Alex Grows Food

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

It’s incredible how Mother Nature captures all sorts of talent to work in her favour. Alex’s professional experience led him from writing academic software related to climate science to winning Garden Video of the Year at the 2023 Garden Media Guild awards. The videoCan You Be Self-Sufficient While Working A Full-Time Job?’ stirred conversation among many gardeners, highlighting the pros and cons of juggling work and gardening.

With a PhD in Computational Physics, his focus wasn’t on gardening until lockdown when he experienced the reality of food quality and shortages and developed some health issues. His focus started with reducing his intake of potential pesticides and turned to growing veg and flowers. Taking inspiration from YouTube videos by experts like the no-dig guru Charles Dowding, Alex quickly adopted his easy-to-follow method. He loved the simplicity of building lasagna gardens, which was imperative since he suffered from dizziness, low energy levels, arm pain, and numbness. Alex’s passion resulted in growing his first crops and sparked an interest in sharing his journey through short vlogs.

Vlogging gardening

Having researched soil health and regenerative agriculture, he was overrun with beans in the first season. He covered an ugly fence with sweetcorn, peppers, tomatoes, and sunflowers, quickly running out of growing space. A small greenhouse followed, resulting in a surplus of Sungold tomatoes. He suspected that his undiagnosed illness was related to food, so his dedication to taking ownership of his supply chain resulted in hundreds of kilos of produce. He also got chickens and started making cheese. 

As his garden and vlogging ventures progressed, the reality of holding a full-time job clashed with the smallholding dream. Alex was left exhausted when dealing with work issues, leading to his precious crops rotting on the vine. Fueled by his angst, he recorded the video mentioned above, and for him, the answer was no, you can’t be self-sufficient while holding a full-time job. The revelation brought not only a change in his working plans but also recognition and an award presented by Charles Dowding during the ceremony awards. Alex’s health also improved, and in 2024, we can continue following his growing journey.

Check out his vlogs on his YouTube channel.

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Vegetable grower, natural beekeeper and edible spaces designer. Lover of all soil and urban farming techniques. Former head of growing at Incredible Aquagarden.