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Somerton Allotmenteers visit Charles Dowding
On Saturday 11th February, learners from the Get Set Grow course in Somerton descended upon the market garden of organic gardener, Charles Dowding.
The majority of the participants are members of Somerton Allotments Association, plus a few interested locals. You can read about their story to find land and get growing here. The Allotment Association had received a grant through Somerset Community Food's Get Growing Support Fund which enabled them to buy tools and needed items for their allotments as well as the introductory course to food growing 'Get Set Grow'.
Following a nice pub lunch (not funded by SCF unfortunately!), the group visited Charles Dowding. Charles is a market gardener with decades of experience. He told the group he makes over £30,000 per year as a commercial grower. He's written several books including Salads for All Seasons, Organic Gardening, Winter Vegetables and the Vegetable Course Book.
The attendees were introduced to Charle's no dig method of gardening and showed around his site. He gave them lots of growing tips, including these delightful copper seed dibbers as pictured. He also illustrated his method of growing salads which enables one plant to be cropped throughout the growing season.
John Watts from the Allotments Association said "I found the visit particularly inspiring and I plan to use the no-dig gardening method on at least part of my plot this year".
"Overall it was a fantastic day" says Linda Hull from Somerset Community Food. "I was so impressed by Charle's site and have take away so much inspiration and food for thought. Roll on the spring!"
More pictures from the visit: