News

Eric Barnes wins volunteer of the year

Garden Organic's Eric Barnes wins Volunteer of the Year award

Garden Organic is delighted to announce that volunteer, Eric Barnes, has been crowned the Great British Growing Awards 'Volunteer of the Year'.

Eric Barnes has worked at Ryton Organic Gardens since the first day it opened in 1986, initially as a head guide and since then as groundsman. Eric has also been involved in the horticultural therapy projects on site for many years. He worked and then volunteered for the charity Thrive that originally managed Ryton's horticultural therapy garden, which was opened in 1990.

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Barry Stone

Master Gardener, Barry Stone's, Inspiring Story on YouTube

CommunityChannelTV has produced this inspiring documentary for the Brilliant Britain series, featuring Barry Stone, one of Garden Organic's Master Gardeners. Barry has transformed his once troubled life, through organic gardening and the Master Gardener programme and now inspires others who have found themselves in a similar position to turnaround their lives.

You can watch the film here on YouTube

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Moneymaker tomato

Dr Andrew Collins analyses the EFS report on levels of pesticides residues in food

Garden Organic Trustee, Dr Andrew Collins, analyses The European Food Safety Authority (EFS) report on the levels of pesticide residues found in foods*.

The 27 member states of the EU, together with Norway and Iceland, carry out regular testing of a wide range of foods. Of the samples tested in 2012, 3.1% of conventionally produced and 0.8% of organic food samples contained pesticide residues above the legal limit: 85% of organic foods tested had no detectable residues compared with 53% of conventional foods.

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Top of the Heap

Top of the Heap

Our marvellous Master Composters have been recognised in an on-line poll searching for the most influential people in the waste and resources industry. They came sixth in Resources magazine's annual 'Hot 100' list for 2014, which was based on the votes of more than 6,000 people.

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Rob Smith, The Big Allotment Challenge

Heritage Seed Library Guardian, Rob Smith, wins the BBC's Big Allotment Challenge

Garden Organic is delighted to see Rob Smith, our Heritage Seed Library Seed Guardian, crowned winner of the BBC's Big Allotment Challenge.

The finale saw the finalists growing and showing cauliflowers and cape gooseberries and our Heritage Seed Library's Trifetti Chilli featured in the 'eat' challenge.

Rob, a flight attendant, began growing heritage varieties after realising how much more taste they had. Rob says: "I realised that the heritage varieties I grew with my Grandad had so much more flavour, and tasted like the food we'd eaten as children."

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A Healthy Start for Masters

A healthy start to the new year for our Master Gardeners

Garden Organic's Master Gardener Growing for health and happiness report is hot off the press.

The report shows both the physical and mental health benefits for people who start and continue growing their own food with the support of the Master Gardener programme. The benefits to new growers are as striking as the benefits to their mentors. As well as being more active and eating better, participants report they are feeling happier, with an emphatic 84% of volunteers and 77% of mentored growers feeling more satisfied with life.

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New year changes at Garden Organic

New year changes at Ryton Organic Gardens

Statement from the Council of Garden Organic

Through 2013 and 2014 Council has set a strategy to revitalise and reinvigorate Garden Organic to better face the challenges and opportunities ahead for organic growers. We have made strategic priorities focusing on our core charitable aims of getting more people growing organically, with a particular focus on engaging new audiences - young people, disadvantaged communities, and people with personal challenges - and in protecting our organic heritage, challenging anti-organic proposals and campaigning for organic protection. Working within a challenging financial environment we have had to make some tough decisions.

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BBC Gardeners' Question Time audience vote to support organic

BBC Gardeners' Question Time audience vote to support organic

Great to hear the BBC Gardeners' Question Time audience vote in support of organic, with an 80% majority backing the organic way as their preferred way to garden.

Peter Gibbs chairs this edition from The Garden Museum in London. Chris Beardshaw, Pippa Greenwood and Bunny Guinness join him to answer a range of horticultural questions. If you missed the show, you can listen again here.

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EU Seeds

EU Seed Regulation continues to be discussed by EU today

Garden Organic has learned that the EU Seed Regulation continues to be discussed by the European Commission today, Tuesday 16th December, at 3.00pm.

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Royal Visit

Royal Appointment for National Heritage Garden

HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron, Garden Organic visited the National Heritage Garden in the grounds of Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons on Friday, 21st November. The Prince of Wales was accompanied by Garden Organic Vice Presidents, Raymond Blanc OBE, Susan Hampshire, Thelma Barlow along with Garden Organic Ambassadors and staff.

The National Heritage Garden at Le Manoir is run in partnership with Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library (HSL) and was opened by Michelin Starred Chef Raymond Blanc in June this year, to showcase rare heritage vegetables from the Heritage Seed Library.

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