Digging in Didsbury – Sat April 22nd food planting

These days it seems Manchester Climate Monthly only publishes stuff if there’s a direct relation to the upcoming climate hustings. (Since you ask – it’s on Tues 17th April, from 7pm, at the Friends Meeting House. “Is Manchester City Council taking the right action on climate change?” Cllrs Nigel Murphy and Marc Ramsbottom, Brian Candeland, lots of audience mingling and questioning. Free!!)

But if talking about things isn’t enough for you (cough cough), and you want to get soil under your fingernails, then Amanda from Didsbury Dinners has some news for you!

Earth Day big food plant

Residents, schools, clubs and businesses: help us support Earth Day (22 April) with a big food planting day in Didsbury.

Seven trees are enough to offset your carbon footprint for a year.* What’s more, planting lovely edible plants helps to create more of a sense of community, makes our neighbourhood an even more healthy, attractive place to live, and creates local, seasonal food in every sense of the word.
There are three main ways to get involved:

1. Grow your own at home, big or small. Whether it’s a windowsill chilli plant or pot of herbs, or a tree in your back garden, we want to shout about it! Please email your food plant photos to us with a brief description, and we’ll add them to a photo montage on our website. The idea is to capture people’s imaginations with what we can all grow at home, with minimal effort.

Love to grow your own fresh fruit and veg, but wouldn’t have a clue where to start? The real-life case studies on our website show how it’s done. You can even grow mushrooms indoors for £1 (with no need for green fingers, I might add…)

2. Join our community growing team as a volunteer for the day (or hour)! We’ll be planting at our new community gardens on Saturday 14 and Saturday 21 April (12-4 pm), and many hands make light work. Help us to plant new fruit bushes and trees… to be enjoyed by anyone in the community for free, for years to come. Special working parties can be arranged for groups of 6 or more business or school volunteers on a variety of dates around Earth Day. Just email us for details. We even provide free refreshments while you work! No previous experience is necessary.

3. Fund our planting (and eco-cookery) efforts via Crowdfunder. Even if all you have is a spare quid, we can grow it into much more! See our pitch on Crowdfunder for details of how we’ll use your money, and the rewards that we can offer you, in return.

Cooking up a storm
We’re also hoping to cook up a storm with our new free eco-cookery sessions, starting up in autumn.

We piloted these recently with a free four-week course at West Didsbury Sure Start Centre. As well as teaching people how to make cheap, tasty meals, it was an opportunity to make new friends. Priority places on the course were given to people with below average cookery skills, a small regular income, and low savings.

We plan to teach 100+ more people how to cook in 2012, and are currently recruiting for a planning group to help us to reach this ambitious goal.

A warm welcome awaits you at the first planning group meeting:
Thursday 26 April
6.30-8pm
West Didsbury Sure Start Centre
The Manchester College Fielden Campus
Barlow Moor Road
M20 2PG

So, if you have a few hours spare, a flair for any of the following, and want to make a positive difference to the community, please email community.cooking@yahoo.co.uk (or just show up on 26 April):
• organising/planning
• admin (such as writing/replying to emails)
• cooking
• teaching
• marketing
• energy-saving.

* On offsetts – MCFly editor – see the Tyndall Centre’s Professor Kevin Anderson here.

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Monthly Magazine/newsletter about all things climate and resilience in Greater Manchester.
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