Keeping your plants healthy – pests and diseases workshop

Carol Stone from Feed Avalon gave a fantastic workshop on how to keep your plants healthy as part of the Grow Your Own Garden Course. Aimed at new gardeners and attendees of the Grow Your Own Garden Course, the workshop helped people to learn how to manage weeds, once they knew more about them and what the ecological roles they play are.

She also explored common pests and diseases and agroecological ways for minimising the likelihood of poor plant health. If you’re interested in hosting this popular workshop at your allotment or project, please contact







Growing to Sell Course this May

Are you interested in market gardening? Or starting a CSA project? Or simply growing on a larger scale and selling your surplus? Want to create a livelihood from the land? This course is for you!

A 2 day course in how to scale up and sell or share produce to feed your community

27th & 28th May 2015

Photo by Ingrid Crawford

At Brook End LAND Centre, Compton Dundon (near Glastonbury/Street), Somerset

This two day course introduces all of the factors you need to consider when scaling up your production. Learners will be supported to explore how they can create their own land-based livelihoods, while supporting the local area to increase its ability to feed itself. Learners will be able to meet experienced growers, as well as local agencies that can give you further business mentoring and support.

Sessions will include:

  • Different business and production models, such as market gardens, nurseries, Community Supported Agriculture schemes, cooperatives, box schemes, nurseries, country markets, intermediate markets, direct sales, farm gate sales and more
  • Agroecological practices for growing on a larger scale successfully
  • How to manage internal systems such as stock taking, book keeping and records management
  • Designing your own livelihood and using permaculture principles to design a sustainable enterprise congruent with your needs and ethics
  • Deciding what to grow in relationship to markets (value adding and so forth)
  • Legal necessities (such as labeling, licensing, health & safety, trading standards requirements, environmental health compliance, traceablity and so on)

Financial contribution

We have full funding for residents of Somerset, however others are very welcome. The course is designed on a sliding scale basis with low income learners £60 – £120 (£15k and above per year).

About the Tutors

urlTim Lawrence is a community development worker, community gardener and founder and previous staff grower at Sims Hill Shared Harvest, a successful CSA based in Bristol. He has diverse experience in establishing projects and supporting small-scale, sustainable food production.

Carol Stone is an experienced food grower and has supported a number of establishing enterprises in her work with the HogCO (home grown community owned) Project in Devon. She is now a co-director-member of Feed Avalon CIC and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and is passionate about involving more people in food production, community food growing and cooking, and building more sustainable and resilient food systems.

How to Book

Please email for a link to an online booking form and more information.

Sharing skills & knowledge about propagation

Carol Stone from Feed Avalon led a fantastic hands-on workshop all about propagation. This was the fifth session of the Grow Your Own Garden Course. Covering seed sowing and different vegetative methods of reproducing plants, the workshop shared top tips and best practices about successfully increasing the numbers of plants for your own garden. See some pictures from the session below.

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Fantastic Planning Your Plot Workshop

The third workshop as part of the Grow Your Own Garden Course supported participants to learn how to plan their plot. It helped people to decide what to grow, where and when. The session was so packed we are now upgrading to a bigger venue, and are having to create a mini-creche! Thanks so much to the tutors and everyone that came along, there is definitely a strong appetite locally for people wanting to grow their own food!

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Nursery Course – Feed Avalon’s first step towards starting a community plant nursery

Last weekend Feed Avalon hosted a Nursery Course, led by Neils Corfield from Edible Cities. Feed Avalon has plants to start a community plant nursery that can supply high-quality, multipurpose and beautiful plants to help restore our local landbase. The course was our first step.

Thanks to Neils for his brilliant teaching and well-designed course, stuffed to the rafters with resources! Overall it was a hugely stimulating and enjoyable weekend.

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