Local Growers’ Meeting: Saturday 18th Feb

February isn’t a great time to invite other growers to have a look around your place: it’s all a bit muddy, tired and untidy, and there’s very little fresh new growth to get excited about. However, having helped set up Bath & Bristol Organic Growers’ Group last year, it was definitely about time for another meeting – and if I invited seasoned and experienced growers to my place now, there was still time to put in place any handy tips for the coming growing season (cunning strategy eh?).

A local growers’ group is a great opportunity to pick each others’ brains, and pass on any info on seed varieties, composts, equipment etc; plus contacts, leads for customers, ideas for diversifying – and of course to sympathise with and support each other. Everyone was so positive, and seemed impressed with the micro leaf trays in my module tunnel. Phelim (Arcadia Organics) and Ben (Community Farm/Soil Association/local grower) are fountains of knowledge, and were very encouraging, even though my market garden is small compared to some of the larger farms they grow on – moral support is invaluable at times when you work on your own a lot. I showed off my huge(!) range of machinery as that’s always the first thing the guys are interested in: a Howard rotovator; and hand-made wheel hoe. Not quite in the same league as the Massey Ferguson tractors etc; but they do get the job done. After a hot chocolate in the cafe, seed advice and general catch up after the quick farm walk, we’re all geared up for the season, and looking forward to the next meeting…

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