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Spirit of Manchester Story - Fresh and tasty food, from community garden to table in less than five minutes

28 Sep 2018 - 16:35 by tony.russ

Sow the City, first established in 2009, is an award winning social enterprise based in Manchester. Now the leading specialist food-growing company in the city, Sow the City believes in encouraging people in urban areas to grow and eat nutritious food, whilst also strengthening local communities, reducing food transportation and creating jobs.

Today (28th of September), Sow the City has been working on building a 3 bay compost system at the Well, Ardwick. Louella, a volunteer who came up with the designs for the permaculture garden at the Well, the first one of its kind in Manchester, says that “the project really helps the guys who live here at the Well.” Louella explained that the 3 bay compost system helps to get rid of waste without sending anything to the landfill, whilst also saving money by avoiding the need to buy expensive compost.

Not only is the garden highly eco-friendly, it also provides the residents and the wider community of Ardwick with a readily-available and free food source. The food that is grown in the gardens is used to cook fresh meals for the residents. Jon, founder of Sow the City, says that the food grown is much fresher and even tastier than what can be found in local supermarkets, and can go from garden to table in less than 5 minutes! Members of the wider community are also welcome to visit the gardens and take the fresh produce to enjoy at home.

Paul, a resident at the Well who was involved in today’s session, says that the project has been beneficial to everyone involved. He explained that it “motivated him to garden more and to develop new skills”. He also added that it was highly resourceful and that it felt brilliant to know he was eating food that he had had the opportunity to grow.

Andy, another resident at the Well, explained that the gardening was “therapeutic for him” and provided him with an opportunity “to give something back to the community.” He explained that everyone involved is really friendly and the project feels like “having a little family”.

To find out more, see www.sowthecity.org/index.htm

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