Swindon's first Growers Summit to be held this April to inspire local gardeners

By Jessica Durston - 7 March 2023

CommunityHome and GardenClubs & Activities
  • Josie Slade

    Josie Slade

Plans have been announced for a new springtime event - the Swindon Growers Summit - to educate and inspire keen gardeners in Swindon.

Eddie Bailey

The first Swindon Growers Summit will take place at the Swindon Hub on Sunday 30 April, from 10am - 4pm.

National experts will be on hand to talk about compost, organic gardening and garden design. The event will also feature stalls, tool sharpening, a seed-swap, and live music for attendees to enjoy. 

Event organiser Josie Slade says she is aiming to create a fun day where people can learn from experts and share ideas with each other.

She said: “It’s amazing how many garden and allotment enthusiasts there are in Swindon. The Growers Summit will be a chance for everyone to get together, get inspired, and get plenty of tips for healthier plants and more nutritious food.”

The main speakers have been chosen with a focus on healthy, organic soil and plants.

Josie added: “Soil health is the key to it all. Most importantly, we can learn how to repair and nurture the soil - that’s the key to good, healthy food.”

Eddie Bailey has given talks around the country, and is a national expert on compost. He will be demonstrating different ways to make compost, as well as talking about how people can make their own natural fertiliser and ‘compost teas’.

From his childhood experiences on his parent’s allotment, Eddie is said to have become an expert in everything from ‘no-dig’ to soil microorganisms - his talk will be a rollercoaster of the unexpected.

For those wanting to get started with organic gardening - and learn about the challenges and pitfalls - author and former head of education at Garden Organic UK, Maggi Brown, will talk about all she has learned in a lifetime of organic.

With years of experience Maggi will bring a huge wealth of information and be able to answer all those difficult questions. Maggi is also the author of 'Growing Naturally - a guide to organic gardening.

She said: “Soil is so important to the life of the planet. We can all make a huge contribution to that life just by caring for our soil and encouraging others to do the same.”

The event’s third keynote speaker is Malmesbury-based, organic horticulturist Nicola Hope. Nicola aims to create ‘wildlife-friendly and ecologically resilient gardens’ and will talk about how to plan a garden or allotment, what grows well together, and the all-important timings for sowing and harvesting.

A big part of the event’s inspiration comes from the poor quality of fruit and veg offered in the supermarkets.

Josie Slade commented: “Unfortunately most of the produce from supermarkets is now severely lacking in any goodness due to large scale farming processes, so the key is to grow your own, buy from local organic farms or join a local community garden project”

“We hope the event will be a catalyst for fresh, healthy food ideas and projects across Swindon.”

Tickets for the event, taking place in Swindon’s town-centre community Hub, cost £8 (£4 for concessions) and are available via the Eventbrite page at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/swindon-growers-summit-tickets-519813695757

All profits will be shared between the Soil Associate, Twigs Community Gardens, and Swindon Hub.

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