As well as growing fruit and vegetables on allotments and kitchen gardens over many years, recently I have acted as a mentor for groups looking to set up allotments at Papworth and Great and Little Everard.
In October 2010 I gave a talk to members of the Stapleford Horticultural Society in South Cambs: ‘Allotments – current trends and future developments’, based in part on my experience as founding Secretary of Haslingfield Allotment Gardeners Association. This generated an interesting discussion on the need for improvements to the local allotments and how they might go about it.
In February 2011 I gave a talk to members of the Widdington Gardening Club in Essex on fruit and vegetable growing in kitchen gardens and allotments. Aswell as describing general ideas and principles, the talk included a detailed planting scheme for the year ahead, based upon what I will grow on my on allotment and in my garden. This stimulated an interesting discussion and lots of practical advice.
Summary list of topics covered by talks and workshops on food self-sufficiency:
Raised beds – pros and cons/a practical guide to their construction and uses.
Companion planting/dealing with pests and diseases
Asparagus beds – tips on setting up and growing.
Starting an allotment or kitchen garden from scratch.
Allotment sites: a guide to self-management.
How to grow and harvest fruit and vegetables all year round.
Pruning fruit trees: a practical guide
Food preservation and long term storage. Practical tips on preserving, freezing and wine making.
For one hour talks I currently charge a fee of £60 plus travel expenses. I also offer practical workshops for anyone interested in starting a plot, either at home or on an allotment site. This could be a one-to-one session or small group activity. Fee to be negotiated. I also have a gardening business if you are interested in having any related works carried out.
For further information on talks or workshops please leave a comment. Or you can contact me via Linkedin at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanspain