On 14th May Sue Coppard, founder of WWOOF, attended the HDRA/Garden Organic AGM, held at the Eco Conference Centre, Sheepdrove Organic Farm in Lambourn and sent us her impressions.
I was really impressed with the changes that are taking place. The Chief Executive is now James Campbell, a very dynamic gentleman who joined as a member some 25 years ago. During his first year as CEO he has turned the charity round from loss to profit making, and Garden Organic is now creating co-operative schemes with fellow organic organisations: greater activity on the schools front; research with Coventry and other Universities and the Organic Research Centre; multi-cultural exotic vegetable growing; running horticultural therapy at the Organic Gardens at Ryton, Coventry; strengthening and linking local groups; and making the organic message clearer at the gardens themselves.
In short, Garden Organic is now increasing access for the general public to organic information and assistance. You can read a lot more about their activities on their excellent, newly refurbished website.
In my final session we learned how Horticultural Therapy can transform life for so many different groups of people; and how to make bug hotels to hang in the garden to shelter bees and other insects.
There was also a dire warning from the Organic Research Centre‘s Lawrence Woodward in his talk about the dangers (to animals, humans and the planet) of GMOs – soon to be thrust on us by our government unless we manage to block this aberration and help them see the light. Let’s hope…