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Avant Gardeners


Feb 20, 2024

Pinch us! We had the chance to speak with the guru of no dig gardening himself, Mr Charles Dowding. Over an hour and a half we meandered all manner of subjects including the obvious (no dig gardening, composting, weeding) and the maybe less obvious - the politics of gardening, UK alotments, microdosing. 

To keep our episodes short(ish) and sharp(ish) we've split this into 2 parts. 

Charles Dowding has been gardening organically and applying the no-dig method for the past 40 years. He’s been instrumental in spreading the word of this style of gardening globally, heralding its effectiveness against weeds, its ability to produce thriving veggies, and its time-saving benefits.

Based in Somerset in the south west corner of England, Charles gardens on his property, Homeacres, a 1 ½  acre block. He recently celebrated 11 years there, and it’s magic to see the transformation of this space from a neglected parcel of land into a productive paradise.

Charles’s kinesiology career was short-lived due to the frequent remarks about the dirt under his fingernails, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. Charles is passionate about education and is increasingly a voice for the future of food and how gardening can play a pivotal role in climate change.

He has written numerous books on gardening, he runs workshops from Homeacres and online, and liberally shares his insights, successes and failures on YouTube and social media. He must be one of the happiest people in gardening. 

Find Charles on Instagram here

But before we get there...we're chatting about  tiger snakes, guinea fowl, garlic, accidental gardens, zucchini season, jam season, community flower shows, 

We're drinking an English Breakfast Mar-tea-ni. We made a tea sugar syrup, added gin, lemon juice, aquafaba (use egg white if you like) and that's pretty much it! Super refreshing. Can recommend. 

We're recommending Futuresteading by Jade Miles. Charles recommends Peter Singers' book Animal Liberation