Allotment Diaries & Environmental Hubs Project, Bradley Fold

Allotment Diaries & Environmental Hubs Project

I was invited along to Bradley Fold, Manchester UK allotment by Elizabeth Weiwora to investigate and share insights into environmental communities and their micro-construction of the identity and power hierarchies of wider society.

Despite the downpour onslaught, an eye opening time was spent on site amongst the well defined land plots,  from waterlogged to immaculately landscaped, ‘graveyard area’ to Pavillion and pesticide/roughage shop. Each plot was cultivating lush greens- flowers, saplings, berries, courgettes… one plot was designated for storing hacked wood by a more, ‘keenly chopping passionate’ holder.  The sheds, front door to the proprietor’s land was  revealing- from hob cobbled sheds assembled Merz style of car bumpers and Warhol 15 minutes gloss pop stripey to a more Gaspar Becerra polichromed wood relief.. ok I exaggerate- but petri-dish snapshots into our idiosyncrasies, backgrounds, motivations and beliefs.

Spending time with the the committee chair- many of the tenants are also ex teachers- Dave, a generous and long standing community member, and some of the other avid constant gardeners, was a chance to be removed away from the noise and traffic of nearby cityscape and into the self-contained and gated green life structure of  these active members and a new sense of middle class agency (again component of neighbouring Didsbury).

From hands on honey extraction to sampling home made wine, learning local authority threats and problems with pests, there is something about the increasing popularity of allotments and moreover the individual’s needs for them. This not only encompasses a drive to enact a more sustainable way of living in response t0 the macro global issues of poverty and steer towards a more conscientious slow food personal health, but moreover the allotment is a historical repetition of our; territories, economics, community cohesion-wrangling division, hierarchies and power relations to one another.

Liz recorded an interview with me so this should come soon.


Slide Album: Allotment Residency

>>See my project Everbloom Pocket City Pollination as part of my Urban Wilderness Action Centre collaboration with Eyebeam NYC, produced for Electrosmog 2010