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19 Mar, 2020

Top 10 commandments for any grower

Alice Holden is Head Grower at Dagenham farm for Growing Communities and author of Do Grow, a book written with the aim of encouraging more beginners to have a go at growing their own veg. Here she shares her top 10 commandments for any grower.

Lifestyle
  1. Diversity builds health
  2. Diversity build resilience
  3. Remember the law of return – compost and cycle fertility
  4. Think for the future – invest in the soil and sow for the next season
  5. Observe nature and you will learn as you ‘Do’
  6. Use what you have – make waste useful and use the resources on your doorstep
  7. Adapt to your context – both its advantages and disadvantages
  8. Water is life – try to harness and preserve this precious resource
  9. Nurture your soil and it will nurture you
  10. Food is the way to people’s hearts



Having completed a degree in social anthropology in 2003, Alice was unsure of her career path. Following a summer working at Blaencamel organic farm and a stint at Ballymaloe cookery school, Alice realised that at the right scale, organic farming could involve all the attributes of community engagement and environmental stewardship she was interested in. In 2006 Alice undertook the pilot of a Soil Association Farming apprenticeship at Coleshill Organics. In 2012 after a decade of working on many rural farms she moved to London, taking on the challenge of turning a dis-used ex council nursery site, into a productive urban organic farm. She continues to work as Head grower at Dagenham farm for Growing Communities, an organisation that’s wider remit works to run a community lead trade model, enabling sustainable farmers to feed urban populations. Alice is also the author of Do Grow, a book written with the aim of encouraging more beginners to have a go at growing their own veg, even if on a very small scale. Find her on social @alicebholden.

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