Welcome to Urban-Vertical CIC!
Urban-Vertical CIC came to life in May 2022 and was formed after its founder Amanda Wood, decided it was time to evolve her sole trader urban vertical farm business, The Micro Greengrocer.
Always knowing that her venture would one day include education, employability and creative opportunities, it was through lockdown and connecting with her regular customers at the farmers market, Amanda realised that the stories and struggles each person was experiencing was collectively demonstrating the need for more; community connection and caring for ourselves and the planet, opportunities to learn how to grow and cook local food, and the need for creative activities to promote wellbeing.
The great range of skills and experience her customers were bringing to the table offered Amanda to see the potential of how her business could be the catalyst in bringing these opportunities to life. Conversations with her customers soon grew into taking action and the process of creating Urban-Vertical CIC, began.
Amanda and Will decided to test a range of different workshops in a variety of community and educational settings, and feedback from participants has led the way in the new CIC's course design.
Farm to Fork Growing & Cooking workshops.
Now, Urban-Vertical CIC comprises of a range of great personalities and expertise; teachers, artists, growers and engineers. We also have our first volunteers helping us to drive the vision of Urban-Vertical CIC.
"I love my volunteering work. I've developed lots of new skills and I've also been able to use my previous experience to help too" Hazel.
The Urban-Vertical team has been brought together over a farmers market table of microgreens... We find that quite special. Meet the team.
Collectively the team have responded to the voices of the community and designed a holistic programme of connecting, growing and creating activities for everyone, and our planet, to enjoy.
This is how we look now!
We have formed our CIC, written our business plan, job descriptions and our core courses, our website is also live www.urban-vertical.org.uk
Most importantly, we have found the most incredible location to house our new project. Railway Gardens in Splott is a place for everyone to come together, make new friends, share skills, and develop ideas. How perfect!
Urban-Vertical CIC is ready to go, and with your help we can start delivering our initiatives, training, courses and workshops soon after we move into our new premises in July.
Our project will be housed in two shipping containers at Railway Gardens; Signal Box Farm is our flagship community urban vertical farm and The Green Room, our creative hub where our community courses and workshops will be delivered.
Our team has a fantastic plan.
By August 2022, we aim to provide employability and enterprise opportunities to our local community of Asylum Seekers and Refugees from our neighbouring The Oasis Centre and offer training and accredited courses to help them to connect with our local community, learn skills in CEA (Controlled Environment Agriculture) and gain opportunities to help manage our farmers markets stalls.
Amanda's previous experience and reputation for delivering high quality employability and enterprise courses in colleges and universities, ensures that every trainee will receive excellent support while being part of the farm team. The vision is to guide each trainee as they progress onto education, employment, or perhaps they may become part of the enterprise team running their own farmers market stalls at Urban-Vertical CIC.
Rest Assured! Amanda's customers from her previous business The Micro Greengrocer, will continue to receive the same delicious, quality microgreens crops as before, only now there will be a team of trainees utilising their new skills of running the farm.
Our Schools and Community provision looks like this...
Curiosity, Creativity and Celebration is at the heart of our educational workshop program, and our second shipping container The Green Room will be the hub, so schools and community groups can come to us and engage with our farm as part of their program. We can also take our Urban-Vertical pop up farm and selection of modular bite-sized workshops out to our local area with the use of our community shared electric van.
In addition, we have a vibrant range of community courses designed for families, adults, teenagers and children which focus on; connecting, growing and creating by caring for ourselves, our people and our planet.
From our Green Room, and onsite Community Room (which has a purpose built kitchen and dining space!) we will deliver; Farm to Fork courses - where growing and cooking are the main ingredients, our children's Grub Club - a weekly after-school and holiday provision to help children learn to grow and cook their own dishes, and our Nourish self-care course for adults, designed to support wellbeing from the inside out.
Overall, we hope you agree that our menu of activities at Urban-Vertical CIC sounds delicious, and with your help we can start delivering and supporting our community straight away!
Thank you. Amanda, Sancha, Hannah, Sam, Richard, Hazel, Will & Catheryn.
Why Circular Economies?
Promoting circular economies is everything urban farming is about. Amanda produced this short film to explain the importance of indoor farming and why we should be growing more local produce for local consumption. Look our for the shipping container... :)
What are Microgreens?
Microgreens is the term given to vegetables and herbs that are in the cotyledon stage of growth which falls between the sprouting and baby leaf stages. Micro‑greens have intense, aromatic flavours and come in many different colours and textures.
Despite their small size, microgreens pack a nutritional punch, often containing higher vitamin, mineral and antioxidant levels per serving than their more mature version. They not only look and taste great – making dishes more exciting to eat – but several peer-reviewed scientific studies indicate an actual nutritional benefit of these plants. You can read more about microgreens and their nutritional benefits here.