come naturally to me, but working in the garden has acted as a consistent reminder of how fleeting things are. I hear the birds singing through my window and I think to myself “I’ll go outside in a while to listen”. By the time I go outside, the singing has stopped, and I’ve missed out on something that makes my heart fill with love and calm. Or, I see dandelions popping up in my garden, and I expect them to keep popping up, and I expect their presence to last until autumn comes around again. But today, the dandelion flowers I have accepted as long-term occupants of my garden are no longer there, just empty seed heads left behind, moved onto newer things. The lesson of enjoying the present moment is one I have been aware of for many years, but only through gardening I found myself being able to implement it on a daily basis. It’s hard to avoid when the lesson presents itself to me every day. Patience I am an impatient person, which is (partly) why I have never been able to stick to and cultivate a skill. Guitar, bass, drums, working out, painting – if I don’t see immediate results, I lose my drive and give up. The first few plants I have grown from seed were sweet peas, lupins and cosmos, all quick germinators. They popped out of the soil in no time and I was so excited to meet them! But I have tried my hand with other plants too, slightly more relaxed, laid back, taking their time, in no hurry to see my face. And I’d wait and wait and worry about what I did wrong and consider poking around the soil to see if anything is waking up and I’d wonder if I should just give up cultivating a friendship with that plant because clearly I’ve made a mistake somewhere. My impatience carries the unpleasant cost of negative feelings that I do not want to associate with something I enjoy so much. So, I’ll keep nurturing my friends until one morning they stretch out a hand and leg and their heads pop up smiling at the sun, to see me smiling down at them. Trying again Every failure is a lesson. Every seed that never wakes and every plant that falls ill and frail is a chance to learn. I assess my actions, I research what others have tried, and I give it another go. And I will keep researching and trying, because something will work in the end. My failures are opportunities to drive my curiosity and motivation. Does this plant prefer a shadier spot than I thought? Why? Does that plant need way more water? Why?As I am prone to impatience, I tend to prefer the easy way out. When something is no longer easy and effortless, I no longer want to see it in a negative light. I want to use the occasion to challenge myself, expand my skills and knowledge and to know that when I try again, I’ll be a little bit closer to getting it right. That’s it from me for now. I hope this inspires you and makes you think about the impact gardening has had on your life!

You can find the original post here and keep up to date with Klaudia's blog.

We'll be showcasing more of our wonderful volunteers in the future so make sure you say hello to them when you spot them down the garden.

Happy Earth Day! Love from MUD x

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