Swindon Growers Summit

Where: Swindon Hub, 36 The Parade, Swindon SN1 1BA

When: Sunday April 30th, 2023

Swindon Growers Summit will shine a green light for healthy soil and nutritional veg.

Plans have been announced for a springtime event to educate and inspire Swindon’s gardeners - the first Swindon Growers Summit will take place at Swindon Hub on Sunday 30th April.

National experts will be on hand to talk about compost, organic gardening and garden design. The event, which runs from 10am to 4pm, will also feature stalls, tool sharpening, a seed-swap and live music.

Event organiser Josie Slade (main image) is aiming to create a fun day where people can learn from experts and share ideas with each other. “It’s amazing how many garden and allotment enthusiasts there are in Swindon” she says. “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. “Soil health is the key to it all” says Slade. “Most importantly, we can learn how to repair and nurture the soil - that’s the key to good, healthy food.”

Eddie Bailey

Eddie Bailey (above) 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 to make your own natural fertiliser and ‘compost teas’. From his childhood experiences on his parent’s allotment, Eddie has 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 - 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 - she wrote ‘Growing Naturally - a guide to organic gardening’ - Maggi will bring a huge wealth of information and be able to answer all those difficult questions. “Soil is so important to the life of the planet” says Brown. “We can all make a huge contribution to that life just by caring for our soil and encouraging others to do the same.”

Nicola Hope

The event’s third keynote speaker is Malmesbury-based, organic horticulturist Nicola Hope (above). Nicola aims to create ‘wildlife-friendly and ecologically resilient gardens’ and will talk about how to plan your 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. “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” said Slade. “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. All profits will be shared between the Soil Associate, Twigs Community Gardens and Swindon Hub.

For more information contact Josie Slade   |   sladejosephine@me.com  |   07894 235468   |   @swindon_growers