Organic market garden for Manchester

by Reddy Lane Market Garden in Manchester, Greater Manchester, England

We did it
On 7th April 2018 we successfully raised £7,938 with 231 supporters in 28 days

To relocate Reddy Lane Market Garden, and provide more fresh, organic and locally grown veg at an affordable price to people in Manchester.

by Reddy Lane Market Garden in Manchester, Greater Manchester, England

New stretch target


We are now stretch funding for another £1k to buy a rabbit proof fence for the new site. This will cover the chicken wire and posts, and hire of a mini-digger and driver. My blog post on why they are so important is here.

We are crowdfunding £7000 to relocate Reddy Lane Market Garden, one of only three organic farms in the area, to a great  new site on the edge of Manchester.

"Manchester needs more fresh locally grown food." 

Your pledge will:
-purchase a commercial scale polytunnel,
-cover the costs of re-establishing the market garden on the new site
-and enable us to run volunteer sessions for the local community

We know we can do it, now we need you!                                              Support us to grow and  share our  crowdfund! 
#growlocal

Who's behind Reddy Lane Market Garden?
Reddy Lane Market Garden was set up in 2013 by Lindsay Whalen. She started writing about the politics of food 15 years ago where  she gained a strong understanding of the harm our current food system is  doing to the environment, and alternative organic and local systems.   After four years writing about food, Lindsay wondered if she could be a  grower herself and spent the next 10 years becoming an experienced organic grower.

"We produced  1.7 tonnes of veg from their half-acre site last year. We aim to grow 3 tonnes from the new site in 2019." 

Being from Manchester, Lindsay is well-known locally, and a familiar  face at Levenshulme market where she has been trading and running her veg box scheme for four  years. She loves trading there; her happy customers and their positive  feedback keep her going:

According to Christine, Levy Market Manager "Reddy Lane embody what  Levenshulme Market was set up to do." 

Lindsay's father George has been volunteering for years, and his practical experience has  been crucial in getting this far.  They produced  1.7 tonnes of veg from their half-acre site last year.

Behind the scenes support  comes from a steering group of four who bring their experience of  permaculture growing, community activism, educators and research.

What's happening?

Last year Reddy Lane was given notice to quit its site, but sees this challenge as a great opportunity to create the perfect organic growing site for producing local food for Manchester. We launched a search and managed to find land.                                                    

 "The full costs for the Reddy Lane re-build are actually £22k."  

It is not cheap to kit out a small farm. Lindsay is putting £5k in, which will pay for compost for the beds (essential in ‘no-dig’  systems), a storage container for tools, a compost loo and veg packing  area, and the first year’s insurance. 

To get the site up and running we need £3.5k for a 25m (90ft) x 6m (20ft) commercial scale polytunnel, with ventilation and £3.5k to cover the costs of relocating to the new site; erecting the polytunnel and building other infrastructure for the site; preparing the soil and making beds. Lindsay will run volunteer days for people to have a go at organic growing. We hope to secure a grant for the final £10k, but over-funding the crowdfund would be desirable too!

How will the £7000 be spent?
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Our 'no-dig' growing method will improve both crops and the soil.


The first crops will be herbs which will be on sale this Summer, with garlic going into the ground in Autumn. We will be fully operational by 2019, and aim to grow 3 tonnes of organic local veg.

We’ll be using the ‘no-dig’ method which can achieve high yields within a short time. It also preserves and improves the soil and saves time by reducing the need for weeding and irrigation.

Experience tells us that this method will enable us to run a profitable market garden, something that most farms find elusive. By profitable, we mean paying ourselves a living wage, not making mega bucks!

"Local  communities should be involved in growing, and be able to enjoy the  health benefits that this connection to land and nature can offer."

We want to contribute to learning about organic growing and will use the new site to measure and demonstrate how much food can be grown in half an acre, and share this learning with others. Through writing up and publishing the results, we hope others will recognise the value of smaller scale farming.
                                                                                                                                        
Endorsements
''A century ago Greater Manchester boasted a thriving community of  market gardens, but they're needed now more than ever.  Anyone who  genuinely cares about what they eat or where their food comes from  really must get behind Lindsay and George; what they're doing is  incredibly hard work, and that's even before the veg growing has  started!  From working with Reddy Lane over the years I've seen for  myself what grit and determination they have, and know that the support  they get will not be wasted.  I'm really looking forward to seeing the  new market garden develop, and wish Lindsay and George  courage and strength for the exciting times ahead!'' Charlotte Mason, Glebelands City Growers

"Reddy Lane Market Garden has been an integral part of Levenshulme  Market, a community-run social enterprise, for over four years. During  this time, the Levenshulme community has come to depend on Reddy Lane as  one of the only local sources of organically produced food that chimes  with their values – from the fresh, seasonal offerings on the stall to  the popular veg box scheme. Lindsay, George and Reddy Lane embody what  Levenshulme Market was set up to do, which is to support independent,  hard-working, ethical small businesses to create a more diverse shopping  environment in the heart of Levenshulme" Christine Felton, Market Manager, Levenshulme Market CIC.  

"It takes a lot of resilience and dedication to  start a veg growing business and make a success of it. Over the last few  years Lindsay has proved she has these qualities in abundance, and in  the process has brought healthy affordable veg to Levenshulme. Money is  always needed to set up a new market garden - putting in vital  infrastructure like polytunnels - but loans are often impossible to pay  back because food is cheap and profit for a veg grower is hard to come  by. So Lindsay deserves as much support as possible to help set up the new site" Rob Alderson, Moss Brook Growers

"Manchester needs more fresh locally grown food. A new market garden in the area would be a good start" Oli Rodker, Ecological Land Co-op

Press
Learn more about Lindsay’s experiences with Reddy Lane in this blog for Big Issue North here.

FAQs

Why is the polytunnel so expensive?
It’s huge! 27m x 6m! We want to maximise undercover growing, as it brings eight times the income. It has double doors, and side ventilation. 

Why can’t you get a loan?
There are higher running costs for the business at the new site which we can cover from selling veg, but we can’t cover the extra expense of repaying a loan too. Due to the risk of crops failing due to pests or weather, taking on a loan is not considered a good option for farming.

Aren’t there loads of organic growing projects in Manchester?
There are lots of great community growing and allotment projects, but none of them have organic certification and are on a commercial scale. There are only two organic farms growing within 10 miles of Levenshulme - we aim to be the third.

Why does it matter that food is grown locally?
It reduces food miles, and means food gets to the consumers fresher and with more nutrition. Brexit highlights the need to produce more food locally, so that we are less reliant on imported food.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£6 or more

Supporters page

Your name will appear on a supporters page on our website, along with our enduring gratitude.

£6 or more

19 of 20 claimed

A copy of Organic Alice book

'Organic Alice and the Wiggly Jiggly worm' is a story for preschool written by organic farmer Jenny Griggs and Ks1 children to explain how soil works.

£10 or more

5 of 20 claimed

Tour of Fir Tree Community Growers in St Helens

Admits one person to the tour of the farm given by Jenny Griggs, farm manager, and organic expert from Fir Tree Community Growers.

£10 or more

64 of 70 claimed

A delicious organic and seasonal veg box

A lovely box of organic veg to pick up from the stall at Levenshulme Market.

£15 or more

15 of 15 claimed

One of our homegrown large herb planters

With five organic herbs and your name on our supporters page.

£30 or more

10 of 11 claimed

Signed copy of Forest Gardening in Practice

Permaculture Author Tomas Remiarz will sign his new book with a personalised Reddy Lane crowdfunding message to you.

£30 or more

5 of 5 claimed

Veg box and herb planter bundle.

Organic veg box, homegrown herb planter with five herbs in, and your name on our supporters web page. To be picked up from the stall.

£45 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Market gardening talk

We will give a short talk about market gardening at a local event, and do our best to answer any food growing questions you may have. (Local defined as Manchester or Stockport, some other areas ok, email to check).

£50 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Children's food growing workshop

2hr workshop for groups aged from early years- 16s delivered by secondary school teacher and including resources. Must be in local area. Email to enquire.

£50 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Fruit tree pruning consultation

Have some fruit trees in need of TLC? Debbie will show you how to prune so your trees are more productive and stay healthy. Only available in Manchester or Trafford.

£50 or more

3 of 15 claimed

Tour of Reddy Lane Market Garden and walk

Start the afternoon with a tour of the market garden, have a walk in the local area led by a local guide, and end in the pub in New Mills. (Drinks not included!)

£55 or more

6 of 40 claimed

'Introduction to Market Gardening' course

A one day course delivered by us on a Saturday at the new site in 2019. Prize is for one person and includes lunch.

£55 or more

1 of 3 claimed

Orchard consultation

If you're thinking of establishing an orchard, in your garden or on a community site this reward is for you. Debbie has an orchard in her very small backyard and set up Orchard49 so can offer advice and ideas on how to do it! 3 hours consultation, only available Trafford or Manchester.

£90 or more

2 of 3 claimed

Edible forest garden consultation

Permaculture Author and Teacher Tomas Remiarz will give you a three hour edible forest garden consultation. Limitations on areas Tomas can visit, email to enquire.

£99 or more

0 of 8 claimed

'Be a farmer' day

An exclusive behind the scenes day with Lindsay & George as they market garden. Prize is for two people and includes lunch.

£100 or more

1 of 3 claimed

Place on two day Permaculture course

A place on one of Tomas Remiarz's two day Forest Gardening or Permaculture courses. This is in Liverpool, but places at other locations may be available. Email to enquire.

£110 or more

1 of 1 claimed

'Be a farmer' family day

An exclusive behind the scenes day for the family at the market garden. Prize is for the family and includes lunch.

£499 or more

1 of 3 claimed

'Be a farmer' group day

Your group or work colleagues come to the farm for the day, and have a go at the market gardening tasks. Lunch included. Email contact@reddylane.com to enquire. (Some limitations on group size).

£499 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Polytunnel naming ceremony

Name the polytunnel at a naming ceremony, and we'll make a nice plaque in your name for the new tunnel. Food and drink included. Email to enquire.

£550 or more

0 of 3 claimed

'Introduction to Market Gardening' courses for 10

Up to 10 people including lunch attend our 'introduction to market gardening' course.

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