Organic Practice

Martineau Gardens exists to promote its charitable objectives.

One of our charitable objectives is:

“the general education of the public of Birmingham on environmental issues, the sustainable use of resources , therapeutic horticulture and the value of organically grown food and other crops.”

Why organic?

We use organic gardening methods throughout the Gardens, wherever possible. Garden Organic defines the organic approach as recognising ‘that all living things depend on one another. We are all responsible for how we treat the soil and the environment, to safeguard it for future generations.’ At Martineau Gardens we have created a therapeutic garden, with a restorative atmosphere. Volunteers, visitors and wildlife benefit from the natural environment we maintain.

We sell plants and produce (vegetables, fruit, salads, preserves), compost and honey. The Care compost we sell carries organic certification. The other items are produced organically but not certified. This means we adhere to organic guidelines in the production of these items (see below).

Our organic practices include:

  • Maintaining the fertility and biological activity of the soil.
  • Using crop rotation and other forms of husbandry (e.g. green manure) to maintain soil fertility and increase soil quality
  • Using organic material (e.g. our own compost, care compost or leaf mould)
  • Avoiding the use of artificial fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides
  • Controlling weeds, pests and diseases using appropriate techniques and where necessary approved materials to control pests and disease (e.g. nematodes for slugs control, parasitic wasps for whitefly)

To find out more about organic gardening, visit Garden Organic’s website

A note on Organic Certification:

Organic control bodies like the Soil Association (approved by Defra) license individual organic operators. In order to label and market products as organic, operators must hold certification. There would be a cost in both time and money for Martineau Gardens to register for this certification, which is disproportionate to the amount of produce we sell. Certification alone would costs nearly 10% of our produce income.

Your purchase counts!

The majority of our plants are cultivated here at Martineau Gardens – they are grown and cared for by volunteers who are participants of the Therapeutic Horticulture project.  (A small proportion of our plants are donated by local gardeners, to help raise funds for the vital work the charity does.)

Your decision to purchase produce from Martineau Gardens means you’re buying locally (saving on food miles) and contributing towards the running costs of Martineau Gardens.

Apples, freshly picked

Apples, freshly picked