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Gardd Darna

Pembrokeshire, Welsh County , United Kingdom

Irene Triffitt’s first exposure to growing was quite different from most UK growers; her father grew food for the family in their garden in the Philippines out of necessity, a situation most struggle to imagine. However, upon moving to the UK, she began planting flowers and vegetables to soften her homesickness. Since buying a six-acre plot in Wales – Gardd Darna – she estimates that 80% of the household’s food is grown on her land. She describes heirloom tomatoes as a particular favourite, many of them preserved in the form of passata and bolognese. More importantly to Irene, though, is to inspire others to grow their produce. She’s been teaching growing to kids back home in the Philippines, and she sells seedlings from an honesty stall at the entrance to her land. She often gives away sunflowers and other plants to see the kids’ faces as their green charges grow taller than a house. This generosity is returned by Irene’s local Welsh community, whom she describes as ‘exceptionally supportive’ of her small business. People will often come and park up for the scenic surroundings and buy plants from her stall. Overall, Irene stands out as a person dedicated to the power of growing, and not only food. Along with local children and their parents, she’s helped plant over 1500 trees in her local area in just one year!

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Author

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