Is it people who can plan ahead? Is it the sunny, well drained site? Is is the ongoing grant? Is it a sympathetic neighbourhood? Is it the local café who's willing to buy your surplus veg? Each project is unique; each has its strengths and challenges; each has to overcome different barriers; each has different aspirations and goals.
Growing Manchester is a new programme of support for community growing projects to become more sustainable for the long-term. The first step has been to look at the elements of a successful project. This covers a wide range of issues, from maintaining long-term soil fertility, to understanding your legal responsibilities, to land access, to involving more people.
The programme will offer training, tailored support (e.g. land advice, soil contamination tests, project planning etc.), site visits & planning, and funding. It will start in April 2010 with horticulture training and a one day course that introduces the programme and looks at how to fulfill the criteria for support and become a more sustainable project.
Growing Manchester is a partnership between Food Futures, Hulme Community Garden Centre, HARP and the Kindling Trust. Kindling's role has been to develop a day-long course looking at making our projects more sustainable, touching on the issues raised by the numerous community growing projects across the city.