The Gathering Programme
Follow us on
Event Sponsor - Carbon Gold
Carbon Gold is the world's leading biochar company promoting the responsible use of biochar in the UK and internationally for both the health of our climate and health of our soils. GroChar products from Carbon Gold (soil improver, composts and fertiliser) are used by farmers, growers, allotment holders and home gardeners alike because they deliver superb results with no chemical additives. http://www.carbongold.com
About Grow It Yourself (GIY)
GIY is a global community of food growers.
We believe food growing can make the world a healthier, happier and more sustainable place. Our big idea is that we can grow more and better food, and have more fun in the process if we come together to help each other.
So, GIYers come together in homes, gardens, community groups, schools, allotments and online to inspire and support each other to grow food.
Latest Press Release
July 8th - Press Release
"One year. £900 of home-grown food. 90,000 people on allotment waiting lists in the UK"
"Learning to grow food is always best done with others - it makes it in to something fun and social. GIY is based around this, by creating local groups of like-minded folk who want to learn to grow. Every time I go to Ireland I am blown away by how successful a system it is, so it's incredibly exciting to have it come to the UK. Whether you're on an allotment, in a back garden, on a balcony or sharing space in a community plot, GIY offers you a chance to get together with people in your neighbourhood, make new friends, grow great food and learn along the way." Alys Fowler
"The GIY Gathering is like Glastonbury for Growers". – Mark Diacono, River Cottager and Author
"In nearly two decades of garden writing I’ve been to scores of meetings, seminars and other convocations of people who grow things. But I’ve never been to one with the same buzzy atmosphere and spirit of goodwill as the recent GIY Gathering" – Jane Powers, The Sunday Times
“A wondrous mixture of political and practical gardening” Lia Leendertz, The Guardian
"Like every other gardener who attended the GIY Gathering, I came away deeply impressed by the extraordinary hum of energy, optimism and enthusiasm that surrounded the event." – Fionnuala Fallon, The Irish Times
Venue: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TT, United Kingdom
Date: 20th July 2013
Time: 9:30am - 5pm
Ticket Price: £25 each.
Bundle offers (5 for £90) (2 for £40) (10 for £160)
GIY UK Gathering 2013 in association with Carbon Gold
The inaugural GIY UK Gathering takes place on the 20th July 2013 in Birmingham University. The event is brought to you in association with Carbon Gold.
The GIY Gathering event will bring people together to for a fun-packed day of hands-on practical and philosophical talks on growing your own food access to local food.
Speakers include BBC presenter and author Alys Fowler; River Cottager and author Mark Diacono; food writer and author Lia Leendertz, Paul Clarke (Pop Up Farm), Michael Kelly (GIY), Dr David Shaw (Savari Trust) and Maddy Harland (Permaculture Magazine).
- The GIY Gathering will be an opportunity to
- to quiz expert growers;
- discuss and debate local food and the community food growing movement;
- network with a friendly community of food growers.
See Images from the Event
Gathering UK Photo Album
Breakout Topic: "Why I love Weeding"
Alys Fowler started gardening in her early teens and trained at the Royal Horticultural Society, the New York Botanical Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. She is a presenter for BBC’s Gardeners’ World and has her own BBC TV series The Edible Garden. She writes for The Guardian, BBC’s Gardeners’ World magazine and Gardens Illustrated as well as publishing her own four books, The Thrifty Gardener, Garden Anywhere, The Edible Garden and The Thrifty Forager..
She continues her passion to fuse traditional gardening with modern eco-friendly culture.
See Alys's GIY Profile
Breakout Topic: Ideas for a New Edible Garden"
An award winning writer and photographer, who runs the pioneering Otter Farm, and is known for his commitment to sustainable, ethically produced food. Having led the Garden Team at River Cottage and appearing in the TV series, runs courses and events at River Cottage HQ. Mark's book Veg Patch: River Cottage Handbook Number 4 was named Practical Book of the Year at the Garden Media Guild Awards 2009 and A Taste of the Unexpected won the Guild of Food Writers' Book of the Year 2011.
See Mark's GIY Profile
Rachel de Thample
Breakout Topic: How to Eat and Drink Your City: Creative urban growing projects.
Rachel de Thample has worked in the kitchens of Marco Pierre White, Heston Blumenthal and Peter Gordon. She has been writing on food issues for over a decade: she was Commissioning Editor of Waitrose Food Illustrated for five years and contributed to two Borough Market Cookbooks: Meat and Fish and is the author of the highly acclaimed Less Meat, More Veg (Kyle Books).
She’s been featured in The Guardian, The Evening Standard, BBC London, BBC Breakfast and more commenting on food issues.
Rachel is currently the Food Editor for the organic box scheme Abel & Cole, where she writes weekly seasonal recipes. She also writes for Jellied Eel magazine.
She lives in South London where she's helped set up various food & growing projects, including an award-winning Edible Garden in her local park, Tipsy Garden in her local pub (where hops, apples and grapes are grown for local brews), and popular 'Jam Sessions' which nurture the art of preserving.
See Rachel's GIY Profile
Breakout Topic: 10 best veg to grow
Michael Kelly is a freelance journalist, author and social entrepreneur. He established GIY (Grow it Yourself) in 2008. Michael is an Ashoka Fellow, a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland awardee and a recipient of the inaugural 2010 Arthur Guinness Fund.
He is a member of the TASTE Council of Ireland. He writes columns for The Irish Independent, The Evening Echo and Food & Wine Magazine. He has written two books on self-sufficiency - Trading Paces and Tales from the Home Farm (O'Brien Press). Also available to download
Michael is a passionate speaker on food issues, self-sufficiency, sustainability and growing your own food. He worked for ten years in the IT industry in Dublin but now lives the good life in Co. Waterford with his wife and two kids.
GIY Profile of Michael Kelly
Dr. Paul Clarke
Breakout Topic: Mojito garden project
Paul Clarke is a director of Sustainable Leadership at Cambridge Education/Mott MacDonald and Professor of Education at St Mary's University in London.
He was a founding member and director of Incredible Edible Ltd, and he now runs Pop-Up-Farm - a sustainability project working in schools and communities on the practicalities of establishing resilient communities in the UK, Africa, North America, China and Australia. His new book Education for Sustainability has recently been published by Routledge.
See Paul' s GIY Profile
Breakout Topic: Growing with Biochar
An executive chairman of Carbon Gold which he founded in 2007. He is co-founder of Green & Black's chocolate and a range of other successful ethical enterprises including popular organic food brand Whole Earth. He grows his own fruit and vegetables organically in his pottage garden in Hastings. He also hosts Stonelynk Community Growers, a 20 member community supported agriculture group, who share the produce from his 250 tree orchard and 1 hectare vegetable plot. Craig was Chair of the Soil Association from 1991-1997 and is a director of Soil Association Certification
Breakout Topic: Table Top Veg
Michael Michaud is a culinary ethnobotanist and domestic plant hunter interested in the vegetables and herbs found in Britain’s ethnic communities. He and his wife Joy own Sea Spring Seeds, a vegetable seed company specialising in chillies and British ethnic vegetables. As part of the business, he breeds and introduces exotic varieties of chillies, including the Dorset Naga, one of the hottest chillies in the world.
Working under various guises, he has about 20 years experience in the organic business: market gardener; international and domestic inspector; trustee for the Soil Association; and director of SACert, Britain’s largest certification organisation. In addition, he was an early adviser to the Fair Trade Foundation and did the first ever organic and fair trade inspection on Green and Black’s Maya Gold chocolate.
Michael writes regularly (albeit infrequently) for the RHS’s The Garden, and does a monthly article on vegetable gardening for the Dorset magazine.
Dr. David Shaw
Breakout Topic: "Growing a Staple Food Sustainably using the Sarpo varieties
David Shaw of Sarvari Research Trust, a not-for-profit company that breeds low-input, blight-resistant non-gm potatoes. They are based at Henfaes Research Centre, of Bangor University.
The aim is to research late-blight disease of potato and to develop new varieties with high levels of durable blight resistance.
Breakout Topic: Allotmenet Growing
Lia Leendertz is an award-winning garden writer who writes regularly for The Guardian, The Telegraph, and Gardens Illustrated, and is a columnist for the Royal Horticultural Society’s magazine The Garden. She has an 80-ft town garden in Bristol and an allotment run along communal lines with a group of friends.
She has written several books on growing your own including The Half Hour Allotment, a guide to managing a plot alongside a busy life.
See Lia's GIY Profile
Steven has been involved with River Cottage since the beginning. He has hosted events, lived at HQ as the resident smallholder and now works on the delivery of events making sure the customer experience is always positive and that the unique culture of River Cottage is maintained. He teaches on several courses at the Cookery School but specialises in Curing & Smoking Meat.
Steven appears regularly in the TV series and online. He is currently writing the River Cottage Handbook on Curing & Smoking. He works closely with Gill Mellor (Head Chef) and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall representing River Cottage both in the UK and abroad
Breakout Topic: Growing Communities
''Chris is closely involved with community growing groups across Birmingham. A keen gardener and food grower, he is involved in the development and growth of a number of projects across the city. As co-ordinator of Growing Birmingham (A network for supporting urban growing in Birmingham and its environs), Chris has led Birmingham's involvment in The Big Dig. Chris works for the Black Environment Network, with projects using food growing to improve social inclusion and involvment of ethnic communities across the city. He also works for Birmingham Botanical Gardens in the delivery of five NHS funded food growing and local food projects.''
Mark Ridsdill Smith
Breakout Topic: Can you grow as much food on a balcony as on an allotment? (And how you can do it)."
"Mark Ridsdill Smith is founder of Vertical Veg, an enterprise that inspires and supports food growing in containers and tiny urban spaces. Mark's work shows that you don't need a garden or allotment to grow lots of food (he grew £900 of food in one year on his small balcony and window sills). He also highlights the many other benefits that growing food at home in a city can offer. Vertical Veg runs workshops and online courses that demystyify container growing and help you grow successfully and productively in small spaces. For more info see www.verticalveg.org.uk and http://www.facebook.com/verticalveg
Breakout Topic: Permaculture Gardening - mimicking nature for a healthy, low maintenance garden
Maddy Harland is editor and co-founder of Permaculture magazine, a magazine that covers all aspects of sustainable living, from permaculture gardening and small scale sustainable agriculture to green building, low-impact transport and community action. Maddy Harland also co-founded Permanent Publications, a company dedicated to publishing environmental books, and the Sustainability Centre in Hampshire, UK and is a fellow of The Royal Society of Arts. She loves to get lost in her garden.
Mother and daughter team, Shena and Amy, created Secret Seed Society to engage young children in growing and cooking vegetables. At the heart of the Society is the belief that these experiences at a young age form a strong basis for a happy and healthy relationship with food, family and the planet. To introduce young families to these activities they created a series of storybooks featuring vegetable characters from Rudi Radish to Mayor Okra. Each pack is a plot to plate adventure with seeds to grow the lead character, and a recipe to eat what they have grown. Young GIYers and their families can share their tips, triumphs, and find more GIY advice and challenges on the website http://www.secretseedsociety.com .
Breakout Topic: Can the veg patch be a home for wildlife?"
Kate is obsessed by all things wildlife. She writes a weekly blog for gardenersworld.com and a monthly one for Guardian Gardens. She also writes wildlife gardening features for the Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Amateur Gardening among others, and has a column in Butterfly Conservation's Butterfly Magazine. Her first book, The Wildlife Gardener, is out now. published by Kyle Books,