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Grow Your Own for Beginners

Learn how to grow more of your own sustainable and nutritious vegetables, salad crops and herbs with this introductory course run by the Cotswold Market Garden team.


What could be more satisfying than picking tomatoes, courgettes and lettuce that you’ve grown yourself, just minutes before a summer feast. Or having an abundance of squash, leeks and dried chillies to warm you up through autumn and winter. All grown by your hands in a living soil, without pesticides and with zero food miles!


Got bigger ambitions? Maybe you are considering setting up a vegetable growing enterprise or looking for a job in your local market garden.


This course is ideal for beginners or those with some experience seeking a refresher.

The Course

This course is led by founder and Head Grower at Cotswold Market Garden, James Butterworth. James is an expert in organic veg growing and the host of the Organic Grower Podcast. He is responsible for keeping local chefs, hungry families and home cooks in our community supplied with the finest produce. You will also meet regenerative farmer, educator and local food champion, Jonty Brunyee, and other members of the team.

The day features a combination of theory and practical demonstrations where you can get your hands dirty.

You will:

  • Take a tour of the Cotswold Market Garden

  • Hear how James started the garden in 2019 and how it fits with the wider farm

  • Explore soil health basics

  • Learn about crop rotation and selection, bed forming, sowing and planting, weeding, watering, nutrition, cover crops, pest management, harvesting and storing.

  • Pick up key tips and tricks for getting the most out of a small patch.


The day, run for around 12 people, will be relaxed with plenty of time to ask questions and to have a go.Timings are as follows:


09.30 Arrive for tea and coffee

10.00 Welcome to the farm and garden

10.15 Session 1

11.15 Session 2

12.30 Lunch

13.30 Session 3

14.30 Session 4

16.00 Close


Lunch and refreshments (using produce from the garden and farm) will be served in the farm's beautiful event tipis in the wildflower meadows.

The Garden and Farm

Cotswold Market Garden is 2.5 acre organic and no dig market garden growing around 50 different crops for local consumers, pubs and farm shops. A good mix of fruit trees have been planted too. It is based at Conygree, an award winning regenerative organic farm run by Jonty and Mel Brunyee, on the National Trust’s Sherborne Park Estate.


James, Jonty and Mel believe in growing organically, working with soil and nature, and eating seasonally. The team love to share the farm and garden with others, running events and courses throughout the year.


Stock Up On Plants

The first course date in May comes just days before our big Spring Organic Plant Sale on 11 and 12 May. A perfect time to make a start and get roots in the ground. All course participants will get early access to a wide range of our home grown ready-to-go organic veg, herb and flower plants. You will get 20% off your purchase too!


Course Fees

We offer three different ticket options. You choose.


Our standard ticket (£85) price covers our core costs of course delivery and food/refreshments. Most people choose this ticket.


If you love what we do and can pay a little more, helping us and others, please choose a supporter ticket (£125). We thank you for paying forward.


We believe access to knowledge and good food should be available to all. If cost is a barrier to you then we have a small number of funded* supported tickets (£25) available. Maybe you are out of work, in full time education or face other forms of hardship - if so, this ticket is for you. When you book, please just tell us why you need support and how this course will benefit you, to help us monitor our bursary programme.


*Funding provided by the Farming in Protected Landscapes grant and supporter ticket sales.


Future Events

We will be running further courses later in the year for beginners and the more advanced. In the autumn we are also planning a course focusing on the business aspects of starting and running a market garden enterprise. Follow us and keep in touch for further updates.


Further Information

If you want a chat about this course, and future events, please email James on 

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