We are Manchester-based Social Enterprise Sow the City. We need your help to create a brilliant new green roof for local people to enjoy. In Manchester, there's not always space to build lovely gardens on the ground, so our idea is to use the space that we have to create a space to grow and relax on top of a building!
Growing food in cities makes a lot of sense – gardens, allotments, patios, rooftops and window-ledges all have the potential to provide us with an abundance of free and nutritious food. Plus food grown in urban environments can help reduce food transportation, create jobs, and strengthen communities.
We all have food in common – we eat it, crave it, and dream about it. So let’s celebrate and grow it!
Green roofs provide loads of benefits - they offer extra space for growing and chilling out, but they're great for the environment. A green roof creates new habitat for wildlife, stores water, improves air quality and moderates temperatures. We want to explore green technology in establishing our green roof garden, different growing techniques (e.g. hydroponics, permaculture techniques, green walls) and best practice so that we can help others to create similar projects!
This fab new roof garden will be built on top of our new community makerspace the Boiler House! The Boiler House is a large industrial building in the heart of the Moss Side community, it used to be a utilities building and a depot. The building will become a centre for sustainability, including equipment for upcylcing and creating, and bringing people together to learn and share practical skills. The Boiler House is being established by Sow the City in partnership with Big Society Capital, One Manchester and GMCVO. The centre is unique in Moss Side, providing large workshop space for creative and practical projects, that benefit the local community. To find out more visit our website.
We make sure that our activities focus on on promoting mental health and wellbeing, sustainability, care for the environment, and empower people! The addition of a green roof to this space makes sense and will provide even more opportunities for community involvement, education and enjoyment, while greening up the building.
We need to raise £8,000 to create an intensive roof garden. An intensive green roof has deep soil which allows you to grow all sorts of fruit, vegetables and even small shrubs and trees! This kind of green roof has the most benefits to the environment, it replaces the ecosystem that a building sits upon, making up for the habitat that the building takes away.
There's more to a green roof than you might think. To create a long term, sustainable space and a garden which works properly lots of layers need to be installed to support the garden, insulate the building and allow for drainage.
We will work with volunteers, run courses and share the experience with local people and across our network of charity, community and growing groups. Our organisation have worked with growing groups to create green roof gardens across the city, even building a special green roof exhibit for Dig the City Festival in 2015!
Sow the City is an award winning social enterprise based in Manchester. Established in 2009 with a few packets of seeds and some compost, we’re now the leading specialist food-growing company in the city. We work with communities, providing workshops in self-sufficiency, food growing, carpentry and cooking. Sow the City began running practical and creative courses at the Boiler House in May 2018. Visit our website to find out more.
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