Monday, 17 June 2013

Garden Organic 2013 AGM and Conference

Garden Organic 2013 AGM and Conference on Fighting for Biodiversity and Safer Gardens.

Garden Organic is a sister organisation of Friends of the Earth. This close relationship was clearly in evidence at Garden Organic’s 2013 AGM and Conference held at Ryton Gardens near Coventry on 11th May, writes Sheffield F.O.E. member Richard Souter.

With over 25,000 members, G.O. has been championing the cause of organic gardening for many years: giving advice to members, creating the Heritage Seed Library, supporting communities to“Grow your Own”, engaging with government bodies on helping schools establish food growing, and much more.

The AGM was marked by a number of key individuals moving on, although G.O. feels it is now strong enough to cope with these personnel changes. The financial crisis felt by society has also had an impact on G. O. It was emphasised how important membership is as the life blood of the organisation, so if you haven’t already, please consider joining this invaluable organisation.

The Annual Report was delivered by Myles Bremner. Below are some of the points he touched on:

  • Members want more advocacy from the organisation
  • The G.O. Fighting Fund is being used to campaign to halt and ultimately reverse the decline in bee populations.They are working closely with F.O.E on this.
  • Funding from public health bodies has been received to promote the charity’s work in encouraging people to grow their own food.
  • The Heritage Seed Library is working with the Millennium Seed Bank on preserving unusual and almost lost seed varieties.
  • G.O. continues to promote food growing in schools.
  • It is working with the Department of Education to put food growing and gardening on the curriculum from 2014.

One of the Keynote speakers was Paul de Sylva, Head of Nature at F.O.E. who talked in length about the Bee Cause campaign.

After a great veggie lunch provided by “Change Kitchen”, there were guide tours of the gardens, followed by an entertaining and informative Gardeners Question Time. A full but very fruitful day.

In itself , Ryton Gardens is a very interesting place to visit: fascinating gardens, a great shop, the “Vegetable Kingdom”, all very informative.

Get to know more about this great organisation . Google “Garden Organic” or go to www.gardenorganic.org.uk