Squash & Pumpkin Festival at Hardwick

Not-to-be-missed Squash & Pumpkin Festival at Hardwick 27 October 2013

by Rose TolhurstThe Squash & Pumpkin Festival at Hardwick is a community event, hosted by Tolhurst Organic, on Sunday 27 October, from 11 am to 5pm. Free admission for walkers and cyclists.

Says Iain Tolhurst, renowned organic grower “The first edition of the Squash & Pumpkin Festival at Hardwick will be a community effort with social aims in the local area. The festival will celebrate the harvest and splendour of the season, with an exhibition of large pumpkins and most beautiful squash, and sales of the best local foods in the area”.

Festival visitors will be offered an improvised farmers’ market, craft stalls, food and drinks, as well as guided tours of historic Hardwick House, only open at special occasions.
This is an interactive event, where visitors will make the things happen, by entering the Carved and Biggest Pumpkin and Best in Show Squash competitions, by showing off in their best Autumn dress, by rolling pumpkins up and down and by singing along.

Local businesses will benefit, too, by selling their best ware and community groups will contribute through their volunteers and stands.

We aim at “zero-waste” targets, by recycling and reusing all unused items.

With a successful first-time (pilot) festival, Tolhurst Organic hope to establish the event as an annual tradition at the farm.

The Festival is made possible with the kind support from Vegan Organic Network www.veganorganic.net and a small grant from the Chilterns AONB Conservation Board www.chilternsaonb.org

S&P Festival FINAL

by Tamara Schiopu

Hello from our Editor!

Hello! My name’s Rob Jackson and I am the new editor of Growing Green International.

My interest in vegan-organics started when I was fresh out of university, evaluating my life and plans. I’d already been vegan for about five years by then and I’d started to realise there was something of a conflict between veganism and organic production. Discovering that organic farmers were using manure from animals and slaughterhouse products was a revelation. People I spoke with thought it was just one of those compromises we have to make living in the real (i.e. non-vegan) world. But that wasn’t good enough for me.

Enter the Vegan-Organic Network who shone a light on the situation – there was a way! I got involved quite quickly taking on the task of compiling a database of farms and volunteer opportunities across the world (this is still available, though a little out of date – and some has morphed into the current Farm Directory and Centre Network) and learning as much as I could about the techniques available.

I was one of the first beneficiaries of the VON Bursary scheme and studied for an HNC in Organic Horticulture at the Welsh College of Horticulture, while I volunteered full-time on their farm. I enjoyed my time there and learnt a lot. I went on to work with The Vegan Society as Education Officer for four years, but in the meantime stayed at Steward Wood, on a holding in Southern Spain, at Drimlabarra on the Isle of Arran and Dial House for an introduction to Permaculture.

I have a lot to thank VON for and it’s great to be able to contribute again to an organisation that holds such enormous promise and brings so many important strands into focus.

I’d like to say a big thank you to Kath Clements for her hard work on the magazine over recent years and for her help in handing over the work to me. I shan’t be doing things very different from the way Kath did them, but if there’s something you think I should or shouldn’t be doing please let me know. I’d also like to say a big thank you to everyone else who makes this magazine possible: the layout designer, the cover designer, the proof readers and of course all of the fantastic contributors.

The magazine reflects a wide range of information and opinions on the subject of vegan-organic growing. We try to feature a mixture of articles that cover practical, technical, and ethical issues, as well as more humorous items, hints and tips, letters and illustrations. And we love submissions from members! If you would like to send anything to be considered for the magazine please contact me at editor@veganorganic.net.

Here’s wishing you all the best in your vegan-organic adventures!

Rob Jackson, Editor



VON 2013

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Happy New Year to all our supporters.  Please check back later this month for all events VON will be present at. We are even planning a VON camp this year as it would be great to get as many members together as possible to share in our vision of vegan growing and living!

The Winter Growing Green International is available at £2 per copy plus postage, please email membership@veganorganic.net to get yourself a copy or join us and receive bi-annual issues, newsletters and more!

In friendship,


VON membership secretary.