Growing Spaces Starts to Germinate

Growing Spaces is all about encouraging people in New Mills to grow their own food. We’ve blogged about this a couple of times and also had an ideas-generating meeting back in November. (Follow this link to see more details:

Last week, a number of us met up to discuss what we could do in practice. We decided to focus on two strands with a number of specific activities:

1. Providing opportunities for practical ‘hands-on’ experience

  • Beardwood Farm is providing a space for people to use to grow their own food, known as Beardwood Natural Living Project. We want to help people to cultivate crops there, involving a mix of new and more experienced gardeners to share skills, experience and confidence.
  • We want to provide people the materials to kick-start them in growing food on their own premises.

2. Skill and experience sharing, with the emphasis on what works in New Mills

  • This will involve demonstrations of techniques, both at events and through real case studies and examples.
  • Skill and experience sharing through question time type events and meetings.
  • Document experience and techniques of what works in New Mills, and make this available online.

There is the potential for the project to expand in various directions in future, for example by addressing the end uses of produce, like cooking, preserving, marketing, composting, etc., or into animal foodstuffs such as egg production.

Of course, we’re not doing this alone and we’re not starting from scratch so Transition New Mills be working closely with New Mills Allotment and Gardening Society, the Community Orchard and Beardwood Natural Living Project. And also reaching out to other organisations that might like to get involved such as local businesses.

We’re quite excited about this project and would like as many people involved as possible. If you have expertise in growing food, or land for growing food others could use, or the time to help out with admin or publicity, please do get in touch: we would love to hear from you.

If you think you (or your friends or neighbours) want to grow more food and could stand to benefit from what we’re doing, watch this space for what’s going on and join in! Follow this blog for updates.

If you’re the kind of person who likes a bit more detail, have a look at the current draft of our project plan. Growing Spaces Project Plan-DRAFT1

And feel free to provide feedback and tell us what you think by commenting on this blog.

Published by Michael Daw

When working for Manchester Met University, I'm responsible for facilitating strategic relationships with businesses and other external organisations. When doing Transition New Mills, I'm on the Steering Committee and facilitating the Energy Action Group.

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