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Press release — 23 May 2013
THE BIOSPHERIC PROJECT ANNOUNCES PUBLIC PROGRAMME FOR MIF
PLUS FARM SHOP 78 STEPS
Download this press release and event listings here.
In July 2013, Salford’s The Biospheric Project throws open its doors and invites the wider world to become part of its groundbreaking urban farm experiment.
This fortnight-long open house kicks off on Saturday 6 July, with the first public tours of this innovative research hub, and an in conversation event with project director Vincent Walsh.
The Biospheric Project is led by the Biospheric Foundation – a group of young researchers who have a vision to change the way cities and communities interact to create a more sustainable way of living. Their local fresh food distribution scheme WholeBox is already in action, and July sees the opening of their own whole food grocery shop, 78 Steps, which will sell locally grown fruit and vegetables and organic wholefoods. The shop will eventually be stocked with crops grown at The Biospheric Project, taking the distance between production and distribution of the food to just 78 short steps.
Visitors to The Biospheric Project during MIF13 will have a glimpse into the inner workings of this interconnected system, with indoor and outdoor growing experiments in their early stages, including forest and roof gardens, vermiculture, bee hives, chickens and mushroom systems. The public programme recently received a boost in funding when Manchester International Festival secured £91,121 from People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund.
Visitors will also see two ingenious indoor aquaponics systems, which use nitrate-rich water from fish tanks to fertilise salad and herb crops, before reusing the water in the tanks. One of the systems pumps water from fish tanks on the first floor to grow leaf crops in rooftop polytunnels. The second is a test Bio-productive Climatic Façade system – a ‘Greenius Wall’ - designed to maximize bio-productivity by using dormant space on the sides of buildings.
These prototype systems have been developed in collaboration with MIF sponsors, BDP and Siemens. The aim is to develop a fully functional vertical farm system which could be replicated on a larger scale using available spaces in cities in the near future.
Public events include a range of tours, talks, films, how-to workshops and family sessions which take in the full spectrum of ideas behind The Biospheric Project, from science and environment to food and farming, communities and the future of our cities. Leading figures from these fields will contribute to inspiring discussions about the issues raised by The Biospheric Project, each chaired by an expert from MIF’s family of sponsors.
Local chef Robert Owen Brown (head chef, The Mark Addy) will create tasty bites inspired by The Biospheric Project crops for visitors to sample. Visitors can make their own dishes with cooking workshops in collaboration with Cracking Good Food, while Squash Nutrition and MIF welcome families for two days of weekend activities and workshops that sow the seeds for a greener, bio-diverse and more productive urban environment.
Workshops in bee-keeping, mushroom-growing, permaculture and planting offer a more hands on experience for visitors. Tours of the site will begin with a guided walk from Festival Square (Albert Square), in association with Manchester Blue Badge Guides.
Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart said: “I’m proud to say that The Biospheric Project is in Salford as part of Manchester International Festival 2013, building on the previous success of the city’s involvement in the 2011 festival. The project cleverly combines cutting edge technology and grass roots community involvement, where Salford residents can have a hand in growing their own food using innovative and sustainable methods.”
The Biospheric Project is commissioned by MIF Creative and Salford City Council.
Produced by Manchester International Festival and The Biospheric Foundation
Supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and players of People's Postcode Lottery.
Previous Press Releases
Press release — 22 April 2013
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Download press release here
Press release - 12 April 2013
ALEX KINGSTON TO PLAY LADY MACBETH OPPOSITE KENNETH BRANAGH
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PLUS BIG SCREEN RELAY
Download press release here
Press release — 28 February 2013
MANCHESTER INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2013 PROGRAMME
Download this press release here.