In partnership with local farmers like Moss Brook Growers and Glebelands City Growers, we have established a Land Army of volunteers, placements and trainees to help increase the production of sustainable food for Greater Manchester.
Greater Manchester's Land Army was inspired by the women's land armies of the First & Second World Wars, and offers a solution to a number of challenges faced by local organic growers, such as labour issues and costs at busy periods e.g. harvest time.
The Land Army’s goals are to increase yields and income for growers and nurture a small number of committed and trained individuals farmers can call upon in times of need and help meet the following challenges:
- A lack of skilled labour for illness and holiday cover.
- More growers are needed to meet the growing demand for local organic food.
- A limited number of ways for individuals to get into growing food commercially.
- A lack of opportunity for volunteers to be practical involvement in sustainable food systems.
We are always looking for capable and motivated people to volunteer with Greater Manchester’s Land Army. We offer guidance & training; tools & clothing, food & refreshments as well as transport from Central Manchester to the farms. Its a great way to meet people, get some fresh air and exercise and learn more about how our food is produced locally.
The Land Army wants to play its part in growing a sustainbale food movement in Greater Manchester by:
- Having the capacity to involve a large 'unskilled' pool of volunteers who can help out with farming tasks which result in increased crop yields and income for local organic growers.
- Nurturing a small number of committed and trained individuals that farmers are able to call upon in times of need.
- Offering a 'carerer progression' for potential new growers and farmers to meet the growing need for sustainable food.
Recent Land Army events and training included:
A weekend apple grafting marathon where we undertook the mammoth task of creating nearly 500 apple trees to donate to community orchards and organic farmers across Greater Manchester.
A horticulture course taking place over four consecutive Wednesdays as part Kindling’s work to encourage more people to consider commercial-scale food growing in the North West
Youth Discovery Ventures where participants came from London, Sheffield and Holland to be part of a youth volunteering project for a week here in Manchester.
Operation garlic which involved the planting of over 5000 garlic bulbs for the Moss Brook Growers in Glazebury.
Large group Land Army missions are planned for:
Wednesday 17th April (International Peasants Day!) - to Moss Brook
Wednesday 24th April to Abbey Leys
Thursday 9th May to Glebelands City Growers
For each of these days there will be up to 11 spaces, it would be really great to get a couple of big groups out and really get on top of some of the bigger jobs that need doing, so do let us know if you're free on those dates. We can provide lunch and drinks on these days too, you just need to bring all the usual stuff - waterproofs, wellies or sturdy boots and plenty of drinking water.
To sign up for the Land Army please email Chloe: email@example.com or ring 0161 226 2242