News from Garden Organic
Gardeners and allotment holders are being invited to take part in an exciting new bumblebee survey aimed at gauging bee numbers and behaviours in UK allotments and gardens.
The Centre for Agroecology and Food Security (CAFS), a joint initiative between Garden Organic and Coventry University, has launched the “Bumblebee presence and resource utilisation in allotments and gardens in the United Kingdom” research project. Its aim is to explore the diversity and abundance of the eight most common bumblebee species in UK allotments and gardens.
The survey runs from June to August 31 and people can take part by downloading instructions and recording forms from the Garden Organic website. They will be asked to record bee numbers and behaviours over a three month period.
Garden Organic created a buzz at the UK launch of new bee movie More Than Honey with a copy of its Bee Heard News sheet presented to everyone at the premiere.
The UK Green Film Festival, sponsored by Friends of the Earth, launched on Saturday 1 June at London’s Hackney Picturehouse, with the screening of Academy Award®–nominated director Markus Imhoof’s visually stunning look at the world bee crisis, More Than Honey. Each person attending the premiere received a copy of Bee Heard News - an exclusive update on the latest news and future activity for Garden Organic’s Bee Heard campaign.
Garden Organic’s Development Director Bret Willers was a guest speaker at a special post-film event put on as part of the UK Green Film Festival opening night gala. He talked about themes in the film and answered questions from the audience about the Bee Heard campaign.
Heritage seed supplied by Garden Organic has helped sow success for Birmingham City Council’s ‘Enlightenment’ display as it scooped a Gold Medal award at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.
A number of rare heritage seed varieties from Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library (HSL) including French beans, tomatoes, kale and peas featured in the wartime themed Birmingham in the Blitz element of the award winning garden. Seed varieties such as the Cherokee Trail of Tears French bean and Kenilworth tomato variety, which date back over 50 years or more, were donated from the HSL for the ‘Enlightenment’ display.
The role of campaigning in the Fight for Biodiversity and Safer Gardens were the key themes as Garden Organic hosted its 2013 Annual General Meeting and Members Day event.
A panel of guest speakers discussing the Fight for Biodiversity and Safer Gardens theme was the centrepiece of the Members Day held on Saturday 11 May at Garden Organic’s Ryton Gardens site. The panel comprising of Garden Organic’s President Tim Lang, Friends of the Earth’s Head of Nature Paul De Zylva and environmental and gardening journalist John Walker, all delivered a set of engaging and insightful talks around the key theme of Fighting Biodiversity and Safer Gardens.
Triumph and trepidation as Garden Organic gives cautious welcome to new draft EU seed directive - 09-05-2013
Garden Organic, the national charity for organic growing, has given a cautious welcome to the new EU seed directive as a “step in the right direction” but with a need for “vigilance in the future” after fears the proposals would put plant biodiversity at risk.
Garden Organic’s first ever Wildlife Weekend left those attending buzzing with excitement with talks and activities on bees among the highlights of the two day event.
Great news - the European Commission have voted in favour of a two year ban in the use of Neonicotinoids.
New ‘Art in the Gardens’ exhibition - 24-04-2013
A new exhibition ‘Art in the Gardens’ showcasing the work of a range of Midlands based artists has opened at Ryton Gardens.The ‘Art in the Gardens’ exhibition will highlight the work of a different local artist each month, with various works of art installed throughout the popular Ryton Gardens site. The event starts this month with a series of abstract art paintings by Stratford-upon-Avon born artist Sonia Bublaitis.
Garden Organic has joined forces with Raymond Blanc to launch a new competition to design a heritage garden at the famous Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons restaurant.Launching in April this year, The Raymond Blanc National Heritage Garden Competition, in association with Garden Organic, the Society of Garden Designers and Hartley Botanic, has been conceived to raise awareness of the on-going work by Garden Organic in promoting organic gardening methods. The Heritage Garden will also showcase the huge importance of preserving knowledge and the use of heritage plants through Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library.
I am writing to let you know that I will be leaving Garden Organic at the end of August this year.
I have greatly enjoyed my time at Garden Organic, working with inspiring members, staff and volunteers in taking our work out to new audiences.
Hairy Bikers get some core apple advice from Bob Sherman - 09-04-2013
Garden Organic’s Bob Sherman is set to feature in the new Hairy Biker show Best of British, providing core tips and advice on apples to the much loved TV chefs.
Get Set Grow - cancelled - 22-03-2013
Garden Organic regrets to announce that the Get Set Grow event is cancelled today. This is due to the severe weather and the health and safety risk.
Garden Organic is searching for new Master Gardeners to help families across Coventry and Warwickshire to grow their own food.
Would you like to be a Trainee at Ryton Gardens? - 07-03-2013
We have been successful in securing funding to support a trainee at Ryton Gardens. There are 20 other gardens included in this scheme. For more information please go toApplication
Get Set, Grow! event - 25-02-2013
Visitors will be able to discover the joys of growing their own organic food - with hundreds of free plants being given away - at Ryton Gardens on Saturday March 23.
Garden Organic - the UK’s leading organic growing charity - will be holding its “Get Set, Grow!” event at its home Ryton Gardens from 10am to 4pm.
Course Sat 16 Feb - Allotments for Busy People - 16-02-2013
This is a course designed for those who have an allotment, but who don't have all day to tend it. It is full of tips and tricks on how to manage your plot, quick easy wins and easy weed management that suits the hours you have spare to tend it.
Food growing set to be on National Curriculum - 10-02-2013
Garden Organic is delighted its long campaign for every schoolchild to have a chance to grow their own food looks set to succeed - with “horticulture” due to become part of the National Curriculum.
Garden Organic is thrilled that horticulture has been introduced as a key activity for design and technology in the draft version of the National Curriculum.
CAFS welcomes Professor Dyno Keatinge - 06-02-2013
The Centre for Agroecology and Food Security (CAFS) will host a talk by an international expert on agriculture’s role in tackling global malnutrition on Friday February 15.
CAFS – a joint initiative between Garden Organic and Coventry University – has invited Professor Dyno Keatinge, Director General of AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center, based in Taiwan, to give a seminar.
64,000 people demand National Bee Action Plan - 29-01-2013
Giant bees descended on Downing Street on Tuesday (January 29) to sting the government into delivering a Bee Action Plan, as part of Friends of the Earth’s Bee Cause campaign.
They delivered over 64,000 demands from UK residents, gathered by Friends of the Earth and Garden Organic, which is running a parallel campaign called Bee Heard.
Visitors will have a chance to see celebrity gardener James Wong at Garden Organic’s National Potato Day on Sunday January 27.
The government must stop winging it on bees - 12-12-2012
Leading organic charity joins forces with Friends of the Earth to challenge the government to come up with a proper national plan for bees.
Are you growing your own local food and having to spend more than you would like on buying in compost? Are you looking to become more sustainable and self-sufficient on your growing site? Help is at hand! The Community Composting Network have received funding from the Big Lottery Local Food Fund to set up and run a unique course for local food growing groups to give them the skills and knowledge to set up their own composting projects.
Ambassadors on GQT - 16-10-2012
Ambassadors for GO Bob Flowerdew and James Wong were featured in Gardeners Question time this week talking about hardy exotic plants in James's back garden.
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 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.
Breaking ground at Bishops Itchington - 03-10-2012
A partnership project between Garden Organic and Orbit Heart of England, a social housing company, broke new ground at the end of September with the beginnings of a community growing space.
Food Growing in Schools Stakeholder event - 26-09-2012
Food Growing In Schools Stakeholder Event
Wednesday 26th September 2012
London’s Living Room, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London
A major event to bring school food growing representatives from across the UK together will convene at the Food Growing in Schools Stakeholder conference on Wednesday 26 September 2012, organised by Garden Organic in association with Growing Schools and sponsored by Morrisons Let’s Grow.
The Food Growing in Schools Stakeholder event, taking place at London’s City Hall, follows on from a Government appointed and Garden Organic chaired Food Growing in School’s Taskforce, which found evidence to prove the positive impact of integrating and delivering food growing activity in the UK’s schools.
From school to supermarket - 18-09-2012
Schools across UK sell home grown wonky carrots and misshapen strawberries to Waitrose shoppers
Primary and secondary schools from across London and other parts of the UK took part in The School Food Matters ‘School Produce Sale’ on Thursday 12th July, selling home grown produce, from wonky carrots to misshapen strawberries.
Fifty one schools took part in the event of which 34 were Garden Organic for Schools members and 27 were Food for Life Partnership Schools.
Let’s Grow goes organic - 11-09-2012
Children will reap the benefits of growing organic food in schools in the new academic year thanks to a partnership between Garden Organic and Morrisons.
New and Improved online resources for schools - 10-09-2012
Garden Organic has re-launched its online Food for Life Partnership Bronze, Silver and Gold food growing manuals, a free resource to help enrolled schools achieve their awards.
Providing organic educational opportunities - 10-09-2012
Providing placements for students, especially from overseas, is an excellent way for Garden Organic to spread its messages about sustainable growing techniques throughout the world.
Get Sowing New 'Seedy' this Autumn! - 05-09-2012
The Garden Organic Sowing New Seeds project will be putting on a number of events in the Midlands this autumn to celebrate exotic produce, share knowledge and get everybody seed saving in anticipation of next year’s growing season.
Wildlife undeterred at Ryton Gardens - 31-08-2012
Despite the wet summer it’s still been a relatively good year for wildife at Warwickshire’s Ryton Gardens, the home of Garden Organic. Sally Cunningham rounds up the summer’s sightings.
Review of our Governing Documents - 13-08-2012
Garden Organic is reviewing and updating its Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A), our governing document, to take account of changes in legislation since the document was last updated, as well as ensure its relevance for the present and the future.
Spicy event will bring heat back to summer - 09-08-2012
Garden Organic is aiming to put the ‘hot’ back into summer later this month and is calling on people with a taste for all things hot and spicy to come to its ‘Chilli Day’ on Saturday 18 August, Ryton Gardens, 10am to 4pm.
Insight into blight control - 07-08-2012
In early August the Sárvári Research Trust held its tenth annual open day. This organisation, based near Bangor on the North Wales coast, is mainly concerned with the breeding of potatoes resistant to late blight (Phytophthora infestans) and are responsible for the introduction of Sárpo potatoes such as Mira and Axona. The open day was attended by members of the research team from Garden Organic.
Brussels rules against seed diversity - 25-07-2012
The choice of what crops are available for gardeners to grow has been dealt yet another restrictive blow, according to leading organic charities Garden Organic and the Soil Association.
Have your say on Garden Organic's future! - 07-07-2012
The Council of Management has announced a review of our governing documents and the Memorandum of Articles of Association. Some recent changes in charity and company legislation give us the opportunity to review these to ensure that we are best placed to govern effectively.
Garden Organic has welcomed the announcement by the Education Secretary Michael Gove MP, that Government will undertake a review of School Food in England.
Exotic crops that love to grow in the British climate will be the focus of Garden Organic's ‘Edible Patch’ at BBC Gardeners’ World Live this June.
Taro, Calaloo and Zimbabwean Kale - not usually associated with UK allotments - will be showcased in a living garden exhibit by Garden Organic, which aims to highlight the important work of its project, Sowing New Seeds.
Myles Bremner talks urban growing at Hay Festival - 01-06-2012
The rise in urban growing will be the topic of conversation when Garden Organic’s Chief Executive, Myles Bremner joins writer and urban grower, Tom Moggach and Chair of London Food Board, Rosie Boycott, at the Hay on Earth stage at this weekend’s Hay Festival.
Volunteers are good for the environment - 31-05-2012
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.
Common sense hygiene means you can compost safely - 28-05-2012
Garden Organic is urging gardeners not to panic in the wake of the Legionella longbeachae compost scare in Scotland.
Free Sowing New Seeds workshops - 10-05-2012
Garden Organic’s Sowing New Seeds project will be running free workshops in Leicester, Nottingham, Coventry and Birmingham on growing non-traditional foods.
The workshops, in May and June, offer a fascinating insight into the more unusual crops that can be successfully grown to eat in the UK.
May 2012 Organic Matters Newsletter link Problems - 04-05-2012
We would like to offer our apologies for any problems encountered with our May 2012 Newsletter
The fight against blight - 30-04-2012
Could you help fight blight?
Potato and tomato blight can really ruin a veg growers day. Could you help in the fight to control this devastating disease?
Organic Kitchen Garden at Audley End Announcement - 04-04-2012
As of 1st April 2012, after a proud and successful thirteen years, firstly as restorers and subsequently custodians, Garden Organic, has handed back the daily management of the Organic Kitchen Garden at Audley End to English Heritage.
- More news in our News archive
Note to Editors:
- Garden Organic, formally known as HDRA, is the UK's leading organic growing and lifestyle charity dedicated to researching and promoting organic gardening, farming and food.
- The charity, which is looking to grow its membership of 40,000, is based at Garden Organic Ryton in Warwickshire and celebrates its 50th year in 2008.
- Garden Organic also manages demonstration gardens at Garden Organic Ryton in Warwickshire and Audley End Organic Kitchen Garden in Essex in association with English Heritage. To find out more visit www.gardenorganic.org.uk
- The organisation runs major research and international development programmes that play a leading role in helping commercial growers across the UK and overseas adopt organic methods.
- Garden Organic actively campaigns on issues vital to both people and the environment, including health, sustainability, climate change, GM trials and Garden Grabbing, among others.
- Over 10% of all schools in the UK are now signed up to Garden Organic's educational programme, Duchy Originals Garden Organic for Schools, which helps pupils grow their own organic vegetables.
Our Headquarters, Garden Organic Ryton are five miles south east of Coventry and signposted off the A45. They are open daily. Tel 024 7630 3517.