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  • Writer's pictureMUD

A Spring Mix

Updated: Apr 28, 2022

Hello! This is the official newsletter of Manchester Urban Diggers.

We hope that this newsletter offers you a chance to slow down for 15 minutes as you learn about all of the great things we have been doing and have coming up for our community. We have even curated a music mix in this newsletter that you can listen to as you read through.

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 A Natural Pace, these mixes are crafted for you to listen to whilst being in nature. This is a monthly mix curated by MUD staff for you to listen to whilst you are in nature.

This week's music has been chosen by Mike Hodson.

As the weather starts to brighten we will be spending more time in our outdoor spaces.

Take some time to be on your own in nature. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds that are happening around you. What can you hear? The sound of cars, people travelling to work or to see their friends and family. Allow yourself to unwind and be still. What can you smell? The scent of freshly cut grass or a neighbours BBQ.

Enjoy the music mix we have curated for you in whatever way you choose.


We are in a very transitional phase at MUD at the moment. Lots of things are happening and changing around us. We have loads of new projects that are coming to fruition which means that an idea that started 6 years ago on one little unused bowling green is now expanding right across Manchester. Things are happening. We are excited. We are so grateful for the hard work of our staff, volunteers and members of the community that have helped us to get us to where we are now.

Right now we are asking for some small donations that could help us as we are going through these big changes. As a community interest company, we don’t always have the funds to buy new and so we are always looking for donations of whatever kind to help save some cash. We also would much rather reuse or upcycle what we can rather than buy new if possible.

Small shed / Storage unit

Over the spring and summer months we are going to have regular Forest School sessions ran by Outdoor Adventurers Forest School on Monday's and Tuesday's at Platt Fields Market Garden. To find out more information and to get involved, check out their webpage. To make these sessions great and engaging, we have lots of kids gardening equipment, crafts and accessories. However, we currently don’t have much space to store all of this. We are looking for a small shed or storage container to make a nice area for all of the little ones to enjoy in the garden.

Call out for food providers

We have loads of events coming up over the next couple of months at Platt Fields Market Garden. We are looking for food providers to come and host stalls at the events. We are looking for businesses that sell things like eggs, cheese, juices, bread, fresh vegetables, dispensaries, etc. If this is you, please contact us at

Office Supplies

We have just moved into our new office space in AWOL studios in Ancoats. Having a consistent space for meetings and office work is something that we have been working towards for a while and so we are really excited to settle in. We are looking for some basic office supplies such as staplers, pens, whiteboards, cork boards, shelving and other furniture too.

Pankhurst Plot

Pankhurst Plot are getting ready to celebrate their one year anniversary. We have just erected the polytunnel and are looking for some things to live and grow in there. Right now we are looking for secateurs, herbs, water butt, bird feeders, veg plants. Please send photos of anything you may have!

Tools, cuttings, fruit plants

Lastly, we are looking for some gardening tools and fruit plants and cuttings. And as much soft fruit and trees as possible.

Thanks so much in advance for your help! If you have anything that could be of use to us, please contact us at


Looking for somewhere to host a birthday celebration? Need space for a meeting? Our garden is just that place.

We are delighted to be offering a catering service 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 for more information.

“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


- All the kids from Tilda's birthday party


What's On Weekly

We have lots of events happening throughout Spring to get involved in. From volunteering, exploring nature for your health and wellbeing to community lunches. There is something for everyone at MUD. We have gardens all over the city, including Rusholme, Salford and Chorlton, and our goal is to keep on expanding further with future projects.

For more information on how to get involved with our volunteering projects, see below.


Get Involved - Volunteering and Opportunities

We have loved having all of our volunteers back in our gardens and seeing them fill up with members of the community.

Friday's at PFMG

On Friday's we host an open volunteering session from 10am-4pm at Platt Fields Market Garden. We are also inviting you down to the garden to enjoy our Community Lunch. We are welcoming members of the local community to come down at 1pm and spend an hour with us, enjoying food and good company in our garden. You do not need to be a volunteer to join us. There is a suggested donation of £3 for the food. You can find out more and reserve a space here.

For now, please join our website Gardening Groups for regular updates about the projects:

An easy-to-follow sign up tutorial video can be found here:


Click here to find out about all of our current volunteering opportunities and how to get involved.

Before signing-up to any of our programmes, make sure you are registered to volunteer with us. You can do this via our website:


Our lovely Alistair is making a journey back down South for a new job. We will be very sad to see him go but this also means we are now are looking for a new Fundraising Manager. For more information and a full breakdown of the job role, see here.

Job Type -

Part Time - 3 days / week

Salary -

£24,000 pro rata

Contract Type -


A message from Alistair:

I’m leaving my post as Fundraising Manager with MUD, to start a new position in London. I’m leaving with a heavy heart - MUD’s been an absolute joy to work for and an example of what can be achieved when people work together. I’ve really enjoyed working with the whole team on new ideas for projects and new ways to fund our work, making great pals along the way.


We recently reached the milestone of £100,000 in successful grants, to keep delivering vital work for our communities and to keep growing sustainably. I can’t lie, leaving on £99,500 would have been a bit disappointing! This funding has allowed MUD staff to get paid to deliver our work, create new jobs within the business, purchase new tools for our volunteers, build new community gardens and improve our site facilities. We rely on this funding to keep going and to keep our community gardens alive, so we’re really thankful to our funders for their support and to our volunteers and the wider community who continue to advocate for our work.

There’s loads of exciting developments to come, at Platt Fields Market Garden, Pankhurst Plot, Mona Street and our latest project at The East Manchester Academy, and I'm so excited to see how MUD continues to grow, even if it's from slightly further away! xxx


Upcoming Events at Platt Fields Market Garden


THIS SUNDAY, May 1st 2022 we are hosting a Spring Fair alongside EAT WELL MCR, a nonprofit organisation providing meals made with love by chefs to people sidelined by poverty in Greater Manchester.

The line-up includes:

  • low intervention wines from Wines Under the Bonnet and Otros Vinos

  • locally brewed beers from Pomona Island Brew

  • cocktails and alcohol free botanical drinks from Into the Gathering Dusk

  • wine and snacks from Suppher

  • food stalls from Isca, Blackbird Pantry and MUD kitchen

  • Ice cream from Gingers Comfort Emporium

  • DJ sets from Living Room Dance Club and Moder Grooves

  • Free kids activities with Annie from MUD

  • Workshops and tastings from Caroline Dubois (Isca), Into the Gathering Dusk, and Platt Fields Market Garden.

  • AND an incredible pop up restaurant from Wildfire, featuring alumni from Where the Light Gets In, the Moorcock and the Creameries!



We are releasing an extra 200 tickets for Friday 8th July 5pm - 9pm. Tickets will go on sale at 12pm on Friday 29th May.

There'll be two bars pouring some of the best beer from north and south of England.

Track will be curating the North & Deya curating the South.

Featuring beers from:


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.

Kindling Trust Mindfulness Sessions

Based at Woodbank Community Food Hub Stockport, The Kindling Trust are delivering some creative wellbeing workshops.

They will be continuing to host a bi-weekly Natural Fabric Dyeing workshop on Saturday mornings from the 7th May - 2nd July. Join them as they teach you the art of using natural materials to dye fabric. Tickets available here.

Their Slow Stitch workshops take place each Thursday from 6:30pm - 8:00pm. These aim to allow you to slow down and enjoy the mindful practice of stitching in a relaxed environment. Tickets can be found here.

Arts for Good Health – Communitree Woodwork Project

This six-week creative wood working course is inspired by nature and the changing seasons. Though guided ideas generation we will create a collage design which in turn will inspire the creation of a group wooden tree sculpture - using re-cycled wood and food dye.

We are all individuals with our own unique experience of life, with our own opinions, interests and passions. Coming together with the simple common interest of using creativity to benefit wellbeing we become part of a community. We will each create a section of the tree which together creates a colourful and uplifting ‘Communitree.’

The course is facilitated by Recovery Pathway’s Benchmark woodwork tutor, John Baylis; and Green Wellbeing arts tutor Tamzin Forster – who will share their love of nature, upcycling, colour and the use of creativity to benefit wellbeing.

When: Monday's starting 9 May - 13 June, 1.30-3.30 with a break

Where: Benchmark, Unit 8, Wilsons Park, Monsall Road, Newton Heath, M40 8WN Accessibility: Ground floor unit

Who: A small group (4-6 people)

You can expect to take part in: Discussion Ideas generation Collage creation Colour mixing – using food dyes Woodwork – this includes using woodwork tools and machinery Painting and varnishing

What will we get out of the course? Research shows that by building the Five Ways to Wellbeing into our weekly activities we can boost and maintain positive mental health and wellbeing. Keep learning - Build new and upon existing skills in ideas generation, design and woodwork. Use colour to show meaning and learn how colour can boost mood. Build confidence and self-esteem using design techniques, woodwork tools and machinery. Build a sense of achievement and progress through learning.

Give - As well as sharing skills, ideas, thoughts and opinions, at the end of the course we will share our communitree with the wider community. Sharing our reflections on weekly activities we can inspire one another with different ways of seeing the world.

Be active - This course can be as involved as you like or are able. There is opportunity to use woodworking machinery and tools. We will be looking at the best posture for you and encouraging breaks away from repetitive motion.

Take notice - Take inspiration from nature using the tree as a metaphor for ‘community’; notice natural surroundings and the changing seasons; and the seasons within seasons. Experience how colour can boost mood.This type of noticing can enable us to live in the moment and re-frame how we may look at the world and situations we are in.

Connect to others through discussion on the theme of nature and seasons, and share thoughts and opinions with others. There will be opportunity at the start of the session to settle in and relax with a brew with the group. We will also encourage people to share something positive experienced during the session.

Who to contact: If you are interested in this course and/or would like to know more, please contact John 07443767833 or

Save The Bees Protest

Saturday 20th April - St Peter's Square

Manchester: assemble to save the bees! 🐝

There’s a protest this weekend at St. Peter’s square where we will be calling on the UK gov to enforce a total ban on the production and export of bee-killing pesticides. Seed bomb making will be available for everyone!

For a second year, the UK government has allowed the “emergency“ use of a bee-killing pesticide, neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (TMX).

This pesticide has been banned in the EU since 2013. It harms the nervous systems and navigational abilities of bees and other pollinators. Yet we are facing a climate + biodiversity crisis - we cannot afford to lose these insects.

This emergency authorisation is for the UK’s sugar beet industry. Without using TMX, 70% of sugar beet yields could be affected.

But toxic pesticides aren’t the solution. Harvesting sugar beet has caused significant soil loss in the UK, estimated to be 2.9 million tonnes per year.

Farmers must be supported to transition away from harmful agricultural practices. Reliance upon toxic pesticides completely contradicts efforts towards restoring UK biodiversity and our relationship with land.

On 30th April 2022, we call on the government to enforce a total ban on bee-toxic pesticides! See you at St Peter’s Square, Manchester! 🐝✊

Growing Together Levenshulme - Volunteers Needed

(Levenshulme and District Allotments, end of Highfield Road)

Growing Together Levenshulme is a therapeutic horticulture project for disadvantaged groups. They run gardening activities at their allotment to build community and networks of solidarity, whilst learning and sharing skills around vegan-organic growing, and creating a beautiful and relaxing garden together.

Every Tuesday and Friday mornings they run gardening sessions for refugees and asylum seekers at their community allotment.

They are currently looking for volunteers to help run some therapeutic horticulture sessions for their participants.

If you would like to get involved or for more information you can get in touch at


Fresh radishes should come with some leaves, which are edible. They are a bit tough and fibrous so best cooked or blended. Here they make a vegan pesto to eat with fresh radishes.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

· 50g of nuts/seeds (any- blanched almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, pistachios or pine nuts)

· 1 bunch of radishes, with tops/leaves (about 4-6 radishes)

· ½ lemon (juiced)

· Nutritional Yeast (or use a hard cheese, like parmesan or pecorino)

· Salt

· Black pepper

· Olive oil (optional)


1. Remove the radish tops from the radishes and place everything in cold water for 5-10minutes. This will help remove the dirt.

2. Rinse the leaves a little more and place into a blender. If you have a powerful blender, the stems can be used too. If not, just use the leaves.

3. Gently toast the nuts in a dry frying pan to release the oils and brown slightly (be careful not to brown too much or burn, or they will become bitter).

4. Add the nuts to the leaves in the blender. Also add: ¼ lemon, juiced 2 tsps. of Nutritional Yeast

Pinch of salt

5. Blend everything together and taste. Add more lemon and salt as needed. Add a little cold water to help it blend.

6. The leaves (and radishes) are quite peppery already but add black pepper if you like.

7. Blend in a splash of olive oil if using and blend again.

8. Rinse the radishes and slice thinly.

9. Use the pesto and radish slices as a topping for toast, rice cakes, rye crackers etc. Season with more salt and black pepper.


Thank You

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.

Pankhurst Plot

We’re delighted that with the help from MUD, Emmeline’s Pantry has secured funding with the Forrester’s Funding Trust. This will ensure our development work on The Pankhurst Plot can grow and we can continue our work on the site. We’ll have an extra volunteer day which will ensure growth in the vegetable patch and further expansion into our cut flower garden. Our under 5’s session Little Sprouts will continue with an added afternoon session running on a Monday. We will be celebrating our 1st birthday on the 26th May with a volunteer picnic and then also invite everyone to the garden for fairy day on the 28th May. There will be fairy fancy dress, arts and crafts stall, plant sale, drag queen story time and a face painter. We hope to see you soon!

We don’t receive core funding, so these project grants and funding bids 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 store.


Thank you for taking some time out of your day to read through our newsletter. We look forward to welcoming you into our gardens throughout Spring.

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