THE MODERN MINT BLOG
The Soil Association, founded 70 years ago by a group of farmers, scientists and nutritionists, are a charity dedicated to promoting organic food and sustainable land use.
They aim to tackle climate change, work with farmers to improve their growing practises, support high standards of animal welfare and give everyone access to food that is healthy and organically grown.
What is not to like about a charity that does this?
Some of the Soil Association’s past campaigns have included:
Not In Our Bread – a movement to stop weedkiller being used on wheat crops. We have previously worked in the sales arm of a bakery and know just how important it is to eat the best bread you can get your hands on. Using organic flour is just one way to make that loaf great to toast!
Seven Ways To Save Our Soil – a movement to increase organic matter in our UK soils by 20% over the next 20 years. They list a number of ways to do this – but growing organic crops, not digging your soil and using green manures are three easy ways for you to help in your own garden. (Read more about ways to save our soil on the Soil Association website.)
Cottoned On – a fantastic drive to get more people thinking about one of the world’s major industries – the clothing industry – and how the apparel we buy and wear can damage the environment if not shopped for responsibly. We learnt long ago at Modern Mint that buying clothes made from organic cotton is a brilliant choice to make – organic cotton feels softer, stronger and is just so easy to wash. We recently started buying bamboo and hemp clothes too.
As you can see, the Soil Association does a great job in educating people on environmental matters. They have even teamed up with Aardman Animations (you know them – the people behind Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep!) to produce this short film about our soils.
It is called ‘From Potato To Planet’ and is an easy way to get up to speed on why our soil is vital to life, and what we need to do to help protect it. Take a quick look for yourself…
Last week Modern Mint shared our thoughts on organic gardening. Soil health was one of the key factors we spoke about in that blog post.
Please do your bit for the world and think about growing organic, about looking after your land without weedkillers… by refraining from using toxins, you will see a benefit in your soil.
Guanock House needs a trainee topiary artist! Some of you may know it as the first home and garden of designer Arne Maynard, but is now owned and maintained by Michael Coleman and his wife Michelle. They offer meditation workshops and retreats there and it is as beautiful a house and garden as you could wish to visit. They called me in last Autumn to help shape up some of the topiary as it was all getting out of hand, but what it really needs is someone with a steady hand and lots of patience to take over the clipping …
Here are some photos of work I have been doing at the garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent. Snow and ice brings out the depth of the different planes and angles carved into the boxwood. A garden has to look beautiful in winter – and topiary (green architecture) helps do that! For more topiary pictures, click here.
I am an experienced teacher of topiary and pruning, running workshops in the topiary garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent, as well as for The English Gardening School and The European Boxwood And Topiary Society. So if you are a keen gardener, a garden club, a group of friends who want to know more or even an absolute beginner who has been bitten by the gardening bug, then do contact me about what you might like to learn. What a laugh we are having in this workshop session I ran for a group of friends in Essex… Many people employ …