A disused bowling green in Platt Fields Park has been transformed into a thriving community garden, where fresh produce is on sale every Saturday morning.
The garden was created by Manchester Urban Diggers (MUD), who establish, develop, maintain and renovate community gardens around Greater Manchester. They’re passionate about sustainable gardening and food growing practices, and aim to both improve soil quality and increase bio-diversity across the city region.
They’re equally passionate about creating beautiful places for escaping busy city life. “We share and promote the health benefits that community gardening bring to local residents through social and therapeutic horticulture”, say the MUD team, whose community garden in Platt Fields Park is getting a lot of love from green-fingered locals.
It’s also attracting attention from food-lovers, who you’ll see queuing along the perimeter of the garden for the Saturday morning market. One draw is the veg boxes, which are jam-packed with seasonal, organic vegetables and herbs grown just metres away. Another is the range of locally produced goodies, like sourdough, cakes and rhubarb cordial.
It’s worth the trip, though, just for Things Palace, who have a stall selling the best hot sauces you’ve ever tasted. We also recommend their delicious Malaysian snacks, such as karipap pusing (spiral curry puffs) and zongzi (sticky rice dumplings). And if you’re lucky, you’ll also be able to pick up some seasonal preserves by Isca Wines, where Lorcan Kan of Things Palace runs casual dining nights.
It’s a modest little market, but that’s kind of its charm. Surrounded by the sprawling park, its relaxed, community vibe makes you forget that you’re in the middle of one of the country’s biggest cities. As Manchester starts to pick up speed, it’s comforting to know that there are these little pockets of calm, hidden in the undergrowth.
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