Hello, I’m Richard Chivers. I’m an allotment gardener living in Cardiff, UK. I’m mostly found on our family allotment, wearing wellies and getting my hands dirty.
Sharpen your Spades started in 2015 as a diary which documented my progress on a new allotment garden. I found the process of writing a powerful tool that enabled me to digest and understand the things I was learning about. I discovered that by writing a blog I became connected to the large and wonderful community of gardeners online and across the world.
I ‘found’ gardening in my mid-twenties and although I went into it to grow things to put in my stomach, I’ve learned and been rewarded by the entire experience of simply sowing a seed and watching it grow. There’s a huge package on offer when you garden. You get colour in your gardens or allotments and flavour and nourishment in your kitchens.
There are other things. Really important things to be gained from gardening too. It provides a real and tangible connection with our environment. A connection that has for too long been removed or significantly diluted. It also supports wellbeing. Gardening has been there for me when I’ve been at my lowest and it has brought significant pleasure and happiness.
When I’m not on the plot, I’m reading as many kitchen gardening books I can get my hands on, engaging with the gardening industry and looking for ways to inspire and support other people to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
My eight-year-old daughter, Ava, loves spending time on the allotment too. It’s wonderful to see her excited about the crops we grow together. I want her to grow up with a strong relationship with food, understand where it comes from and be thrilled to eat it. I want other families to join in too.
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