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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MINERVA CANALSIDE APOTHECARY GARDEN
Specially designed and constructed to include planters for growing herbs for healing practices, this garden will be a communal seating area and have outdoor cooking facilities. Led by women, the growing space will offer safe opportunities for women to come together, to develop knowledge around growing and healing practices in the city centre. Working collaboratively with women’s support organisations, we will run weekly sessions with artists and creative practitioners that foster a connection between plants and people.