Hello! This is the official newsletter of Manchester Urban Diggers.
Kitchen build, our brand new Saturday menu, our monthly music mix, yoga sessions and much more in this months newsletter...
Follow us on Instagram @mud_cic and @plattfields_marketgarden for regular updates on what we get up to in our gardens.
A Natural Pace - A Music Mix
Welcome to our music mix segment A Natural Pace these mixes are crafted for you to listen to whilst being in nature. This weeks mix was curated by Lulu for you to listen to whilst you are in nature. Here are some words from Lulu on how she recommends you listen to the music:
Step outside, put your headphones on, take a walk in the park, explore some woods or just sit in your garden.
Close your eyes, what can you smell? The clipped grass, soft damp wood, a fragrant flower, a small scent on the breeze gently entering your space.
Open your eyes, how does the music soundtrack what you can see? Are you an explorer in a new world? Perhaps you have witnessed something monumental, a bee dancing, a leaf dancing, or maybe a stranger dancing. Is there movement? Has it synchronized with the music? Is nature connecting with your state, a hum, a deep purr.
The birds and the plants take a peek at you, listen to them as they are far wiser than we will ever be. Take a deep breath and let your thoughts drift into memories, moments, imagined worlds.
The journey begins...
So you may have heard us banging on about the brick building if you’ve been to the garden at any point over the last year or so. After lots of hard work and planning we have received a loan from GMCVO and have been given the go ahead from MCC to transform the derelict old toilet block in to a snazzy new kitchen for catering and our cafe!
Work has already begun by us ripping all the old walls and bits out a whilst we wait for planning permission we’re getting everything else in place. We’ll keep you up to date but fingers crossed we’ll be ready this summer
...ooooh AND also keep your eyes out for our new disabled pathway we’re getting put in with the help of @patagoniamanchester which is VERY overdue. We can’t wait! Can you?!
Nature For Health
The Nature for Health service aims to tackle and prevent mental ill health by providing Social and Therapeutic Horticulture on prescription for Manchester residents. Social and Therapeutic horticulture is the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills.
As our springtime Nature for Health course has now come to an end, we can reflect on the last 6 weeks before the summer sessions begin. During these weekly sessions at Platt Fields Market Garden we have sown, nurtured and grown not just plants, but ourselves as people. Each week has been different and often activities have been influenced by the everchanging Manchester weather. It is always humbling to have our time spent in the garden determined by the weather, bringing us back to a different pace of life away from the routines of the modern workplace.
Our sessions have provided a supportive environment to meet others and bond through the shared experience of gardening, but also through our own varied experiences in life. By pausing to smell, taste and admire the herbs and flowers of the garden, we’ve been able to slow down and engage our senses. We’ve gathered mint leaves to make tea on the fire, dried calendula petals to create hand balms and taken freshly sown sunflower plants to nurture at home. It’s been a positive 6 weeks and through our activities each participant has added their own personal mark to the garden that will continue to flourish. The sessions have reminded me of a sentence from a book I’ve been reading recently:
‘The people and the garden are good medicine for each other.’
If you would like to sign up for the next Nature for Health sessions or know someone else that would be interested please download the information pack here or email Laura@sowthecity.org
Bahary Kurdi / Kurdish Spring
We have just completed the first run of the Bahary Kurdi volunteer days, and what an amazing time it's been. We've welcomed new volunteers to the garden and shared lots of special food and stories. The new plot is coming along, with a herbaceous border, no-dig vegetable beds, a huge bed, and (almost) a greenhouse. We've been growing lots of grapevine, chard and onions to use in everyone's favourite dish, Dolma. From 21st June we'll be beginning the summer volunteer days every Tuesday 10:30AM - 4:30PM at Platt Fields Market Garden. Please share with anyone you think may be interested asking them to email email@example.com to sign-up.
Our Thursday volunteer days at Platt Fields Market Garden have been super fun and filled with all the delights of growing food. We're closely following the growing season practicing and sharing an array of activities and techniques. We've been sowing, repotting, planting, composting, and of course eating, chatting, and laughing together.
The One MCR volunteer days are every Thursday 10:00AM - 4:00PM at Platt Fields Market Garden.
You can sign-up to the programme using this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1EhKUh3d_qnFHv1afmiKXrWSL054lqde4im_tvKg1E4I/edit Before signing-up make sure you are registered to volunteer with us. You can do this via our website: https://www.wearemud.org/volunteer
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
We are delighted to be offering our catering services for events, workshops, workdays and parties. Whether in your own venue or at Platt Fields Market Garden, our chefs Meg and Iman can provide a variety of catering options from coffee and cakes to buffets and seated lunches for up to 50 people.
We aim to be a sustainable and ethical kitchen, and all waste is composted where possible which feeds our own soil and plants. We use as much produce from the garden as we can, and the rest is sourced from farms through Organic North Wholesalers and local suppliers like Albert Street Bakery.
Please email email@example.com for more information or follow this link to find out more.
“We love coming to Platt Fields Market Garden to enjoy their community space, the friendly atmosphere and the delicious food. The cakes are made to fit dietary requirements and are DELICIOUS. The soup is hearty and the catering is top notch. Platt Fields created a safe and cosy space for us to meet up over lockdown when other venues were closed and for that we are really grateful and will definitely keep coming back.”
- MCR Cares
Weekends at Platt Fields Market Garden (PFMG)
Saturday's just got even better...
Plant shop, coffees, cakes, veg stall, kids games, breakfast and lunch AND skill building volunteering... The new Saturday opening hours are 9am - 4pm, we are open to the public.
Volunteer day added
Every Saturday, we will be working with Mike in the garden 10am - 12pm. The two hours will focus on a particular skill, technique or aspect of the garden. From cleaning and sharpening tools to harvesting tomatoes and basil. The first session, this Saturday 21st May, will be part of our Community Compost scheme and it will involve lots of worms, hopefully! Once the 2 hours is up you will be welcome to stay and practice until the garden shuts at 4pm. To find out more and what will be covered each week, sign up to our volunteering page via our website and join the website groups.
Brand new plant shop
This month we launched the opening of our new plant shop. We currently have lots of chillies, raspberries, coriander, borage, chive and tomato plants for sale... and lots more coming soon too! We also have some lovely hanging baskets for sale.
The shop will continue to be updated with seasonal herbs and plants throughout the year, so make sure to pop in and say hello, there will always be someone on hand to help talk you through our selection of plants and give you advice on how to grow them at home. The plant shop will be open alongside our veg stall, where you can collect your pre-ordered veg boxes or buy some of our fresh produce.
Breakfast served from 9am
Starting 4th June we will be serving hot breakfast food from our brand new fire pit each Saturday morning. This will be alongside cakes and coffees from Grounded MCR, who serve up the best sweet treats and beverages on their little yellow bike. You can't miss them and you wouldn't want to! Lunch options will continue to be served until 4pm.
Download our summer menu below.
Let's Get Muddy - FREE Kids Workshops Saturday mornings until 11th June
Annie will be continuing to run free kids play sessions in The Frog House for the next two weeks before she jets off to Canada for the summer. Come and have some muddy fun before she goes!
Let your little ones sing, dance, tell stories, explore the garden and get crafty in Platt Fields Market Garden. The sessions are free but as always, donations are welcome.
Manchester Histories Festival - Angel Meadow Park - 11th June
We are delighted to be involved in this years Manchester Histories Festival, offering planting workshops throughout the day. The line up for the day looks brilliant, with live music, food demonstrations, a Q&A with Carolyn Steel, writer of Sitopia, poetry and so much more. We are very excited to be a part of this great day, we look forward to seeing some familiar faces and getting to meet more people too.
Learn about how higher fungi bang, and other ways they share genetic material with others - with Myco, the Manchester Mushroom Co-op.
The weekend we have all been waiting for is getting closer and closer. There are still some tickets available for both of the Friday timeslots if you haven't already got your hands on one.
Get Involved - Volunteering and Opportunities
To find out about our weekly volunteering opportunities and to keep up to date with projects, please visit our website.
If you would like to sign up to become a volunteer, you will need to become a member.
An easy-to-follow sign up tutorial video can be found here:
Dishin' The Dirt
We want to showcase some of the incredible things that are going on around Greater Manchester that are good for our health, the environment and our minds. Dishin' The Dirt will serve you some of the sustainable things happening around the city that are working towards our shared goal of healthy mind, body and planet.
Yoga with Liddy
Specialising in Yoga, Tantra & Wild Heart Living, we are delighted to be inviting Liddy into our garden every Monday for a Yoga class 5:30pm - 6:30pm.
"Connect to the earth, feel the sun's rays on your face, join a conscious community of movers.
What started out as a way to share the practice during lockdown 1.0, has become my most eagerly awaited classes of the year."
Classes are £10pp / 5pp for PFMG Volunteers.
One of our objectives as a Community Interest Company (CIC) is to become a sustainable business that can provide free services to those who need it most. To achieve this, we have a diverse range of income that includes the sale of produce and services as well as receiving funding from a variety of organisations. We are always looking for donations to help sustain and improve our projects, at the same time re-using and recycling. We'll take kitchen waste and coffee grounds to feed our compost, unwanted seeds and plants, cuttings from your garden or tools you no longer use. We'll even take cold hard cash. Eventually, we would like to create a business that can support itself, but so far our funders and contributors have been a lifeline and we could not provide the valuable community work we do without them.
We don’t receive core funding, so these project grants are essential for us to continue delivering our work promoting wellbeing in the community. Speaking of which, we always welcome donations of any amount!
We also have a Patreon Fundraiser where you can claim rewards for your donations, including MUD Merchandise and Membership Cards which give you great discounts in our shop.
See you soon!