Tim giving sound advice for gardeners

December 23 2013

PUTTING years of experience into a nifty and unique guide for gardeners is organic horticulture enthusiast, Tim Foster.

PUTTING years of experience into a nifty and unique guide for gardeners is organic horticulture enthusiast, Tim Foster.
As the title establishes, Good Earth Gardening is a friendly and comprehensive guide made up of all the information, and tried and tested tips Tim has gathered over the years.
With 14 years of teaching experience under his belt, and 20 years of growing his own produce, Tim has written the book to suit complete novices in organic gardening, or for those seeking to improve their technique.
The book, which also contains detailed illustrations drawn by Tim, took around four months to complete, in between teaching organic horticulture for the Workers Education Association at Windmill Hill, Shift Bristol, and Bristol University.
Tim - a vegan of 25 years - has been involved in horticulture since leaving school, working as a market gardener, as well as within the community as a fruit and vegetable grower. He has also owned an allotment for 12 years, in which he has sourced all his own fruit and vegetables.
"The main reason behind my book is to encourage other people to grow their own food organically," he said. "I had a course cancelled last year, so it meant I had some time one day a week. I was already spending quite a bit of time on my allotments, so I thought writing a book would be a good way to fill up some time I had."
He added: "The book also encourages people to persevere with their allotment, with tips of what to do when land is not ready to use. A lot of people gave up on their allotments last year after the bad weather, which was a real shame."
The initial part of the book, which provides quick and easy, step-by-step instructions on growing particular vegetables, is followed by in depth information on composting and various techniques, such as how healthy soil - the key to growing good vegetables - can be created, and how to eliminate pests. A calender is also supplied in the book, which establishes what should be planted when.
Tim recommends that planting vegetables can start planting around March time.
Whilst he highlights that not a lot of vegetables will establish this time of year because of the cool temperatures, it is a good time of year to be planting fruit, such as blackcurrants.
However, there is still a lot of stuff still in the ground, such as leeks and kale, he says. He recommends eating kale at least three times a week.
Tim said: "I really enjoyed the creative process of writing a book, doing a little bit at a time. You have this idea and you just type away. It was very exciting to see it published.
"It has also been really interesting finding out about the book industry too."
John Adler, founder of Pomegranate Books, the publisher of Good Earth Gardening, said: "I will publish anything I feel is worthwhile, and something I would like to read, and others would like to read."
"Tim knew what he was talking about, and I had a really good feeling about the book, which is the most important thing - it seems to have gone down very, very well."
He added: "Tim is very strongly committed to organic and sustainable gardening."
The book has been featured in the Sunday Times, as well as reviewed by the Soil Association - the UK's leading membership charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use.
Good Earth Gardening can be purchased from Room 212, Scoopaway, Playfull Toys, The Fish Shop, and Harvest, as well as online: www.pomegranatebooks.co.uk