Recently, we caught up with Mandy Barber from Incredible Vegetables to find out all about how she started growing vegetables, how she has become one of the main growers of ulluco in the UK, and to get some beginners tips to help us all become expert vegetable growers.
Take a look at our interview below.
Our Interview with Incredible Vegetables
1. You and your partner set up Incredible Vegetables as an experimental vegetable growing project and now sell perennial vegetable plants and seeds in your online shop. When you started, did you ever expect to sell so much?
It all started back in 2010, when we were lucky enough to buy a share in a piece of land which gave us a lot of space – not just to grow our own food and be self-s
Last month we spoke to Stephanie Hafferty to find out all about no dig gardening, and how you can turn homegrown food into favourite dishes and even natural products for the home. Find out all about what Stephanie does in our interview below.
Our interview with Stephanie Hafferty
1. You are a no-dig kitchen gardener, teacher, writer and chef. How do you tie all of your occupations together?
The different aspects of my work have naturally formed, so they tie together harmoniously.
After leaving university (where I studied English Literature and Art History), I trained as a secondary school teacher but after two years’ teaching in a school in Cambridgeshire realised that it wasn’t the career for me. Whilst exploring other options, I became pregnant with my first child - I have three children (all young adults now) so parenting has been a major theme of the past 23 years.
I’ve always had an interest in growing but this had been
Last month, we caught up with SweetTree Farming for All to find out more about their Care Farm project and some of the other work they do with the community. Check out our interview with them below.
Our interview with SweetTree Farming for All
1. SweetTree Farming For All runs a range of activities and training for adults and young people. What sort of activities and training do you provide?
We run a few different projects, some at our own Care Farm in Mill Hill, SweetTree Fields Farm, and some are outreach projects around Watford and Hertfordshire. At our Care Farm, our ‘Let it Grow’ project for adults with a wide range of health/social support needs offers animal husbandry, horticulture, outdoor cooking, natural arts and crafts, shelter building and other bushcraft. It’s our own farm so we can do almost anything, and have our own sheep, donkeys, chickens, ducks and rabbits, with wooded areas, a warm and cosy yurt and an outdoor clay oven.
Earlier this month, we caught up with Stuart Moody, publisher of Pocket Farm magazine. Pocket Farm provides practical information for smallholders, backyard farmers and crafters, so we spoke to Stuart about small-scale, back garden chicken keeping. Stuart gave us some great advice in his interview below, so be sure to check it out if you're thinking of owning chickens or need some advice on an existing flock.
Our interview with Pocket Farm
1. What factors do you need to consider before you start keeping chickens?
There are several things you need to consider if you decide you want to keep chickens, especially in an urban environment, not least of which is if you are allowed to. Some properties will have specific clauses in the deeds that forbid it and some local by-laws may also prohibit livestock – which is how chickens are classified – being kept.
Earlier this month, we were lucky enough to catch up with Becca Williamson, Communications Officer at Freshwater Habitats Trust, to find out more about their Flagship Ponds Project. Check out our interview below:
Our interview with Freshwater Habitats Trust
1. The Flagship Ponds project works with local communities and organisations to protect important freshwater pond sites across England and Wales. How many pond sites are you currently working on?
Freshwater Habitats Trust is working on 70 of the hundred or so Flagship Pond sites we have identified in the UK. These are the most important pond sites, the top 0.2% of ponds. They support some of our rarest freshwater plants and animals, and we’ve selected them because the work we can do there, will really make a difference to these special places.
2. How many com
We managed to speak to guerilla gardener Steve Wheen from The Pothole Garden about his work, how he finds inspiration and why he creates pothole gardens, as well as the benefits of gardening. Check out our interview below!
Our interview with The Pothole Gardener
1. Your project involves planting miniature gardens in potholes to create unexpected moments of happiness. How do you think this helps to create happiness?
The project is all about turning something that annoys people and making it a little bit brighter. Potholes annoy everyone – cyclist, drivers, and pedestrians. My little gardens surprise people and make them smile.
2. What has the general reaction to your pothole gardens been?
In a big city like London, people are always
Earlier this month, we spoke with Lisa Fearn from The Pumpkin Patch to talk about the importance of getting children into gardening and the valuable skills they can learn from doing so. Lisa spoke to us about the classes The Pumpkin Patch run, favourite recipes for homegrown food, and seasonal cooking.
Our interview with The Pumpkin Patch
1. You have five children of your own who all love gardening. How did you get them into it to start with?
It wasn’t a matter of getting them into it, they just started helping in the garden. When they were very little they used to play in a sand pit just next to me in the garden. I’d dig the soil and they would dig in the sand! They soon started joining me in the garden and would help to plant up young plants and sow seeds… usually all over the
Earlier this month we caught up with Samantha Lagan, who works with Trees for Cities to help make cities across the world a greener, healthier, more attractive place to live. All of the advice and tips about planting and looking after trees was also kindly supplied by Harry Thacker, Urban Forest Manager at Trees for Cities. Check out what Trees for Cities do, how they help cities, and how to properly plant and care for trees in our interview below.
Our interview with Trees for Cities
1. Trees for Cities is the only charity operating on an international level to create greener cities. How do you do this?
In cities other than London, where we are based, our model is to work in partnership with local delivery organisations. In the UK these may be City Councils or community groups, whilst overseas we work with non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
2. Trees for Cities
Featured image credit: David Marsden
Earlier this month, we spoke to David from The Anxious Gardener about how he became a self-employed gardener, how other people can do the same, and some great tips for attracting wildlife to your garden. Check out our interview below.
Our interview with The Anxious Gardener
1. You started gardening 10 years ago, has much changed between then and now?
For me, the major change in the last ten years has been the smartphone. Not only does it allow me to interact easily with people on social media (in what can otherwise be a lonely profession), but more importantly it gives me immediate access to a whole world of gardening know-how. If I'm unsure or I've forgotten when to prune a particular shrub or the conditions a certain plant prefers, I can find out the answer instantly. I still keep a hefty RHS encyclopaedia at work and it is e