In my early twenties I moved to the bright lights of bigger cities to follow my passion and study art. After having focused on sustainable and social art practices, I quickly realised the need to utilise my creativity in a different way. I returned to my Devon roots in 2014 with a desire to live a more sustainable, ecological lifestyle. First step; learn to grow my own food.
Enrolling on a practical horticulture course at School Farm CSA, I began my growing journey and everything seemed to click into place. Finding every opportunity to continue learning, I volunteered at local horticulture therapy projects and spent a season working at an organic growing nursery. Last year I was volunteering on organic farms in India and Sri Lanka, before returning to Dartington at the beginning of this year to train at School Farm CSA. Working with, and learning from, the lovely School Farm ladies has been an invaluable experience and I feel more passionately than ever about providing fresh, organic produce for the local community and helping others to learn the skills to do so too.
Devon born and raised I spent most of my childhood outside, in the woods, in the garden, on the moor or by the riverside. I spent several years traveling in southern Africa, Europe and North America where I did a lot of woofing and seasonal work on farms, both large and small. When I returned to the UK I progressed the learning I had started by my mum’s side in the garden through completing the Level 3 Sustainable Horticulture qualification. This course was what brought me to School Farm and I’ve never looked back. After finishing the course in the summer of 2015 I worked as a freelance gardener and as a chef, until coming back to School Farm the following spring as their Trainee Grower, where I received excellent mentoring from Jenny, Laura and Mel. I’m now progressing my horticultural career further through stepping into a leadership role at School Farm CSA and am looking forward to helping to bring about positive change in our food system.
Co-Founder and Director
“For the past ten years I’ve worked in environmental education, and on environmental and community projects, mostly on issues relating to food. I grew up on a small holding in Wales. Armed with a passion for the outdoors and a deep care for the planet, I left the small-holding to live and work at the Centre for Alternative Technology, where I had a spell as an environmental workshop facilitator.
After completing a degree in Environmental Geography and International Development, I spent a short time as a Forest School Leader, before working as the South West Coordinator of the Mapping Local Foods Webs Project, researching local food systems. I then spent two years studying sustainable horticulture at Schumacher College and was fortunate to move straight from studying into working alongside an incredible grower and mentor, Nick Gooderham, who founded School Farm.
For the past six years I’ve worked at School Farm as a grower and teacher. Alongside this I have worked as a freelance gardener, a tutor on the Schumacher Level 2 and 3 sustainable horticulture courses, an environmental workshop facilitator, and a session leader on Totnes’ Gardening for Health project. I am now one of the team establishing, coordinating and ‘growing’ the Community Supported Agriculture scheme here at School Farm, and see CSA as an important part of bringing about a fairer food system. I love the outdoors, the wind, the rain and even the mud, and still believe more than anything in getting stuck into creating a better world.”
Co-Founder and Director
“I have worked with growing food and environmental education for over 10 years, much inspired by my mums garden, a feral child hood in a walled garden and holidays spent volunteering on organic farms. I started off at the research and information end of the organic movement with my first job at Garden Organic (then HDRA) in the International Programme. Looking for more direct experience of the soil I started to get my hands dirty working as a Forest School leader and environmental playworker at the Centre for Alternative Technology, as well as free-lance gardening. Another shift brought me to the Level 3 Horticulture course at Schumacher, which I finished in July 2012 and since then I have been working with the lovely team at School Farm, helping to set up the Community Supported Agriculture scheme, where my productivity is measured by how muddy my face is at the end of the day. Alongside my days at School Farm I also work with Devon County Council on their Composting in Schools project.”