The joy of growing your own

Joel Williams tending the beds

Joel Williams tending the beds

First published in Columns
Last updated
Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Growhampton

I’m Joel Williams, welcome to my first blog for the Wandsworth Guardian. Each week I’ll be offering advice and tips for all our green thumbed readers, using my experience of growing food to give you advice and inspire you in your gardens and allotments.

I am the Grower at Growhampton, a sustainability project lead by a team at The University of Roehampton Students’ Union. The aim of the Growhampton project is to engage community members in sustainable living and urban food growing.

My blog is all about providing you with the knowledge, skills and understanding to enjoy growing your own produce, so you too can bring some deliciousness to your dinner table. I’ll also be sharing Growhampton’s experience of urban growing in South West London.

My journey into gardening began when I was 14 when my mother said: “Right, it’s your job to start mowing the lawn”. I soon developed a genuine interest and went onto study Agricultural Science at university and have worked in farming ever since.

I’ve always treasured the unbeatable feeling of sowing seeds in the garden and reaping the rewards come harvest time. There is nothing that compares to the great feeling of growing your own food, taking it straight into the kitchen and cooking it up into a feast.  Since starting work with Growhampton, I’ve realised there’s only one greater feeling: growing food for other people.

Growhampton is using parts of the University’s lovely green campus to set up growing spaces where crops are produced. I’ve established a large main growing space, consisting of raised beds and a polytunnel and am currently developing smaller growing spaces at each of our four colleges.

I oversee these areas and support and encourage our students, staff and community volunteers to get involved. It’s harvest time at the moment and students have been harvesting lettuce, spinach, radish and oriental veg for our weekly farmers’ market at The Hive – Growhampton’s café. We serve local, organic and ethical produce and the café is open to the public.

I hope you enjoy my regular posts on this blog, please do comment and share below, as I love hearing from readers. Next week I’ll be giving an introduction to organic growing.

Joel W.

What are Joel and the Growhampton team talking about this week?
At the moment I can’t stop talking about Baby Leaf Kale, it’s one of the most exciting things I have grown and eaten in a long time. In fact, all baby leaf salads rock my world.

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