Thirty years ago the Bath Organic Growers group took on an unwanted allotment site in the city and – after two years of hard work – created an organic demonstration garden.
To celebrate their anniversary, BOG members Tim Baines and Kate Mills took guests, Wera Hobhouse MP and Cllr Sarah Warren, on a tour of the garden, whilst another founder member, Pauline Benjafield, reminisced on how it all began.
Marion East, a member of the BOG committee said:
“For this special anniversary it seemed fitting to hold a small socially distanced event to mark the special occasion. As a group we aim to promote organic gardening, bring people together, and promote green issues in the wider community.
“We are an inclusive and friendly group and we always welcome new members. Please come along and join us at our sessions on a Tuesday and Saturday morning. You don’t have to know anything about growing fruit or veg!”
The BOG group originally took on the tenancy of an unworked allotment site in Lower Common West. After two years of planting, digging, and creating a pond, combined with a lot of social activity, an organic demonstration garden was developed.
The veg area is redesigned annually, spearheaded by volunteers who organise the tasks needed to grow the produce. The group boasts roughly 80 members with many attending regular volunteer mornings every Tuesday and Saturday from 10am until 1pm.
In addition to this, the group has run a stall at Bath Farmers Market for the past twenty years selling produce grown in the community garden and by members.
As well as a productive garden, BOG provides a place for volunteers, school parties and members of the public to attend their events. The group has built an earth oven where they cook pizza and baked potatoes for members’ quarterly feast, and to feed visitors on open days.
Attending the event, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse commented:
“The Bath Organic Group was way ahead of the trend. They were growing organically long before it became fashionable, and have since brought together people from across the community. I was honoured to say a few words at the event and enjoyed meeting members of the group, young and old alike.
“We discussed the importance of organic gardening and bringing people together and tasted some lovely samples from the group’s produce. I am proud that Bath is home to this group and I would encourage anyone interested to join in on a volunteer day.”