Food Growing Bloggers Get Together '09

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!


  1. I am so frustrated that I knew nothing of this event :(

    Is it open to the whole garden blogging community? I would be very interested in attending next year for sure. It sounds wonderful!

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. Sounds a great way to spend a weekend VP. Maybe I can make it next year. Is there a date set yet ?

  3. So glad you had a great time - of course I popped over to Emmas blog to see pictures of you all!

    What did you get in the seed swap?

  4. I enjoyed Emma's photos too, VP. It was good to see you! And it looks like you all had a grand time!

  5. I'd love to come next year too. Is it open to anyone?

  6. Ryan - sorry you missed it - Emma and I did advertise it in various posts and Garden Monkey had an enormous banner over the top of his/her blog for weeks!

    Anna - not yet - it was September last year. It was in October this year to fit in with Tom Wagner's tour schedule.

    Karen - I've written a post especially for you :) but then I got a bit carried away with other things, so it's a bit long and rambling :(

    OFB - you've seen me :o! Yes, we had a fab time :)

    Elizabethm - yes, everyone's welcome. I'll pass on yours, Ryan's and Anna's URL's to Patrick so you're on the list for next year.

  7. Sounds an interesting event with a nice looking venue.

  8. Joanne - it was. We were at Oxford's Botanic Gardens last year, which was great, but I think this venue was just as important to see.

  9. Thanks for mentioning all of the speakers, and even my all-to-short presentation.

    Anyone on your blog wanting to know about even one of my tomato or potato varieties only has to send me an email to for more information.

    It was a nice group of folks attending.

    Tom Wagner aka Tater Mater

  10. Tom - welcome and it was great to meet you at the weekend! I've added your blog to my links and I'll be writing more about you and your work shortly :)


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