The Good Gardeners was started in 1962 and in 1968 became a registered charity (no. 255300) They have 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 their technology. Richard, the current director, has brought in the Howard science which makes fertile land/gardens out of abandoned/marginal land of any soil type by the means of making a top quality fertiliser that is so powerful it need only be added to the surface of the soil. No digging or ploughing is required. With increased fertility you can generate your own crop varieties by successive sowing for increased pest and disease resistance and also for increased yields.
To increase seed productivity
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 produced 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 ploughs over the soil and continually crops the fields applying only chemicals as fertiliser. This is the cause of soil depletion.
Our method of DRY sanitation (HH-3) , also developed directly from the work of Sir Albert Howard, allows another waste stream to be processed and used to replenish marginal or exhausted land. This DRY HH-3 system prevents the pollution of drinking and irrigation water by leachate from pit latrines and sewage ponds etc., that are common in developing countries.
Richard Higgins grew up on a Somerset mixed farm and attained his National Diploma in Agriculture at the Royal Berkshire College of Agriculture and developed the HH-2 Horticultural System and the HH-3 DRY sanitation system after completing a ten year study of Sir Albert’s work which he first discovered in a reference library in 1995. The work of the Good Gardeners’ today enable communities, farmers, schools and villages 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 tyneing, harrowing, and rolling in of the new crop which is necessary when ploughing is employed. With this system of agriculture and horticulture no chemicals are needed which means huge savings can be made not only on oil powered machinery and its maintenance but on the ever spiralling costs of chemical fertilisers and pesticides etc.,
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.
Richard’s interest in books led him to the Bodlean library in Oxford and the reference library, at the then, Wye College in 1995. There he discovered the life and works of Sir Albert Howard CIE., MA., etc., who was knighted for his 30 years research into the origin of 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. Richard is probably the foremost expounder of the Howard work on fertility making. Finding that proper 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 Horticultural System Because these units are so effective at reliably reproducing these organisms it means that you can purchase for or sponsor this equipment for anyone wanting to grow food, especially where conditions are affected by climate change. Along with the package comes the basic equipment to operate the entire system featuring his ‘Operators Manual’ which can be translated into any language.
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 and is influencing Universities in their research.
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, the results of which reached many countries. He was ahead of current carbon theories by first solving the problem of loss of soil moisture and carbon through ploughing. The HH-2 method of producing fertile top soil 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 back to life.
By the simple installation and operation of the HH-2 equipment the right fungi and bacteria can again be introduced into any localised soil type. By also checking that there is good ground water management, crops can again be grown and flourish on what may have been considered unusable or marginal land.
There is no comparable equipment to the HH-2 and its end product HH-4 anywhere in the world, as far as we know. Therefore by the interest generated from our two web sites we have upgraded the charity to International status. Having completed surveys and scale up trials in different countries….Several Universities are looking into our technology as the problems UK farmers are facing are also of a broad nature.
As an International platform to install and teach the operating system of the remarkable HH-2 and show how to
- Convert biomass/other organic wastes that are commonly burnt into fertiliser
- prevent waterborne 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.