News from Growing Enterprises

News from Garden Organic's Growing Enterprise Project

Spring is slowly beginning to arrive for The Growing Enterprise Project, here at Ryton Organic Gardens. The warmer weather has meant that more of the groups can get out and enjoy the gardens and students have been learning about seeds and choosing which varieties to sow now for early harvests.

Elaine Hibbs, Horticultural Therapist and Education Officer, says “It’s lovely to see the greenhouse beginning to fill with seedlings. With our potatoes chitting, onions sprouting and green manure dug in our garden is really getting going.

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Trafalgar school winners

Richmond School wins "Grow Your Own Lunch" competition

Trafalgar Infant School in Richmond beat scores of green-fingered London schools to become special prize winners for the ‘Grow Your Own Lunch Competition’ organised by School Food Matters.

Winning the special ‘Grow Around the World’ category awarded by Garden Organic's Food Growing Schools: London the students impressed judges with their sensational recipe design for an exotic, Tanzania inspired, two-course lunch.

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Raymond Blanc - Kew on a Plate

Garden Organic Vice President, Raymond Blanc, presents new BBC2 series 'Kew on a Plate'

Garden Organic's Vice-President Raymond Blanc joins Kate Humble to re-establish a long-lost kitchen garden - using some of the rare varieties from our Heritage Seed Library - for a new BBC Two series called 'Kew on a Plate'.

The BBC was granted special permission for two Michelin Starred chef Raymond Blanc to transform an area of the gardens into a sumptuous fruit and vegetable garden, on the site of what was once Queen Victoria’s royal kitchen garden.

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EU Seed Regulation withdrawn by European Union

EU Seed Regulation withdrawn by European Union

Garden Organic has learned that the proposed EU Seed Regulation has been withdrawn by the European Union.

Steve Thomson, Operations Director at Garden Organic says: “On Friday we learned that the current EU Seed Regulation legislation has been withdrawn, this was confirmed on Saturday when the official notification was posted on the EU official journal. We'd like to everyone who has supported us with this campaign. There has been no notification as to what will happen next, but we will keep you updated as to future developments, as and when they happen."."

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Garden Organic launches "My Organic Garden" Photography competition

Garden Organic launches "My Organic Garden" Photography Competition

Garden Organic is launching a photographic competition entitled, "My Organic Garden”.

The theme "My Organic Garden" is open to your interpretation; we’re looking for photos of gardens, allotments, community spaces, school growing and visitor attractions. We’d love to see the produce you’re growing, life on the allotment, wildlife, your plants and flowers, anything that makes you feel proud to be growing organic.

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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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