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Manchester Museum Allotment

February 21, 2014

Volunteers and staff have been growing food in raised beds in the courtyard outside the entrance of the Museum since 2011. The original aims of the Museum Allotment were to be a positive example of our connections with nature, as expressed in the gallery Living Worlds and be part of the Museum’s vision of promoting a sustainable world.

We’ve grown and given away potatoes, nasturtium, blackcurrants, rhubarb and strawberries. In 2012 we grew sunflowers for a citizen science project and in our shed we put up posters about gardening, nature and food events in Manchester. There is a green roof on the shed. The Allotment has hosted participatory events where children and adults have planted seeds, made bird boxes, pressed apples, watered the beds and there have been many conversations about food and growing. We’ve participated in the Big Butterfly count and seen many earthworms, cabbage flies, aphids, ladybirds and spiders find their way.

By the allotment there is a wildflower area, fenced off by chestnut from an area maintained by the Estates department. One aim of this area was to compare biodiversity between the two planted areas.

The ‘middern’ was a project where contemporary items were buried in a compost bin and their decay was monitored – the resulting objects are on display in the Ancient Worlds gallery.

There is an Allotment Museum object handling box, linked to several of our collections areas, eg 17th century watering can, garden insects, Didsbury agricultural medal and herbarium sheets.

The allotment is all about growing and talking about food. When the deckchairs are out in the dry summer days, it’s all about a place to sit and eat and enjoy the outdoors.

Today was our first outdoor allotment session for 2014. Thanks to Scott, Bernard, Masaki, Niamh and Anna for clearing up the accumulated leaves and started some weeding. Next week we plan to prune the blackcurrants.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Rachel permalink
    February 25, 2014 1:39 pm

    Reblogged this on Herbology Manchester and commented:
    Spring is (almost) in the air and so we’ve been making plans for the Museum allotment.

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