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Inspiration from Georgia & Azerbaijan

Updated: Apr 22

On our holiday to Georgia, I have been on the look out for inspiring projects, farming methods and buildings that we may be able to incorporate into our community gardens & future projects. If you haven't been, I would thoroughly recommend a trip to Georgia in the Caucasus. The country is sandwiched between and takes influence from Russia (to the North) and Turkey & Iran (to the South) whilst sitting next to Azerbaijan & Armenia.

It's climate is perfect for growing grapes & making wine and there is evidence of wine making dating back 8000 years - so there is much to learn! Everyone seems to make their own wine here and the homemade stuff tastes much better than the European wines I am used to at home. This is partly due to the varieties, the climate & the method of making which differs from the standard as traditionally they use clay pots and bury them beneath the ground (I'll let you google that yourself).

The climate lets everyone grow grapes by the ton if they desire and even in cities you cannot walk more than 50m without seeing a grapevine forcing its way through a pavement and climbing up to a near by balcony.

Batumi Botanical Gardens - Batumi.

Within the botanical gardens they put their bamboo patches to good use making all sorts of chairs, pagodas and structures. Pictured is also a large tiered rose garden with a polytunnel and potting shed & a home-made brush... not sure why we haven't got one of these already!

The Monastery of St. Nino at Bodbe Nunnery - Sighnaghi.

The Bodbe Nunnery was home to a beautiful gardens as well as a kitchen garden that provided for the nuns. The nuns had clearly inter-planted dwarf trees between crops which improves soil nutrition through falling leaves; the deeper roots of the trees can draw nutrients up from much lower than annual crops would be able to which are then added to the top soil through leaf decay. They also trained there branches along thin wires (espalier) to maximise growing space.

Genoa & Uliana Guest House.

We helped create a batch of white & red wine from locally grown grapes. After the grapes had been pressed, the fermentation begins immediately due to the naturally occurring bacteria on the grape skin. Unfortunately we were not around long enough to try the results but we got to taste some of last years batch!

A few other photos from Tbilisi, Batumi, Sighnaghi as well as some from Sheki in Azerbaijan that I thought might give us some ideas.


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Manchester Urban Diggers are urban community market gardeners based in Greater Manchester where we are making spaces for people to grow food.

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