I thought last year's inaugural event couldn't be topped, but once again Pat and Steph (aided by Juleanne of INASP) did us proud and laid on a packed programme for our get together in Oxford on Saturday. The venue was most apt for us - a tranquil garden in the heart of Oxford at Restore. This project helps people with mental health issues learn life skills, including horticultural ones. The result is two productive allotments, plus the pictured garden. It's looking good despite the pouring rain.
Our meeting's even made YouTube as Soilman filmed Emma giving a Q&A session on her Alternative Kitchen Garden. Thank goodness he didn't choose me giving a preview of the post I've planned for later on this week on the results of my airpot product test! Vicki gave a talk on the work of the Heritage Seed Library, Ben from Real Seeds illustrated very succinctly some of the issues surrounding GM, Dr Simon Platten introduced us to the anthropological side to allotmenteering in Kent and Tom Wagner gave us a quick tour of a mere fraction of the tens of thousands of tomato and potato seeds he's developed over 56 years of plant breeding.
If that wasn't enough excitement, there was a seed swap, a bring and share lunch, plus plenty of time to chinwag to blogging friends old and new. I'll be telling you a little more about some of the talks over the next few weeks, but in the meantime Emma has much better pictures of everyone who attended if you're feeling nosey and want to see what we all look like ;)
It was a packed, informative and fun day. I hope to see you there next year!