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 Good Gardeners are the originators of the No Dig system in the UK and have now moved into the International field to tackle hunger and poverty with our technology. Richard, the current director, has brought in the Howard technology which makes fertile land/gardens out of abandoned/marginal land of any soil type. With this increased fertility you can generate your own crop varieties by successive sowing for increased pest and disease resistance and for increased yields. All you have to do is chose the best seeds you have and leave a few plants in each year to go to seed. Collect those seeds and you will be generating your own varieties which will suit your soil type and climate. One single plant can produce many thousands of seeds.
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 soil depletion as is the case with conventional agriculture -that continually crops the fields and only applies chemicals as a fertiliser. This is the definition of soil depletion.
Our method of DRY sanitation (HH-3) , also developed from the work of Sir Albert Howard, allows another waste stream to be processed and used to replenish marginal land. This DRY HH-3 system will prevent the pollution of drinking and irrigation water by leachate from pit latrines etc., sewage ponds etc., that are common in developing countries.
Richard has developed the HH-2 Horticultural System which enables communities, farmers and schools etc., to grow pest and disease resistant crops by totally chemically free means. The system is far less machine intensive because no ploughing is required or the subsequent tyning, harrowing, and rolling in the new crop. With this system of agriculture/horticulture no chemicals are needed which means huge savings can be made on oil powered machinery, maintenance and the ever spiralling cost of chemicals.
Click on this link to see our research site www.suaglon.co.uk which covers the archives on The Good Gardeners approach to all types of pest and disease prevention in modern day gardening and farming.
In 1995 Richard Higgins, farmer and entrepreneur, discovered the works of Sir Albert Howard CIE MA etc., who was knighted for his 30 years research into organic farming during the last century. He is now coined as the Grandfather of organic farming. Unfortunately for world agriculture his work slid into obscurity with the advent of the chemical industry following the end of the Second World War.
Over the last 22 years Richard has researched and tested the findings of Howard, particularly focusing on the fertility making practises that Sir Albert pioneered. Finding that land fertility is about generating the right fungi and bacteria Richard has condensed the entire process into easy to operate fertility making units know as HH-2. Because these units are so effective at reliably reproducing these organisms it means that you can just give them to anyone wanting to grow food along with the Operators Manual and the business of food production can begin. The subsequent growing system that he has also developed is now available when one purchases or donates The HH-2 Horticultural System.
Due to the decline in soil fertility, agriculture is facing a tsunami of unsolved pest and disease problems. The increased use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides further compounds these problems. The HH-2 System has been demonstrated to be a highly effective organic alternative for the control of all types of agricultural pests and diseases.
Modern agricultural methods lead to high levels of carbon and moisture losses which increase the rate of soil degradation. The solution to many of these problems was first identified by Howard through his research that reached many countries. He was way ahead of current carbon theories by first solving the problem of loss of soil moisture. This simple method of producing fertile top soil also produces the correct fungi and bacteria that enable rapid regeneration of all required soil organisms so that even apparently ‘dead’ soil can again be brought into production.
By the simple introduction of the HH-2 equipment the right fungi and bacteria can again be introduced into any localised soil type. By checking that there is good ground water management crops can again be grown and flourish.
We are now on the International platform to bring the remarkable HH-2 system to developing countries to do three things
- Convert biomass and other organic wastes into fertiliser
- Safeguard sanitation from polluting water courses
- Help reduce hunger, poverty and disease
“Gardening should be more like farming and farming should be more like gardening”
Richard Higgins, at the Good Gardeners AGM 2007, where we met with head of horticulture, Grow Organic.