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Spotlight on Master Gardeners as Local Food audit Garden Organic

Spotlight on Master Gardeners as Local Food audit Garden Organic

Grant officers from Local Food visited Garden Organic’s Ryton Gardens on the 14 August 2013 to audit the Master Gardener Programme.

This was a wonderful opportunity to look back, and look ahead since Local Food funded the pilot Master Gardener networks in spring 2010.

Hundreds of volunteer ‘Master Gardeners’ have now helped 50,000 people benefit from growing food in Warwickshire, Norfolk, North London and South London.

This pilot is one of Local Food’s ‘Beacon’ projects; part of their £59.8m scheme to distributes grants from the Big Lottery Fund to projects helping to make locally grown food accessible and affordable to communities.

Admiring local food

What happened during the audit?

Senior grants officer, Maria Marsden and grants administrator, Janet Lambert, met with Master Gardener Programme manager Philip Turvil and Warwickshire Master Gardener co-ordinator, Kate Newman.

Then lively Master Gardeners Stella, Keith, John, and Sandy kindly joined us for lunch to share their enthusiasm for the volunteer role and its impact on them and the people they mentor.

  • We looked back – how the Master Gardener Programme has evolved with feedback from our lovely volunteers and expert team of co-ordinators.
  • We looked at the now – celebrating and challenging methods for volunteer recruitment, training, support,  monitoring, and resource.
  • We looked to the future – discussing final grant allocations and plans to expand the Local Food networks and commissioned networks in Lincolnshire, Medway, Somerset, and HMP Rye Hill.

Senior grants officer, Maria Marsden said

“I was genuinely impressed with the time and investment spent on training your Master Gardeners and it obviously pays off as every Master Gardener I have met to date seems really passionate about what they do and happy in their role

“…the whole day made me confident that the Master Gardener Programme was Local Food money well spent!”

Master Gardener Programme manager Philip Turvil said

“The team at Local Food believe in their funded projects. This is invaluable.

“They have provided consistent support and confidence for Garden Organic to deliver the Master Gardener Programme with enthusiastic volunteers. This extends from the pilot Beacon funding to the additional grants to develop community impact and future commissions. Thank you.”

Adventurous crops: Lab Lab beans at Ryton Gardens

Adding new seeds

Grants officer, Cate Brimblecombe-Clark also visited Anton Rosenfeld and Sally Cunningham at Garden Organic to audit the Local Food funded ‘Sowing New Seeds’ project.

This project has enabled allotment holders, schools and community groups in the Midlands to grow exotic crops not traditionally grown in the UK. An excellent innovation that is busy expanding.

Read more about the Sowing New Seeds project here

 

L to R: Philip Turvil, Sally Cunningham, Janet Lambert, Maria Marsden, Cate Brimblecombe-Clark, Sandy Young, Stella Stroud, Keith Wellsted, Kate Newman, Francis Rayns, Anton Rosenfeld, John Young

More news

Lights, camera, GROW! Master Gardeners filmed for Local Food award video

Garden Organic’s Master Gardener programme nominated for national award

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Lights, camera, GROW! Master Gardeners filmed for Local Food award video

Lights, camera, GROW! Master Gardeners filmed for Local Food award video

We were caught on film on Thursday 1 August at Ryton Gardens where Master Gardeners shared their views on the Garden Organic network of growing mentors.

The filming comes after the Master Gardener Programme was shortlisted for a national award.

We’ll compete against two other projects from England for the chance to be named winners of the Education and Learning category in the Local Food Recognition Awards 2013. Read more here.

Lights, camera, GROW!

We answered intriguing questions on film to impress the judging panel (we hope) and for broadcast at Local Food’s award ceremony on the 20 November 2013.

Our favourite questions

  1. Tell us what is outstanding about your project
  2. Tell us why you think your project should win this particular award for Education & Learning
  3. Give us an example of how this project has had an outstanding impact and/or changed the lives of the people in the community it serves
  4. Do you have any particular message for the External Judging Panel?

Filming break

Thank you to our Master Gardeners Alice, Anastasia, John, Sandy and Vicki.

Each bravely stood in the spotlight to share stories of how being a volunteer has made a difference to the people they mentor to grow food, and had an impact on them.

Read about Master Gardener impact.

Thanks to Rick and Pete from the creative media agency, Fresh Cut.

Great ideas and enthusiasm. Click here to see their films

And thanks Maria and Mark from Local Food

The £59.8m scheme that distributes grants from the Big Lottery Fund to projects helping to make locally grown food accessible and affordable to communities. Click here for more.

 

Our youngest Master Gardener, Anastasia shares her experience. Her mother (and fellow MG) Alice are transforming local food in their village.

Master Gardener, John doing what he does best; talking about growing food with his trademark enthusiasm.

Queen of the paperpots, Sandy – MG extraordinaire, explains how she support schools to be excited by growing

A new talent in the Master Gardener network, Vicki is determined that everyone can grow food! Even the film crew had a personal introduction to blackcurrants and other veg…

Master Gardener Programme manager, Philip Turvil representing the 475 Garden Organic volunteers that have dedicated over 18,000 hours to help local people grow their own food. Lots to say!

Film-maker Rick captures the Master Gardeners chatting! No ‘director’ is necessary as fruit and veg discussion is abundant

 

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Find your nearest Master Gardener

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

Read how the Master Gardener programme was nominated for a national award

 

Article by Philip Turvil

 

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Garden Organic’s Master Gardener programme nominated for national award

Garden Organic’s Master Gardener programme nominated for national award

Garden Organic’s Master Gardener Programme has been shortlisted for a national award.

The Master Gardener Programme, run by the charity Garden Organic, will compete against two other projects from across England for the chance to be named winners of the Education and Learning category in the Local Food Recognition Awards 2013. The awards are organised by Local Food, a £59.8m scheme that distributes grants from the Big Lottery Fund to projects helping to make locally grown food accessible and affordable to communities

Since 2009, the Master Gardener project has received £674,254 in funding from Local Food to develop a practical model for a volunteer support network to encourage and mentor people and communities to grow fruit and vegetables in their gardens and on local communal land. This has involved the recruitment of a co-ordination team based in Warwickshire, London and Norfolk, who have trained and supported 475 Master Gardeners who have given 18,500 hours to promote home food production.

The volunteers have impacted on the lives of 4,300 people in mentored ‘households’ and another 52,000 people through workshops and other support for local groups. The Local Food Recognition Awards are an opportunity to recognise, reward and celebrate some of the hundreds of outstanding community projects that Local Food has funded since the programme opened in 2008.

Philip Turvil, Master Gardener Programme Manager, said: “Garden Organic’s Master Gardeners have 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 lettuce for lunch. We want to teach them how to pass this information on to others in the community, to share their passion and experience so that everyone is learning from each other and feeling the benefits.

“By working with volunteers in their communities, we’re showing 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.”

Mark Wheddon, Local Food Programme Manager, said: “The Local Food Recognition Awards seek to celebrate the most outstanding community projects delivered with the help of Local Food funding.

“All our projects have made a positive and lasting impact in the communities in which they are based, helping local people in all manner of different ways to access, grow, prepare and understand the benefits of fresh, healthy food, so to be shortlisted for an Award is a tremendous achievement. Many Local Food projects have gone beyond the original aims of the programme and are having much wider impacts in their communities, so our judges have a difficult but exciting task ahead in choosing the winners.”

All 500 Local Food projects were invited to enter the Awards in 4 categories – Small Grants, Community Food Growing, Education and Learning, and Enterprise. Shortlisted projects will be judged by an external panel in September, and the winners in each category will be unveiled in November at an event at The Lowry in Manchester. – ends –

For further information, please contact:

Philip Turvil, Master Gardener Programme Manager: Email here

Lorraine Mullally, PR and Communications Manager, Local Food: 01636 670105 / lmullally@rswt.org

Notes for Editors:

Garden Organic (http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk) is the UK’s leading organic growing charity dedicated to promoting organic gardening in homes, communities and schools. Using innovation and inspiration, the charity aims to get more people growing in the most sustainable way. Garden Organic delivers 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.

Volunteer Master Gardeners (http://www.mastergardeners.org.uk) offer food growing advice to local people and communities. The volunteers are fully trained and supported by Garden Organic, the UK’s leading organic growing charity.

This three-year pilot programme is funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food scheme, Sheepdrove Trust and local authorities in four areas: Warwickshire, Islington, South London and Norfolk. Garden Organic aim to develop and sustain these programme areas more nationally to follow the success of Garden Organic’s Master Composter network.

Local Food (http://www.localfoodgrants.org) is a £59.8 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 to communities. It was developed by a consortium of 17 national environmental organisations, and is managed by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT).
RSWT is a registered charity incorporated by Royal charter to promote conservation and manage environmental programmes throughout the UK. It has established management systems for holding and distributing funds totalling more than £20 million a year.

The Big Lottery Fund (http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk) is the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding. It is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need, awarding over £4.4 billion to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since 2004.

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Record number of volunteer Master Gardeners helping people grow food

Record number of volunteer Master Gardeners helping people grow food

We’re delighted to welcome 144 new volunteer growing mentors after eight training weekends in spring 2013.

The co-ordination team at the national charity, Garden Organic carefully recruited enthusiastic Master Gardeners with an urge to share their food growing experience with local people and communities.

We now have seven mentor networks around the UK with hundreds of city and rural volunteers offering free advice and support for individuals, families, groups, and shared growing spaces.

What happens on a Master Gardener induction training weekend for new volunteers?

Please click on each network below for photos and stories from spring 2013.

Somerset’s first Master Gardeners trained, March 2013 Coventry’s first Master Gardeners, March 2013 New Norfolk Master Gardeners, April 2013
New South London Master Gardeners, April 2013 New Coventy & Warwickshire Master Gardeners, April 2013 Medway’s first Master Gardeners, May 2013
New North London Master Gardeners, May 2013 New Lincolnshire Master Gardeners, June 2013  Visit our Gallery of Masters

 

Grow fruit and veg

Get in touch with us today if you would like to start growing your own food or grow more, from a lettuce on a balcony, to harvest festivals from raised beds in school grounds.

Find your nearest Master Gardener

We don’t just teach our Master Gardeners the best way of growing, but 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.

Garden Organic is showing 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.

Read about the benefits of the Master Gardener Programme to volunteers and their mentees

Master Gardeners on the move

 

Not in your area?

  • Find nearby Garden Organic Master Composters.
  • Help us launch new Master Gardener networks in partnerships with local funding organisations with a health, social and/or environmental remit. Please click here for an overview.
  • Join Garden Organic – the UK’s leading organic growing charity, offering membership benefits and links with local groups

Did you know?

 

Article by Philip Turvil

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Future beacons – after our ‘Local Food’ funding

Future beacons – after our ‘Local Food’ funding

Garden Organic met with fellow ‘Beacon’ grant projects in April 2013 to plan ways to continue our education work after funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food scheme.

I was joined by the South London Master Gardener co-ordinator, Fiona Law, where we met 20 delivery managers at a ‘Shared Learning Exchange’ visit.

Our two days were kindly hosted by Jacqueline Leach and her team at Commonwork in Kent.

Two messages were clear.

1. Prove and promote impact

There was no shortage of belief in our work among the 20 enthusiasts, which included Local Food grant managers Mark Wheddon and Maria Marsden.

The challenge is turning the passion we share for sharing local food into persuasive evidence using a language for which funders can respond.

For instance, we learnt an array of imaginative ways to monitor education work at one or more locations. Recording our achievements (and failures) was termed critical for sustaining success – where time must be found to collate stories and output numbers, even when busy delivering.

Then evaluation. Who cares that more people grow and eat local food? Where’s the testimony and independent voice showing outcomes beyond a radish? And how much does each intervention cost, compared with another (perhaps newer) idea, and compared for social return on investment?

Click here for Local Food’s take on this ‘so what’ scenario with their ‘More than just the veg’ report (link opens PDF).

Next for impact, is shouting. Swapping the quiet modesty of food growers for time dedicated to promotion, with mainstay and newer media. Wrapping up the outputs and outcomes into the funding equivalent of a menu to tempt our target customers. Whether these diners are long term volunteers, retained skilled staff, councillors, colleges, housing managers, etc.

This leads to models, as below.

 

2. Marketable model that secure funders

The accompanying message is turning the promotion of impact into a service and/or product that customers can buy to help meet their remit.

For instance, public health authorities are commissioning Garden Organic to delivery bespoke Master Gardener networks to help meet obesity reduction targets through community activity. This is based on the following three thoughts.

  1. Our lively rural and city-dwelling volunteers share their wondrous methods to find and mentor people to grow veg for meal time. Volunteers benefit in equally diverse ways, and they engage with support from their local co-ordinator. Thank you.
  2. Confidence boost that the Master Gardener role does sustain positive ‘behavioural change’ for people taking part in the programme. This is stated by an independent evaluation by Coventry University showing health, social and environmental impacts for volunteers and their mentees. Further thanks. Promotion brochure and events are in preparation this summer.
  3. Commercial pricing for each part of a Master Gardener network where – based on precedent, Garden Organic can deliver similar achievements in another scenario or location. In particular, managed mentor network with training, resources, and celebration.

Each Beacon project is developing and marketing their own model to sustain and expand on their pilot funding. The odds are better than for business start-ups, but equal to an expanding business, for which preparation and opportunity will yield success.

 

Concluding thoughts

Networking the Beacon projects

The April 2013 visit was the first time where Beacon projects – the largest Local Food grant holders, got together. We exchanged ideas that work at comparable scale and available resources. Another visit is likely. Keeping in touch is definite.

Co-ordinator Fiona Law commented: “We could network and share experiences of working to promote food growing in a relaxed setting. Evidencing social return on investment and celebration of projects were main themes.” Read Fiona’s full report here.

List of Beacon projects at the April 2013 visit: Brighton and Hove Food Partnership; Commonwork; Global Generation; Growing Greenwich; Incredible Edible Food Hub; Learning through Landscapes; and Sutton Community Farm.

Notes by Caroline Schofield of Brighton Permaculture are available from Commonwork’s report here. These notes form an extensive and practical record from the unique crowd of food growing champions.

 

Get involved

Come the national conference for volunteer mentors

Garden Organic is hosting their Shared Learning Exchange visit at the national volunteers conference on the 28 September 2013 at Ryton Gardens, Coventry.

We’re inviting Local Food funded projects with a ‘volunteer mentor’ element to join the day for free. There will be practical training and networking with industry experts and fellow food growing champions.

Read about the 2012 conference here, where 200 Master Gardeners and Master Composters were sent to Coventry…

The 2013 conference programme is due soon. Please get in touch with me for further details about our funded places.

Places are limited.

 

Further information

 

Notes

  • Local Food is a £59.8 million programme that distributes grants from the Big Lottery Fund to a variety of food-related projects that are helping to make locally grown food accessible and affordable to local communities. Visit http://www.localfoodgrants.org/
  • Photo courtesy of Commonwork. See more at this Dropbox link.

 

Report by Master Gardener Programme manager, Philip Turvil, at Garden Organic

 

 

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Watering ‘etiquette’ from Master Gardeners

Watering ‘etiquette’ from Master Gardeners

With the dry weather finally upon us, good crop watering makes all the difference to portion size.

Now is the time to manage your precious water reserve and apply to plants when they need it most.

 

 

 

Life cycle watering

Step 1

Good seed sowing starts off strong plants that’ll be more resilient in drier months. Ensure moist seed ‘drills’ for swift germination and then enough water for rows of emerging seedlings. The same goes for seedlings in pots and trays on the windowsill where small volumes of compost dry out quickly.

Step 2

Water your eager transplants before planting. If their rootball isn’t wet, water will scoot around the edges as the route of least resistance rather than wetting the rootball. Transplants cannot afford any such stop in growth if they’re to produce good roots quickly for summer resilience.

Step 3

Established plants in the soil are best watered in large amounts, but less often. This encourages deeper rooting and more independent plants. Watering little and often promotes shallow roots that will need more water in dry weather. Although do water crops in containers more often, as these can’t root as deeply as soil grown plants.

Top organic tips

  1. Water in the morning or evening (less water is lost to evaporation)
  2. Water beneath leaves to wet the soil. Wet leaves can be scorched in sunny weather
  3. Remove weeds as these compete with plants for water
  4. Water more often in windy weather as plants will dry out in these conditions
  5. Check if outdoor containers need water even after rain. Dense foliage and ‘rain-shadows’ from buildings can stop water getting to the soil
  6. Collect and use rainwater, eg install water-butts for sheds. This reduces the environmental impact and cost of using mains water.
  7. Conserve moisture by adding organic matter to soil, such as compost or leaf mould. Dig in, or spread over the soil surface as a mulch.

Garden Organic’s growing resources

 

Article by Philip Turvil

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New co-ordinator Liza looking for food growers in Medway

New co-ordinator Liza looking for food growers in Medway

Leading charity Garden Organic and ‘A Better Medway’ Health Improvement Services are recruiting ‘Master Gardeners’ to help people benefit from growing food.

We’re delighted to welcome new co-ordinator Liza Scholefield to launch and support this exciting network. Read about her training weekend here

Liza takes over from interim support by our co-ordinator in Norfolk, Gabbie. Thank you Gabbie for your many moments.

And Liza joins a team of co-ordinators where each co-recruits, trains and activity supports Master Gardeners in a flexible volunteer role – and celebrates their achievements.

The details

Liza is a journalist, mum-of-three and chicken-keeper. She has worked with volunteers in schools and in the community.

She’s also an enthusiastic grower of veg. She has run an organic veg box scheme and had allotments in several different parts of the country. She has five compost bins and her eye on a sixth.

She said: “I am really keen to help bring the growing message to lots of new households in Medway. Everywhere there’s a patch of earth, there’s an opportunity.

“We want to share the message that home-grown food tastes great, is good for you and saves money.  Getting started is easier than you might think. Get in touch, and let’s get growing.”

Become a Master Gardener

We’re looking for people from the Medway area with a passion to inspire others to have a go at growing their own food. There’s full training and support.
Please click here for details of the next induction course

Get in touch with Liza

Email Liza here or phone 07971 280 985

Visit! Liza is locally based.
Postal address Garden Organic, Ryton Gardens, Coventry, CV8 3LG

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Emma Parker, from ‘A Better Medway’ says:

“It is projects like this that have a wide and lasting impact on the community and we are happy to support them. ‘The Master Gardener’ programme marks just the beginning in helping to make a positive impact on people’s health.”

The Medway Public Health Directorate manages several resident engagement programmes that promote ‘easier ways to be healthy’ under ‘A Better Medway‘. The programmes are Eating Healthily, Getting Active, Stopping Smoking, Drinking Sensibly and Managing Stress.

Medway Master Gardeners builds on the ‘Medway Grows’ initiative as part of the Eating Healthily programme. The programme also includes ‘Medway Cooks’, ‘Medway Dines’, and advice for healthy eating in the workplace, breastfeeding, oral health, infants, children, and adults.

The lively Master Gardener Programme launched in April 2010 thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food scheme and local support in urban and rural areas.

Coventry University evaluation has proven significant health, social and environmental benefits for people receiving the advice and encouragement of Garden Organic’s growing mentors in successful networks around the UK.

Over 400 Master Gardeners have given 16,000 hours supporting 4,300 people in mentored households and inspiring another 50,000 at hundreds of events and community groups.

Read more here

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Don’t miss a crop with our spring planting guide

Don’t miss a crop with our spring planting guide

Snow. Sunshine. More snow. The 2013 growing season is stylishly late, but sowing can’t wait any longer.

Yes, now is the time to wake up your seeds from their winter snooze.

Fresh from our time with lively Master Gardeners at spring shows and latest training, here’s Garden Organic’s summary of what to plant this spring. The links open PDF files.

So go on, dust of the trowel, hook out a seed tray, and pour on some crumbly organic peat-free compost. Ooooh, lovely.

MARCH – included since our growing season is delayed by cold weather

Plant
Grow
  • Protect spring shoots from slugs.
  • Dig in ‘green manure’ (plants grown for soil protection over-winter).
  • Finish digging over beds, if needed, adding or spreading compost/manure for your most nutrient-hungry crops.
  • Check structural supports of trained fruit, eg ‘cordon’ apples.
  • Boost growth of container plants by replacing top 5cm of soil with compost.
  • Reinvigorate crowded herbs by dividing clumps, eg chives.
Eat

APRIL – time to catch up between the showers

Plant
Grow
  • Start thinning rows of seedlings when large enough to handle.
  • Move seedlings into larger pots as they grow, eg tomato.
  • Protect fruit blossom from frosts with horticultural fleece.
Eat

MAY – nearly frost free. Full windowsills and glasshouses

Plant
Grow
  • Pull up soil around potato shoots to increase yield and prevent tubers going green (‘earthing-up’).
  • Conserve soil moisture by laying a 5cm thick compost ‘mulch’ around young trees.
Eat

Horticultural note:

Seeds are temperamental little chaps, sulking if too cold or too hot. So please vary your timing with local weather – sowing later in spring if growing higher up the UK, or a little earlier if living further south. And earlier if growing in an inner city or sheltered coastal spot.

Garden Organic’s growing resources

Article by Philip Turvil

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Exotic veg training with Anton for Garden Organic Master Gardeners

Exotic veg training with Anton for Garden Organic Master Gardeners

Dudi, lablab, calaloo, haloon, yard long beans, chana, mouse melon, cho cho, mooli, oca, West Indian thyme…

Just some of the tender and exotic crops that over 100 Master Gardeners learned on their extra training days during February 2013.

Our volunteers were introduced to vegetables from a wide range of cultures including India, East Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean.

 

More detail

The training follows research by Dr Anton Rosenfeld in the Garden Organic project ‘Sowing New Seeds‘.

The team has worked with growers in the West Midlands and London to discover how crops that we may define as ‘exotic’ are possible to grow in the UK and indeed flourishing on allotments in the more multi-cultural cities and regions.

Our thanks to Anton for so many intriguing growing tips for our Master Gardeners to pass on to the families and communities they mentor to grow food.

Get involved

Keen to grow? Find your nearest Master Gardener for free food growing support

Keen to volunteer? Become a Master Gardener in spring 2013

Read about exotic groups here

More growing tips from Garden Organic

Blogs

What’s that?! Exotic veg training for London Master Gardeners

Veg on the Edge in Norfolk

Cutting Edge Veg in Warwickshire – volunteer training

Comment

“Growing callaloo!  I’m going to improve on my previous attempts using seeds I collected today.”

“I will be raiding local Indian and Asian grocers for seed supplies and I really want my own lemongrass plant!”

“I’m inspired to experiment with chick peas, turmeric and lemongrass!”

Master Gardener, Tish:
“I love the thought that we are benefitting from the result of immigrants to this country bringing in their own vegetables, selecting those that grow best in this country and learning to grow them under British conditions, and perhaps giving us a head start in learning to adapt what we grow to different climatic conditions.”

On this karella fruit you can see the evidence of a ‘traffic light’ activity – green ‘I know it’, yellow ‘not sure’, red ‘no idea’. Well, we all knew at the end that karella is a cucurbit from the Indian subcontinent best grown under cover, salted to remove bitterness, spiced and baked, and a natural aid against diabetes.

     

 

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New co-ordinator for North London Master Gardeners

New co-ordinator for North London Master Gardeners

We’re delighted to welcome our new North London co-ordinator this week to recruit and support ‘Master Gardeners’.

This lively volunteer network mentors communities to benefit from growing their own food in Hackney, Islington, Haringey and Camden.

Nynke takes over from interim support by our co-ordinator in South London, Fiona. Thank you Fiona for your many moments.

And Nynke joins a team of co-ordinators with the national charity, Garden Organic. Each co-ordinator recruits, trains and activity supports Master Gardeners in a flexible volunteer role – and celebrates their achievements.

The details

Nynke is very enthusiastic!

She has designed, set up and managed volunteering and mentoring programmes for social entrepreneurs, young people, and employees of large city firms. And most recently, for a new community food kitchen in Stoke Newington.

Nynke is certified coach and loves supporting people to develop their confidence to follow new pursuits in life, whether that’s food growing or any other new passion.

In her words:

“I recently acquired my very own woodland garden in Hackney (a rare phenomenon) and am relishing the prospect of my first growing season and spending time experimenting in my new potting shed. The main dilemma though is what to try first?”

So do send her your suggestions!

What’s coming next

Well, Nynke will be out and about in North London.

  1. Contacting lovely Master Gardeners trained in 2010, 2011 and 2012 for a catch up about the role and exciting spring ideas (once the snow melts). Read case studies here.
  2. Recruiting 20 new lively Master Gardeners for training on the 18 and 19 May 2013. Please click here to get involved.
  3. Looking for funding partnerships to sustain and expand the impact of North London Master Gardeners for 2014 and beyond. Overview here.

Get in touch with Nynke

Email her here or phone 07584 474778

Visit! Nynke is locally based.
Postal address Garden Organic, Ryton Gardens, Coventry, CV8 3LG

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For Master Gardeners – log in to your website to register activities, download resources, and chat on the volunteer forum

Become a Master Gardener

We’re looking for people with a passion to inspire others to have a go at growing their own food. Full training and support. Click here for details of the next induction course on the 18 and 19 May 2013.

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  • Food Buddy Kate Brown Posted on 6 June 2016
    ...
  • Pakoras and pumpkins! Croydon has new Food Buddies Posted on 16 May 2016
    What a great day’s Induction Training we had on Saturday (May 14th) when 8 more enthusiastic Food Buddies joined us! We were only minutes in before the new volunteers started...
  • Growing on prescription Posted on 5 May 2016
    This great idea, where GP’s turn over outdoor space for community gardening so patients can grow their own could work in Croydon! Story and picture from The Guardian. The Lam...
  • Meet the Master Gardeners and Growing Buddies Posted on 6 September 2016
    This weekend you can take your chance to ask those all important growing questions, get some fantastic advice, find out how Garden Organic Volunteers can help you or your local com...
  • WILD STRAWBERRIES Posted on 6 September 2016
    Small and sweet and no need to net, but you’ll never get too many just the odd tasty treat now and again. If you’re lucky enough to spot some growing wild then one or two berri...
  • How are your grafts going? Posted on 7 June 2016
    For those Breckland Master Gardeners and Norfolk Master Composters who attended the grafter’s course in February, can you let me know how things are progressing? It seems that qu...
  • Gooseberry – Size and Picking Posted on 7 June 2016
    Well now’s the time to decide big ones or little ones, or should I say fewer, but bigger? For there is always that choice to make when growing fruit you can have lots of littlies...
  • Could you be a Growing Buddy? Posted on 22 May 2016
    Now launching an exciting new volunteering opportunity in Breckland! We are recruiting volunteer ‘Growing Buddies’ to join our current network in Breckland. Growing Buddies...
  • Debbie Chessum Posted on 20 October 2015
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  • Heather Lowe Posted on 20 October 2015
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  • Spreading the organic growing message….. Posted on 2 September 2015
    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 ...
  • 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