Having a day off is great. I can’t even put in words how I enjoy the fact that in today rainy weather I do not have to cycle somewhere to do something for someone, even if that someone is a nice person I like. However, I can choose to do so. And so I went to Open House at the Biospheric Foundation.
Lately it seems that Manchester and now even Salford are waking up. Similarly like punctures (you do not want to know how many I already had this week) and other things, nice, innovative and creative projects also come in bunches. You might remember that I recently mentioned Coffee Cranks Cooperative. And thanks to one of their member we have learned about Biospheric Foundation. Today their project was introduced to a wider public – however small this was it is inspiring and I feel that more projects like this one would make even this city a nice place to live.
This project has been started by Vincent Walsh who is currently pursuing it as a research and uses it as laboratory for his PhD. I am not really able to say much about this guy except that he is pretty tough. Talking to him for few minutes I have learned that he made a film about homeless people in USA and another one about agroforestry in Ethiopia and Nigeria (both of which I will try to find and link to here in future). Even more, you know I have been complaining about how cold our flat is and how impossible it is to heat up. Well I will no more. Vincent just spend last last winter (and some time before that) living in the former printworks, that you can see on the picture, without electricity or heating – so tough and determined.
The Biospheric project, as I understand it, is about creating an urban farm and green space that will supply the people living in the city of veg, mushrooms and fruit, honey, bread and fish. All this (except for the bread coming from bakery in Chorlton) will come from this very place. They have rented the former printworks and will re-cycle it into a three storey urban farm. I am unable to find the drawings of how the building will look like in few months when they open it as a part of Manchester International Festival but there will be two storeys inside full of greenery and mushroom growing sites and then there is the roof. As you could see it is flat and that is where the main garden will be placed. There will be greenhouse, raised vegetable beds and beehives, pond and places to sit down and enjoy the view over Manchester and Salford. Perhaps I should also mention that it is situated by the river. The vegetables and other products will then be distributed using their already running Wholebox project that is currently redistributing products from local farmers. Anyway you can read an article in Guardian which has bit more information in it.
I am really excited about this and know now that it is a project worth following into the future as inspiration even if we would be away from Manchester and Salford, maybe forever. Honestly, if so many things haven’t been popping up recently I would never even start thinking about Salford and Manchester as a places I would miss in the future.