Our Friendly Gardeners
"My aim is for everyone in the UK to have their own veg patch and the basic skills to grow them."
Laura is the Founder of Goody Foody Gardens. As a working mum to a brood of 3, she shares the same concerns as most parents; plastic food packaging, too much screen time, not outdoors enough, a healthy diet. That's why, while on maternity leave in 2013, she attempted to grow her own vegetables in the garden. She had no knowledge, no time to do the research and gave up when she returned to work.
In 2017 she met Brenda, an expert Horticulturalist, and started to learn how to make it work. She launched Goody Foody in 2020 after a successful Crowdfunder and is still very much on her own learning journey. Everyday is a school day and her aspiration is for every garden in the UK to have their own veg patch and the basic skills to grow them.
"I took a year out from my office job to do Horticulture at college (and got a distinction). My practicum (cut short by Covid) had been with the Krishna Eco Farm in Lesmahagow"
I grew up in a city but spend every holiday at a farm of another branch of my family. They had switched to organic/ bio-dynamic in 1974 - well ahead of the majority. All we children were involved in various ways, helping with harvesting, weeding, scaring the starlings away, planting and cooking! That's how I knew that a tiny seed can provide several meals for a whole family! But also that plants need a little love and care and encouragment and protection to be healthy.
I have gardened whenever I had access to a patch of land, growing fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers. When I turned fifty, I took a year out from my office job to do Horticulture at college (and got a distinction). My practicum (cut short by Covid) had been with the Krishna Eco Farm in Lesmahagow, famous for their gentle and respectful use of resources (i have never seen so many and such big earth worms). Since I finished college, I have been working at a garden centre and meeting keen gardeners every day.
"The joy of not only growing something from seed but also eating it fresh from the garden used to have me wonder why everyone wasn’t doing it."
I’m not sure when my passion for gardening started but when my 3 children were really young I found it my sanctuary. Keeping me sane, and grounded lol. That was over 30 years ago! I guess I picked up an interest my dad had, as he was a keen veg grower.
Through the years I’ve developed my favourites across the full spectrum of Horticulture, from trees to micro greens with a touch of floristry crafts thrown in.
Most of my career has been in community mental health and as a groupwork co-ordinator I developed and facilitated lots of gardening groups, sharing the benefits of nature and gardening.
One of my favourite postings was as a Horticultural Therapist at Erskine Hospital where I not only got the opportunity to build a large multifunctional garden from scratch but I got to develop and collate the evidence on the various health benefits of green space and gardening. The joy of not only growing something from seed but also eating it fresh from the garden used to have me wonder why everyone wasn’t doing it. I just gratefully keep sowing the seeds and hope they grow.
"I want my kids to know where their food comes from."
Eilidh is a passionate home grower of fruit and vegetables. She started growing her own five years ago when she was expecting her first child as she wanted them to have access to the most locally grown organic produce, and a good understanding of where food comes from. Since then it has become a passion project and her two children regularly get involved with growing and picking food, as well as collecting eggs from the pet hens.
Eilidh is now studying horticulture with the RHS and working towards a career change which will allow her to expand this enthusiasm and knowledge into her working life.