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The Growing Project

2019 – 2021

This project is supported by the Big Lottery Community Fund.

overview

The Growing Project is a community-led growing scheme working with organisations who support the vulnerably housed and people in crisis. Aiming to ‘Green-Sense’ the city, The Growing Project will improve sites across Birmingham by ‘growing food and creating green spaces’, sites that are developed, tended and nurtured by homeless people. Grand Union is working with artists and professionals whose practice engages with ecology and sustainable growing projects, particularly within an urban environment, to offer solutions for a post-industrial landscape.

Currently operating in St Anne’s Hostel Birmingham, the initial allotment garden is a collaborative partnership between Grand Union and The Residents, supported by CRISIS Skylight, SIFA Fireside and Modern Clay. The first phase culminated in a Public Dinner Event, whereby guests and participants shared stories, food and conversation about the symbolic meaning of taking seed to soil to plate.

This project will create a visible platform that can change perceptions of vulnerable people in crisis and experiencing homelessness, celebrating their production and demonstrating how they can make positive contributions to society.

St annes

The initial allotment garden is a collaborative partnership between Grand Union and The Residents, supported by CRISIS Skylight, SIFA Fireside and Modern Clay. The first phase culminated in a Public Dinner Event, whereby guests and participants shared stories, food and conversation about the symbolic meaning of taking seed to soil to plate. This year we are working to make our vegetables plots more productive and take more healthy and delicious food into the hostel kitchens for the residents dinners.

Hagley LODGE

Working with the residents we are looking to transform this space into a welcoming place to sit, rest and socialise with other residents.  We are looking to incorporate planting of edible trees, wild flowers and water to encourage as much birds, bees and butterflies to breathe life into this space.  Working with Environmentalist and Gardener Matthew Cox we are creating a garden that brings wildness into the urban landscape.

HESTIA HOUSE

Working in partnership with Avalon Landscapes, we are looking to create a garden space on the site of a carpark.  Spring are innovative in how they are seeking housing solutions for the people they look after.  This site will see a repurposed office block car park transformed into a community garden space offering much needed space for residents and Hub users to socialise together.

RICHMOND HOUSE

Working with the residents we are gently persuading this garden back into a restful space with herbal, medicinal and wild plants.  The residents are keen to grow some edibles which will be incorporated into community outdoor cooking events.  Working with Artist Gardener Carolyn Morton, together we are creating a garden that interweaves growing, cooking and healing.