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Families celebrate harvests with Master Gardeners

Families celebrate harvests with Master Gardeners

We spent October celebrating harvests with households mentored to grow their own food by Garden Organic Master Gardeners. What a delight.

We hosted special events in Warwickshire, Norfolk and London for families and volunteers to share their growing successes and discuss the weather!

We’re really pleased with these autumn events following our lively events in spring launching the growing season with hundreds of growers.

See photos & more from our autumn 2012 harvest celebrations

     
Norfolk households celebrate their harvest of 2012 London harvest festival
and food
Apple-tastic
in Warwickshire

 

Read how ‘Grow your own food’ is a boost for health and sense of community, says Coventry University research.

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‘Grow your own food’ a boost for health and sense of community, says Coventry University research

‘Grow your own food’ a boost for health and sense of community, says Coventry University research

Encouraging people to grow more of their own food is not only beneficial to the environment but leads to improved health and wellbeing and creates stronger local communities, according to new Coventry University research released today.

In a study of the Master Gardeners programme run by the UK’s leading organic growing charity, Garden Organic, researchers at Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology and Food Security (CAFS) and the Centre for Sustainable Regeneration (SURGE) found that those involved enjoyed an increased sense of community and improved life satisfaction, as well as having a significant impact on their food growing and consumption habits.

Through this new mentoring programme, Garden Organic recruited, trained and supported more than 400 volunteers in five areas – North London, South London, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Warwickshire – to become Master Gardeners.

These volunteers, aged 16-81, then worked with their local community to encourage more people to grow food. As part of their commitment volunteers then recruit 10 households to mentor in horticulture for a year.

The Coventry University research found evidence of real behaviour change as the majority of both volunteers and households grew more food and a greater range of food after joining the programme. 63% of volunteers and 79% of households have increased the amount of food they grow, and as a result a quarter of households and a third of volunteers were able to reduce the amount they spent on food each week.

A third of mentored households now report spending 3-5 hours a week growing their own food, with a further 50% giving it a go for 1-2 hours a week. It is not just the households that are learning more about growing food; over 95% of both volunteers and households say they have increased their knowledge about food growing through involvement with Master Gardeners.

As a programme built around a network of local volunteers, the Coventry University researchers were keen to explore any possible impact on community. 94% of volunteers said that they felt part of a community, with two thirds saying their sense of community had increased since being involved in the Master Gardeners programme. And the average life satisfaction scores for both Master Gardener volunteers and households has increased; from 7.4 out of 10 to 8.4 amongst volunteers, 7.2 to 7.8 amongst households.

Families are now growing their own

Dr Moya Kneafsey, a researcher in CAFS and part of the University’s Grand Challenge Initiative in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security, said: “For many years we’ve been told anecdotally that gardening is good for you as well as good for the environment. What these results show is how significant the impact can be in terms of health perceptions, life satisfaction and involvement in the local community. It also highlights just how important volunteering organisations and networks are in creating stronger, more engaged communities regardless of whether this is in an inner-city borough or a rural county.”

Philip Turvil, project manager for the Master Gardeners programme at Garden Organic, said: “We have always felt that our Master Gardeners programme has wide-reaching benefits beyond growing food. It’s also about lifestyle, community and improving the environment. We don’t want to just teach our Master Gardener volunteers the best way of growing a cabbage, we want to teach them how to pass this information on to others in their community, to share their passion and experience so that everyone is learning from each other and feeling the benefits. The outcomes of this research show us that this approach is working. By working with volunteers in their communities we’re proving that the initial challenges of growing your own food can be overcome. So if that first crop ends up slug eaten, rather than feel demoralised people look for advice and support instead of giving up.”

The Garden Organic Master Gardeners programme is supported by the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food Scheme, Sheepdrove Trust and local authorities.

http://www.mastergardeners.org.uk

-ENDS-

For more information please contact Hannah Murray on 01727 737997 or email hannah@communicationsmanagement.co.uk.

Notes to Editors

Garden Organic Master Gardeners programme

Since its inception in April 2010 the Master Gardeners programme has overseen 44,608 food growing conversations, supported 560 community events and mentored 1,834 households (4,053 individuals including 1,387 under 16s). More than 15,000 volunteer hours have been given to communities in North London, South London, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Warwickshire. Garden Organic has trained 449 volunteers and seen an 82% volunteer retention rate. The programme is supported by the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food Scheme, Sheepdrove Trust and local authorities. The Master Gardeners programme was devised around the model of another successful scheme also led by Garden Organic, Master Composters.

http://www.mastergardeners.org.uk

Garden Organic

Garden Organic, the UK’s leading organic growing charity, has been at the forefront of the organic horticulture movement for 50 years. Dedicated to promoting organic gardening in homes, communities and schools, it uses innovation and inspiration to get more people growing in the most sustainable way. Garden Organic’s charitable work delivers the organic growing message through renowned projects such as the Food for Life Partnership, the Master Composter and Master Gardener schemes and the work of The Heritage Seed Library.

http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk

Local Food Scheme

Local Food is a £57.5 million programme that distributes money from the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) to a variety of food-related projects to help make locally grown food accessible and affordable. It was developed by a consortium of 15 national environmental organisations, and is managed on their behalf by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT).

http://www.localfoodgrants.org

Coventry University

The research was undertaken by Dr Moya Kneafsey from Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology and Food Security (CAFS), the research centre which is responsible for the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security Grand Challenge Initiative strand of activity which examines how to create resilient food systems on a worldwide basis. In order to tackle this challenge head on CAFS recognises that solutions lie not only in the development of sustainable production technologies but are also concerned with the stability of food supplied and of communities themselves, the means by which people obtain food and aspects of governance, ethics and human behaviour.

The research was supported by Elizabeth Cheese at Coventry University’s Centre for Sustainable Regeneration (SURGE). Research at SURGE focuses on bringing the social and economic aspects of regeneration together, helping society to achieve a more equal, just and sustainable society for the future.

The findings presented here were based on 215 questionnaires, 29 face-to-face interviews and 8 focus groups.

http://wwwm.coventry.ac.uk/researchnet/cafs/Pages/cafs.aspx

 

Master Gardeners help local communities grow and share their own food

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Have your say this September

Have your say this September

Garden Organic has sent out exciting questionnaires this week to the Master Gardeners and the lovely people they mentor to grow their own food.

We’re working with Coventry University to monitor and evaluate the health, social and environmental impacts of the programme.

It’s very exciting with intriguing questions – and already intriguing findings from our autumn 2011 and spring 12 research. We’re announcing the findings in a few weeks…

Look out for your questionnaire in the post if:

  • you’re a householder registered by your Master Gardener between May 2011 and October 2011
  • a Master Gardener trained in autumn 2011.

We’re also planning interviews and discussion groups during September and October 2012.

Alona and Susan planting apple trees in Mayow Park

Find out more
Research overview and the pilot findings with Coventry University.

Get involved
Register for your 12 months free growing advice or become a Master Gardener

Read
Latest news and case studies

Who’s who?

Master Gardeners

Volunteers recruited, trained, and supported by Garden Organic to mentor registered ‘householders’ – individuals, couples and families wanting to start growing food or grow more at home and on communal land.

Garden Organic

We’re the UK’s leading organic growing charity, dedicated to promoting organic gardening in homes, communities and schools.

Coventry University

Researchers in the health, environmental and social impact of local food systems at the Applied Research Centre in Sustainable Regeneration (SURGE) and the Centre for Agroecology and Food Security (CAFS).

 

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Olympic heroes at President Kennedy School

Olympic heroes at President Kennedy School

Students from President Kennedy School continue to ‘Garden for the Games‘ after they were inspired by London 2012’s Local Leader West Midlands launch at Ryton Gardens in April.

We hear from teacher Helen Coward about how the Coventry students in their ‘Bridge Gardening Club’ find imaginative ways to inspire others through their passion for gardening.

Gardening for the Games

Olympic mascot plant label among the peas!

Students have taken responsibility for an area in the centre of the school that can be appreciated by everyone who attends or visits the school.

We’ve planted planted barrels in the colours of the Olympic rings. The planting will shortly be joined by a selection of Olympic inspired poems written by students and staff, which have been printed onto bunting and will be strung in the trees around the planters.

In  an allotment-style space in our Bridge Garden, students have been busy trying to incorporate as many Olympic ideas as possible into their plot in preparation for a celebration of gardening with an Olympic theme.

  • The shed has been painted and will be completed with an Olympic mascot to carry a torch inspired hanging basket.
  • Plant labels have been created in the form of Olympic mascots
  • Students have been busy making flags of participating countries, which will not only enhance the garden visually, but will also help to keep the birds of the strawberries which are starting to ripen.
  • A visit to the gardener’s world show at the NEC has further inspired the students who are now keen to incorporate golden pebbles into their garden.

Olympic themed planting by keen Local Leaders

Getting competitive

Every tutor group has had the opportunity to get involved in some competitive growing in the big sunflower race.

Each tutor group was given a pot, some compost and some sunflower seeds back in March and the first flowers have now come into bloom.

Allegations of cheating were abundant. There were even suggestions that some of the plants may have been given performance enhancing drugs!

The prize for the tallest sunflower was awarded to 7SST, whose sunflower was the first to bloom.

Showcase

On 21st June we were proud to showcase our gold medal garden to schools from around Coventry.

Our students worked as ambassadors running some activities and guiding schools around the site. Click here for photos.

Students were extremely excited to hatch chicks for this event, one of whom has been named Wenlock after the Olympic mascot. The chicks will become a feature of a new year 8 garden space to be created over the summer.

There will be a summer school using the garden over the holidays. They have plans to create a Wenlock scarecrow to build on the theme!

Wenlock celebrates

See more: Visit more photos from President Kennedy School

In pictures: Local Leader case studies with Master Gardeners

Tell your story: Click here to get in touch with Philip

Get involved: Become a London 2012 Local Leader

Resources: Download Philip Turvil’s flower and vegetable growing guides produced with the enthusiastic team at LOCOG

Mascot plant labels enjoying Olympic themed planting by Local Leaders

Students from President Kennedy School at London 2012's West Midlands launch of the national Local Leader campaign

Story published by Philip Turvil

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In pictures: London 2012 Local Leader case studies

In pictures: London 2012 Local Leader case studies

London 2012’s exciting ‘Local Leader’ campaign has captured the imagination of Garden Organic’s local champions after the West Midlands launch at Ryton Gardens in April 2012.

Local Leader and Master Gardener programme manager, Philip Turvil, invited over 1,000 of Garden Organic’s enthusiastic volunteers to take part in ‘Garden for the Games‘.

They joined thousands of people nationwide helping their communities celebrate the Olympic and Paralypmic Games.

With the Games starting on 27 July 2012, here are some case study highlights from Master Gardeners.

Top left image: ‘County in a Basket’ on tour at local events and talks

Local Leader Mo


“The bunting from our village Jubilee celebrations is staying up for the Games!

“I’ve suggested all sorts of flowers that locals could plant to help celebrate London 2012. I’m always talking gardening and growing to people, in shops, dance classes, keep fit, as well as the hairdresses, where the hairdressers and their clients push bits of greenery under my nose!

“We’re having a BBQ on the 12th August which will be Game themed and the Garden Club is visiting my gardens later in August, so I’ll see how many I can ‘convert’!”

Local Leader Mo with pupils from President Kennedy School, Gardening for the Games!

Local Leaders John and Sandy
Dunchurch Boughton C of E Junior School, Warwickshire


“We had enthusiastic pupils busy planting their Olympic Rings in car tyres lined with plastic.

“In the tyres from top left to right in the photo below are Ageratum (blue), Viola (black), and Nasturtium (red); then bottom left to right Tagetes (yellow) and Lettuce (green).”

Pupils with Local Leaders - teacher Tracy (left) and Master Gardener Sandy

Busy planting at Dunchurch Boughton C of E Junior School Gardening Club

Local Leader Susan


“I’ve spoken to lots of people about gardening for the Games, especially all the dog walkers and the women at the gym!

“I think I’ve made a ripple with some sort of competition between the neighbours, especially since I did my front garden bed of red, white and blue flowers. It’s now a race every time the sun comes out! I really need that sun as the petunias are refusing to flower…

“My neighbour got involved after saying ‘as you put the Olympic torch in your garden, I felt I should make an effort too!’ I’ll confess my torch was never meant to be that, but after they said that, I could see the effect! I have white lobelia at the top, but I think I will have to swap it for some yellow flowers to get the ‘flame’ effect…”

Inspiring neighbours with red, white and blue flowers in Susan's front garden

Mascot: Wenlock celebrates

Tell your story: Click here to get in touch with Philip

See more: Visit our Flickr set of exciting images…

Read more: Olympic heroes at President Kennedy School

Get involved: Become a London 2012 Local Leader

News: London 2012 launch Local Leaders with Master Gardeners

Resources: Download Philip Turvil’s flower and vegetable growing guides produced with the enthusiastic team at LOCOG

Blog: Olympic Park tour with London 2012 update

Article by Philip Turvil

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May 2010 – May 2012: Master Gardener achievements

May 2010 – May 2012: Master Gardener achievements

Garden Organic is delighted to publish the two-year achievements of our Master Gardener pilots networks.

The unsettled weather this spring hasn’t put off over three hundred active volunteers helping people grow and share local fruit and veg.

Master Gardeners come from their community to help their community. We currently operate in Warwickshire, Norfolk, North London, and South London thanks to our funding and local partners.

Master Gardener networks: May 2010 to May 2012

  • 12,016 hours by 319 active Master Gardeners.
  • 34,875  food-growing conversations at events, schools and local innovations.
  • 3,401 people regularly mentored to grow food in over 1,500 households and groups.
  • 439 community events supported

Behind the numbers

  • Research by Coventry University shows lasting behavioural change on beneficiaries –  health, social and environmental benefits. Details coming soon…
  • Every volunteer supported by Garden Organic’s locally based co-ordinators
  • Frequent, custom training to share learning and link local groups.
  • High profile press, eg BBC, Grow Your Own, London 2012 Local Leaders

Find out more

Lincolnshire network supported by NHS

Over 1,000 hours with 100% retention of delightful volunteers. We’re publishing their latest achievements in July 2012. Please click here for the latest published stats and here for case studies

The future

We’re looking for funding partners to help us continue and expand the impact of this programme in 2013 and beyond in new and specialist areas. Please click here to read more about future areas.

Would you like to support the work of the UK’s leading organic growing charity, Garden Organic, by joining as member? Please click here.

Huge thanks to our team: Kate, Kate, Fiona, Gabbie, Rick and Susan. Together with all the enthusiastic folk at Garden Organic.

Very best wishes

Philip

Philip Turvil
Project Manager,
Master Gardener Programme, Garden Organic

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More Master Gardeners win awards!

More Master Gardeners win awards!

Garden Organic has congratulated Master Gardeners for winning awards at the this year’s National Masters Conference at Ryton Gardens on the 30 June.

Independent judges looked through a record high for the number of nominations from fellow volunteers, as well as their mentored households and proud co-ordinators.

One judge said: “a pleasure and inspirational – FANTASTIC”

The awards were kindly presented by BBC Blue Peter gardener, Chris Collins

Of course every volunteer is stunning. Every volunteer finds their own way to excite communities into growing and sharing food. In fact, the programme team like nothing more than chatting with Master Gardeners about successes and challenges. Thank you to everyone.

Please click here to read about the Master Gardener role and here for case studies

Visit the award-winning Master Composters too…

The Individual Master Gardener Achievement Award

This award was given to an individual Master Gardener who has gone beyond expectation in his/her promotional activities, either due to the amount of time or effort that they have devoted to their volunteering or the exceptional results that they have achieved.

3rd place: Mike Wohl – Islington Master Gardener
2nd place: Helen Kelly – Warwickshire Master Gardener
1ST PLACE: Anita Gracie – Islington Master Gardener

Anita Gracie

Anita is described as passionate about growing and sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm with other people.

She has done this engaging a wide range of people from all backgrounds and ages, from primary school children to elders in their 80s. A particular success has been encouraging Caribbean elders to get involved.

The Group Master Gardener Achievement Award

This award was given to a group of Master Gardeners that have shown how the whole can be more than the sum of its parts by forming an effective and cohesive group, which has helped to either improve the efficiency of a scheme or had a particularly significant impact locally.

3rd place: Flagship workshop, Norfolk Master Gardeners
2nd place: Warwickshire Master Gardeners
1ST PLACE: Shirley D’oyley & Sue Newcombe – Mablethorpe Community Garden – Lincolnshire Master Gardeners

Co-ordinator Rick collecting on behalf of Shirley & Sue

Against the odds, including having no running water on site, Shirley and Sue have worked wonders.

They have encourage families into growing on the site, including encourage children from the travelling community to grow there too. They have clocked up over 120 volunteering hours in 12 months. They have both constantly done over and above what is expected!

The Master Gardener Innovation Award

This award recognises innovation by either an individual or a group within the Master Gardener programme. Innovative ideas come in many forms, but the judges will look particularly favourably upon those ideas that have the potential to be replicated across other schemes.

2nd place: Keith Wellsted – Warwickshire Master Gardener
1ST PLACE: Nigel Boldero – Norfolk Master Gardener

Nigel Boldero

Nigel became a Master Gardener in September 2011 and has already registered over 34 hours and spoken to over 150 people.

He wins this award for his regular email to his households, to which he attaches factsheets, links to useful sites suited to their specific goals and topical stories from the Master Gardener website. It is a simple but very effective way of getting information to his households.

The ‘Masters’ Award

This award recognises exceptional achievement by a volunteer – possibly supporting both the Master Composter and Master Gardener programmes or simply acting as an inspiration to others through their efforts in either scheme. Someone who has already been nominated for the Achievement Award can also be put forward for this award.

3rd place: Malcolm Nobbs – Buckinghamshire Master Composter
2nd place: John & Sandy Young – Warwickshire Master Composters & Master Gardeners
1ST PLACE: Kate Daly – South London Master Gardener

Kate Daly

As a Master Gardener Kate has been helping at Streatham Common Community Garden) since 2011. They said “she is always so willing to help us out – attending meetings, gardening days and running sessions”. She is so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. She goes beyond the call of duty – doing research for us, picking up plants and compost, and sharing information.

The group added: “Her patience and kind-heartedness must also be noted – as with most groups just starting out, we have been a bit of a shambles at times – but she has stuck by us!” The garden group now have 170 people signed up and Kate will be instrumental in getting them all growing!.

Read more about Kate

Click here to read more about Garden Organic’s National Masters Conference 2012

Support Garden Organic by joining as a member

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Big Jubilee Lunches with Master Gardeners

Big Jubilee Lunches with Master Gardeners

I like patriotic lettuce. Millions of leaves gathered with fellow crops during the long Jubilee weekend in June to share in a ‘Big Lunch’.

Organisers at the Eden Project estimate six million people shared celebrations in community get togethers throughout the UK. Even the carrots I sowed in February grew through the cold spring to get excited by harvest time.

The UK’s leading organic growing charity, Garden Organic, got excited by encouraging Big Lunching through their networks of enthusiastic Master Gardeners. Please see examples below:

London volunteer, Pamela, had an early lunch at Brockwell Park in bright sunshine with 40 people gathering through the afternoon:

“The locally grown produce included salad and dolmades. There was also herb bread, made with herbs grown in the community greenhouses in the park.”

Click here to see images of the dolmades from larger than average cabbage leaves…

Pamela’s later lunch shared local produce with a dozen residents and friends. There was baby leaf salad with puff pastry covered with spinach grown on her estate – as well as “sherry trifle to help us forget about the weather”!

Fellow London Master Gardener, Kate, celebrated with an “amazing mix” of shared food brought by everyone who came from Crescent Way. There was street art and games:

“The children decorated the street with chalk pictures. We had two sessions making bunting out of plastic bags, with one lady being very creative with recycled plastic bags. Then there was a tug of war for children and again for the adults. We were just about to start the sack race and the heavens opened!”

Battersea Master Gardener, Mel, took part in her local street party with lots of neighbours she’d never met before.

“It was a great days for kids. There are more than you realise living nearby when you put them all together! Loads of fellas turned up with their BBQs and everyone brought something to eat or drink. By the end of day, there was a crazy cricket game taking up over half the street!”

Meanwhile, Guy celebrated with horticultural style at Doddington Square and Community Roof Garden:

“I based myself on the ground surrounded by these wooden stump seats we have in a circle. I found it easy to encourage children and their parents over to see what was going on, working with two to three kids at a time. Each child took turn poking two holes in the prepared pots and placing in the beans.”

Complete with his official polo shirt, Guy sowed seeds with children, young teens and adults. Click here to read his full account.

I’m thoroughly delighted by these inspiring tales for people joining together. We may not have the Jubilee next year, but I feel sure the Big Lunch will continue growing every year.

Blog by Philip Turvil

Send your story to the Big Lunch team

Support Garden Organic by becoming a member

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Volunteers are good for the environment

Volunteers are good for the environment

Garden Organic says the positive environmental impact of a quarter of a million hours a year of volunteering on projects that promote sustainable growing is being felt in communities across the UK.

Garden Organic’s volunteers are directly helping to improve the future and the quality of the nation’s gardens and green spaces by giving over 25,000 hours of their own time to projects that provide people with growing advice, mentoring and support.

Garden Organic, which has a volunteer network spanning 15 regional areas, relies on volunteers to help it deliver projects on a range of sustainability issues covering everything from home composting and organic gardening techniques to home fruit and veg production.

Because of its volunteers the charity estimates it has been able to reach out to over 45,000 people in the past year, helping it achieve its aims to inspire people to take positive action in their homes and communities to reduce household food waste, grow their own organic food and change their gardening behaviour towards more sustainable techniques. Volunteering England estimates that the economic value of the UK’s volunteers is worth in excess of £40 billion to our economy each year.

Garden Organic’s Jane Griffiths said, “Volunteers play such a valuable role for charities but it’s not just monetary. Volunteers give us a voice in communities, are able to share enthusiasm and knowledge without obligation, and help encourage people to change the way they do things, in the case of our volunteers’, helping change people’s habits for the good of the environment.”

“Put simply, without our volunteers we just couldn’t carry out the work we do or reach the breadth of people we work with. We just want to say thank you.”

Amongst its 1,500 strong volunteer network, Garden Organic counts two of its mentoring schemes, Master Composters and Master Gardeners, as its greatest successes. Volunteers from these projects alone committed over 15,000 hours of volunteering last year, positively impacting the environment by supporting people to reduce food waste sent to landfill, reduce peat use through home composting, eat seasonally through mentoring people to successfully grow food and encourage organic growing techniques for the long term benefit of the gardens and green spaces within towns, cities and villages. The reach of these networks can’t be underestimated with Master Gardeners collecting data from every one of their active volunteers, which showed their work to promote sustainable activities from May 2010 to November 2011 had reached 27,395 people.

As well its UK wide volunteers, Garden Organic has a further 300 volunteers which support its organic visitor site, Ryton Gardens, its vegetable conservation project, the Heritage Seed Library as Seed Guardians, and its Sowing New Seeds project as Seed Stewards.

To find out more about Garden Organic’s Master Composter and Master Gardener volunteers visit http://www.homecomposting.org.uk or http://www.mastergardeners.org.uk

If you are interested in the volunteering opportunities available at Garden Organic then please call 024 76303517 or email enquiry@gardenorganic.org.uk

Click here to read more Garden Organic news stories

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Hundreds of new growers celebrate

Hundreds of new growers celebrate

Garden Organic invited families mentored by Master Gardeners to five special celebration events this spring to start the growing season.

Nearly 500 registered ‘households’ came to meet each other and Master Gardeners over lunch and tea at local events in north and south London, Warwickshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire.

These busy socials followed feedback from households and our volunteers for occasions to share their food growing enthusiasm with the wider network.

We’re now planning more ways for supported food growers. There are over 3,300 people who are regularly mentored to grow food by a Master Gardener at home and in shared spaces.

What happened? Please click through to local stories:

24 March 2012: Warwickshire Household celebration!

6 May 2012: Norfolk households celebrate their growing success

10 March 2012: North Londoners celebrate all things edible

11 March 2012: South Londoners gather on mass to share enthusiasm and tips

1st April 2012: Celebrations in Lincolnshire are no joke!

Something to smile about! Click here to visit our Flickr photo collection

Get involved with the Master Gardeners Programme

Find out more about the UK’s leading organic growing charity, Garden Organic

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    I have lots of visitors to my allotment, some want to come and share tea and biscuits with me in my shed, some laze in deckchairs, some swap allotment tips while others stay for lo...
  • Forward Footing on Allotment 17b Posted on 26 August 2015
    On Monday 24 August I hosted a Wellbeing funded art project on my allotment! I was pleased that several members of Dementia Support South Lincolnshire attended, along with several ...
  • Lincolnshire Master Gardeners at Big Boston Festival Posted on 17 July 2015
    I was asked to make some creative interventions for the BBG festival site for the weekend of 4/5 July and also provide some activities on the day….I asked MG Tracy of Boston ...
  • Case Study: Lenthall Care Home, Market Harborough Posted on 8 September 2017
    Care homes for elderly people often have a reputation for being places where residents sit in high backed chairs with their backs to the wall, staring into space and waiting for th...
  • Reviving Shelthorpe Community Garden, Loughborough Posted on 25 August 2017
    Shelthorpe is a hidden gem of a community garden, tucked away at the end of a narrow cul-de-sac and surrounded on all sides by 1950s council houses.  The entrance is through a hig...
  • A Right Royal Visit Posted on 21 August 2017
    On Friday, our Leicestershire Master Gardeners and their guests enjoyed a day trip to Highgrove Gardens, the home of Garden Organic’s patron HRH The Prince of Wales, as a t...
  • Identifying a weed? Posted on 21 August 2017
    I’m supporting a community garden to grow their own food. Lately there been a fine crop of flowering weeds (see image below). we do not know what this is. Can you help identi...
  • Tammy’s Allotment Posted on 18 July 2017
    One of the great privileges of coordinating a Master Gardeners programme lies in the opportunity to visit some of our supported growers and see at first hand the joy that learning ...
  • Welcome to Somerset Master Gardeners Posted on 21 November 2012
      Garden Organic is delighted to announce our partnership with Somerset Community Food to support volunteer ‘Master Gardeners’ to help communities grow their own f...
  • A fresh start Posted on 11 November 2014
      Trying to beat a drug addiction is a huge challenge. Trying to detox whilst serving a prison sentence can be even more complex. But sometimes the simple things in life can h...
  • Blogs coming soon Posted on 9 February 2013
    Our programme at HMP Rye Hill begins in spring 2013. Please visit back soon for latest blogs. In the meantime, please click here to read Master Gardener blogs from across the UK Ab...
  • Case studies coming soon Posted on 9 February 2013
    Our programme at HMP Rye Hill begins in spring 2013. Please visit back soon for latest case studies. In the meantime, please click here to read case studies from our Master Gardene...
We’re creating a model to establish custom networks of volunteer Master Gardeners in more UK areas. More information available here.

Photos on flickr