Garden Organic, The National Charity For Organic Growing
Ryton Gardens, Coventry, Warwickshire Cv8 3lg
Our mission Garden Organic inspires, encourages and supports individuals and groups to grow organically. We achieve this through our research, our demonstration gardens and our educational and promotional work.
Garden Organic is the country's leading charity for promoting sustainable and organic horticulture and gardening both here in the UK and overseas.
Founded over 50 years ago by Lawrence Hills a dedicated visionary who was ahead of his time in promoting sustainable organic growing. Garden Organic supports everyone and anyone with a desire to grow plants in a more sustainable way whether they be commercial growers, community groups or simply families gardening at home or in an allotment.
Garden Organic is an ‘environmental organisation with a social conscience’ we conduct research, campaign for change and develop practical projects using organic methods to help communities grow in more ways than one.
We not only help people to grow in a way which protects our environment but also provide practical positive opportunities for adults and children to:
live active healthier lifestyles,
access to local fresh healthy food,
build confidence and learn new skills,
learn more about how what we do impacts upon the world in which we live and what we can do about it in a way which is practical and fun,
enhance the employment prospects for the unemployed,
get together and build cohesive communities through gardening regardless of their age or background.
Here are some of the things we have achieved in recent years:
Campaigning for good – the ‘One Pot Pledge’ to date over 30,000 families have signed up to growing organically and we are still going strong.
Bringing communities together – ‘Sowing new seeds’ helping culturally diverse communities in some of the most deprived areas across the Midlands to grow exotic crops not traditionally grown in the UK.
Promoting best practice – our ‘National Demonstration Gardens at Ryton’ home to numerous show gardens open to the public demonstrating best practice in sustainable methods.
Educating and changing behaviour – working in partnership with the Health Education Trust, Focus on Food and the Soil Association to form the ‘Food for Life Partnership’, Garden Organic actively supported over 4,000 schools in setting up school gardens for the growing of food and trained teachers on how to use organic growing across all the subject areas as part of the National Curriculum;
Promoting voluntary action – our ‘Master Gardeners Programme’ training local people to act as mentors and trainers of novice gardeners in local communities around the country getting people growing their own food. Over 2,000 people mentored to date.
Managing waste sustainably– over 1,500 ‘Master Composters’ are trained to help people know how to compost their household waste and so reduce waste to landfill
Protecting Biodiversity – the ‘Heritage Seed Library’ – a network of experienced gardeners help to grow and harvest seed from over 600 rare varieties of vegetables and fruit from across the UK which are catalogued and stored in our seed library. Without the seed library these plants would be lost and with them a valuable resource for future use.
Influencing national policy – Garden Organic led the Government’s ‘Food Growing in Schools Task Force’ which was launched recently to establish a national campaign celebrating food growing in schools with recommendations to promote food growing in schools across the country.
Supporting communities in need overseas – Centre for Agro-ecology and Food Security set up by Garden organic in partnership with Coventry University is providing international applied research, consultancy, professional training and development on sustainable farming and food systems.