Birmingham is pretty densely populated with buildings in the centre of the city. It’s safe to say it would take some blue-sky thinking to build something like a farm among it all. But Slow Food Birmingham has its head in the clouds (almost literally) with new proposals to build an urban farm in the Jewellery Quarter.
The grassroots food organisation is proposing, in recent plans submitted to Birmingham City Council, to build one on the roof of a car park on Vyse Street. The plans show space for several greenhouses, a community garden and café at the farm. Should it be approved, the farm will provide locally-grown produce to Birmingham locals, plus promote sustainable farming and carbon emission reductions.
What is Slow Food Birmingham?
It is the Birmingham branch of Slow Food: a global, grassroots organisation founded in 1989 to prevent “the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast food and combat people’s dwindling interest in what they eat”. It believes that everyone should have access to good food that is good for them, but also good for the farmers and the planet.
Slow Food Birmingham currently runs a collection-only farm shop at 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter every Thursday. Through this it supports local producers and food businesses, allowing the people of Birmingham access to high-quality, locally-sourced and seasonal produce. Learn more about it here.
What would this new urban farm offer?
The proposals include an education hub that, partnering with local schools and colleges, Slow Food Birmingham say will champion hyper-local food production and educate people about where food comes from and how it’s grown. Any produce from the farm will be delivered through the Jewellery Quarter and other parts of Birmingham to residents, businesses and others experiencing food crisis.
But Slow Food Birmingham’s plans don’t stop at the top; the farm is just the first part of its thinking. It also hopes to repurpose the top floors of the car park into community spaces if planning permission is approved. To learn more about Slow Food Birmingham head here.