I started growing veg when I was 10. It’s quite young but I come from a family of organic gardeners. My grandparents always grew their own veg and my parents were both garden designers, so I was brought up by green fingers! I remember being taken around lots of gardens when I was little and at the time being bored, but it must have made an impression in me somewhere.
As a teenager I got my first allotment and advice from my aunty (Also a gardener) about which way up to plant onions. My first crop was mostly eaten by rabbits. It was a harsh but important lesson. I went to film school which ignited my passion for photography but I realised I didn’t want to be indoors all day so I switched my studies. I still have a passion for film and photography but now my camera lens is mostly pointed at colourful and interesting veg.
Over the years my experience has swung from a flower farm on the Scilly Isles and landscape gardening to farming and organic permaculture across Europe. It was clear my obsession was for produce, so when I joined River Cottage I felt completely at home.
After several years on the land and garden team, working hard on our traditional walled kitchen garden, burgeoning polytunnels and growing spaces, I have stepped in to the Head Gardener role. I am grateful for the legacy of those experts who went before me and I am looking forward to putting plans into action and making my own mark in this beautiful spot.
My love for the garden continues.
Adam’s Top Tips For Starting Out
- When you are creating your growing garden consider how the space flows. Make sure you have room to move around, water available and good access for compost and soil deliveries.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes but if this is your first attempt tackle a few things well rather than a lot of things badly.
- Keep your tools somewhere safe, dry and handy. If you are lucky enough to have a shed then make sure it is tidy. So much energy and enthusiasm is thwarted by a messy work space.
- Spend time in your garden without doing too much. Make a note of where the sun is at different points of the day. Think about what you will plant and what it will need.
- Grow what you eat. I know this sounds obvious but even seasoned growers make the mistake of trying something for the wrong reasons.
- The humble hoe is my go-to tool for weeding.