This year we are encouraging people to think about growing their own vegetables. Even if you only have a small space, there is plenty that you can grow.

To help you get started, we are giving away some self contained growing boxes to help you start growing in even the smallest of spaces. Each box contains everything you need to grow bush tomatoes, dwarf beans, a herb, chillies and some flowers. Soil, biodegradable pots and instructions will be included in the box (which can be used as a propagator). Even if you are still isolating, gardening is a great new hobby that can do from home and the end result will be something delicious to eat.

Five reasons to grow your own food include:

1. More Nutritious

When growing your own food, your food intake can be more diverse and healthy, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Fruit and vegetables that have just been picked will be really tasty with as many nutrients as possible.

2. Fresh Air and physical activity

Gardening is a fun way to get outside for some fresh air and physical activity. Exercise, such as gardening helps to improve heart health and immune system response, it decreases stress levels, improves motor skills, flexibility and body strength. Getting regular exercise can relieve anxiety and depression, while boosting energy.

3. Vitamin D

Being outside gardening is a great way to absorb vitamin D, which is known as the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is crucial in order to maintain healthy bones and teeth, and it can also protect against certain diseases.

4. Saves Money

You can save money by growing your own vegetables and fruits.

5. Better for the Environment

The Long distance transportation of produce relies heavily on fossil fuels. Growing your own food helps to reduce this, which makes a difference to the environment. Also, by growing your own food, you are not using chemicals or pesticides harm other plants and animals (as well as not being good for you.

How can I get one of these boxes?

If you live in one of One Manchester’s areas and would like a growing box please email community.development@onemanchester.co.uk or text 07984 493515

Sow the City have some free advanced courses this summer which you can book by emailing kieron@sowthecity.org

How to Build a Wildlife Pond
 
A fun day learning and having a go at digging, levelling, planting and maintaining a wildlife pond. This is a great day out with like-minded people who love ponds. So much to learn and discuss.
 
Venue: Riverbank Community Garden Behind co-operative supermarket Chorlton Park M21 7QH
When: Saturday 8th May 10am - 4pm,
 
Hügelkultur

A hands-on workshop hosted by Platt Fields Market Garden and MUD. Hügelkultur is a horticultural technique where a mound is constructed from decaying wood debris and other compostible plant materials are added. Adopted by permaculture advocates, the technique improves your yields by improving soil fertility, water retention, and increasing soil temperature.

Venue: Platt Fields Market Garden, Platt Fields Park, Rusholme / Fallowfield
When: Wednesday 25th May, 12:30pm – 4pm
 
Social and Therapeutic Horticulture
 
The Lalley Community Allotment will host this full day looking at how gardening can be used to improve people’s physical and mental health. In this ‘train the trainer’ session, Sow the City will present some of the evidence around the benefits of nature and show you how to tailor sessions to address particular health needs of your service users, volunteers or wider community. 
 
Venue: Lalley Centre, Eggington St, Collyhurst M40 7RG
When: Thursday 10th June 10am - 4pm
 
Bowled over! Building a community garden
 
Help deliver the very first stage of  the ‘Blue Bell Green’ community garden at Chapel Street Park, Levenshulme. This hands-on workshop will involve a moderate to intense workout for those that like a challenge, plus learning skills such as raised bed building and how to create in ground growing beds successfully.
 
Venue: Chapel Street Park, M19 3GH
When: Early June date TBC, 10:30am - 4pm

 

Have you got any suggestions for specific courses you would like to see this year? Or want to host a workshop as part of Growing Manchester? Get in touch with Kieron at kieron@sowthecity.org