Good Gardeners International

The Good Gardeners open day for 2018  TBC

The Good Gardeners was started in 1962 and in 1966 became a registered charity (reg charity no. 255300) and has completed many years of research and development. It was all conceived when Ramsay Shewell Cooper (the original founder) returned from the war and was horrified at how many chemicals were being put onto our farms and gardens in order to grow crops successfully.

The current director
Richard Higgins NDA
Plant breeding for export with increased pest and disease resistance and yield increase

The Good Gardeners are the originators of the No Dig system in recent times and have now moved into the International field to tackle hunger and poverty with our technology.  Richard has brought in the Howard technology which makes fertile land/gardens out of abandoned/marginal land of any soil type. With this increased fertility we are able to generate our own crop varieties for increased pest and disease resistance and for increased yields. Good Gardener seed banks can be established anywhere to enable schools, farmers and growers to establish their own Food Security. We are dedicated to training the No Dig method of food production because it improves the nutritional content of the food and holds valuable carbon and moisture in the soil. So this is soil building rather than depletion. Our method of DRY sanitation (HH-3) , also developed from the work of Sir Albert Howard, safely allows an increase of food production by preventing the pollution of drinking and irrigation water by leachate from pit latrines etc.,  Richard has subsequently developed the HH-2 Horticultural System which enables communities, farmers and schools etc., to grow pest and disease resistant crops by totally chemical free means. The system is far less machine intensive which means huge savings can be made on oil powered machinery and maintenance.

Click on this link to see our research site        which covers the archives on The Good Gardeners approach to all types of pest and disease prevention in modern day gardening and farming.


Two Problems

Food and Hygiene

Many children go hungry at home and in school in Africa. Often there is a lack of the supply of leafy green vegetables essential to a healthy diet.

Poor and overworked soils, lack of resources to buy chemicals to keep off pests and disease, and water shortages are all to blame. Poor sanitation leads to dangerous untreated effluents causing drinking and irrigation water pollution.

All contribute to problems of malnutrition and disease.

One Solution

The HH-2 Horticultural System enables any school or community to grow its own fruit and vegetables with a much higher standard of nutrition than conventionally grown food.

Success Success Success

So effective is this concept of fertility making that the need for digging over or ploughing of the soil becomes completely unnecessary.  This is achieved by the unique fungi and bacteria that process the wastes and attract and generate the myriad of microbial and larger life forms that thrive in fully fertile soil. The health of the plants that grow upon such soil are full of nutrients and trace elements which are essential for the natural development of those who are fortunate enough to consume food grown in this way. On fertile weed free ground seeds can be just thrown down and will flourish as demonstrated on our Hertfordshire farm.

Today the soils of the world are becoming increasingly devoid of such organisms and therefore produce food of inferior quality which are prone to attack by pests and diseases.

Because the soil structure is kept in tact, by not turning over the soil more nutrients become available to the plants  (mycorrhiza science)  and this greatly increases the nutritional quality of the food produced. Hence the capacity for proper child development both mentally and physically. This work is supported by the research group                         The Institute for Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition, London. With Good Gardeners they will also learn a most important skill – how to protect their water sources with DRY sanitation and how to produce their own food crops and adopt a more healthy Vegan style diet all of which will improve their environment.

There are enough resources to feed the planet if only the resources are managed properly.

So why a charity and not just a business?

Put simply, we can do things that conventional businesses can’t. We take the time to travel to remote schools and rural communities, look at how they dispose of their human waste, and how we can easily close pit latrines and install our DRY toilet system. How we can incorporate the HH-2 Horticultural System into a growing and feeding scheme for the school. All this costs time and money.

To install a complete system with a full education programme also costs money. But it should be seen as a long term investment, not a cost. The benefits for schools, their children and staff will go on for ever.

It has been stated that Africa could be the bread basket of the world.

We need help to get this investment to the people that need the most help – the Children of the future.


It sounds too good to be true – How to feed nine billion people

In 1995 Richard Higgins, farmer, entrepreneur and CEO of Good Gardeners, discovered the works of Sir Albert Howard who was knighted for his 30 years research into organic farming during the last century. Unfortunately for world agriculture his work slid into obscurity with the advent of the chemical industry following the end of the Second World War.

The HH-2 equipment  with its vermin proof  and insulated flat pack construction automatically generates the right fungi and bacteria enabling anyone who is trained to use it to produce abundant food on even so called marginal or un-usable land, because it puts back these fungi and bacteria into the land and enables that land to digest whatever organic waste is put upon it as mulch, thus building the soil rather than depleting it.


Richard lectures and demonstrates this system with tutorials through Colleges and Universities in the UK. and he says the world can take up this science as soon as we get the donations and help from the NGO’s.

Over cultivation of the soil, the continued use of pesticides and fertilisers, is leading to a tsunami of unsolved pest and disease problems. Ploughing destroys microbial life in the soil and leads to the loss of moisture and valuable carbon. The HH-2 System has been demonstrated to reverse these soil degradation problems, and reduces all types of agricultural pests and diseases to an absolute minimum. Therefore it is of extreme importance that indigenous peoples, all over the world, should be trained in the management of such a system. There need be no starvation for these peoples. It is cities that present the greatest problems of food security. It has been proven time and time again that you don’t need to be a farmer to do this. With the training that we offer… anyone can become a farmer! And this is what is needed to alleviate world hunger.

The HH-2 system can also be used as a DRY sanitation system

and Richard designed and developed the HH-3 DRY Toilet system, also based Howard’s principle ‘the law of return.’ It requires no water for flushing, rather a dry flush is used (HH-4). This material is so micro-organically active that it starts to digest the waste even before it gets into the processors (HH-2). The human waste is collected in the bio liner toilet HH-3,  which is then safely incorporated into the HH-2 system for processing.  All this degrades down and becomes pathogen free in 30 days. This material can be applied to tree plantations etc.,

70% of Africa and 70% of India are rural poor (Unicef)

Especially important for these peoples the simple and easy to use HH-2 system brings huge health benefits to the population, because it automatically renders all wastes entered into it pathogen free in a 30 day period. This offers large opportunities for employment and as an income earner for micro scale local business who can supply the cities with high quality fruit and vegetables with much longer keeping powers.                       (study by DEFRA on the mineral content of food, 2007)


Due to the proven science of ‘heat destroying pathogens’ in containerised units, the HH-2 system is a Cholera proof sanitation system.

Good Gardeners International’s mission is to pioneer the revolutionary HH-2 system across the world. See the remarkable story here.

“What you are doing is in a sense revolutionary, but at the same time traditional”

Professor Michael Crawford, Chairman, Institute for Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition.

Bringing HH-2 to Africa and the World

Good Gardeners has extensively trialled and tested the HH-2 system from the Haiti earthquake in 2010 to scale up trials in Kampala in 2012. pictured left.

Richard Higgins opened a waste remediation site, under the banner New Directions Foundation, at the Haiti earthquake disaster which was visited and won the approval of leading expert Professor Reid of WEDC (Water and Engineering Development Committee), The film of this can be viewed on the above link although the HH-2 equipment has been subsequently introduced, which brings the processing system fully up to date passing all modern day health and environmental regulations.

Further projects are now underway in Africa but we urgently need donations to help bring our mission and dreams to a much greater reality. We have staff trained and ready to install these systems.

Every school we visited, some as large as 1,500 pupils, were all eager to receive the HH-2 equipment and training.

Our Finances

A donation to Good Gardeners International is one of the best gifts you can give to help bring long term self-sustainable food production to the Children of Africa.  Please go to our Donate buttons.