Tom is the Market Gardener at Beechbrae, tasked with creating and managing a productive and diverse source of food year-round (funded by the Climate Challenge Fund). He has a long experience of gardening and growing food and loves nothing more than to be out of doors.
Growing up in rural Suffolk with summer jobs on nearby farms, as well as keeping a plot at home, got Tom interested in market gardening. He later trained at London’s Chelsea Physic Garden, before becoming Community Gardener at Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses where he helped people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities enjoy and learn about gardening, and buy fresh, organically grown produce. Tom has been part of food growing projects all over the world, including in Europe, Japan and Madagascar. Most recently he took a Masters degree in Plant Taxonomy & Biodiversity at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. He now combines his work at Beechbrae with a part-time research position there, studying giant nettles from tropical Africa.
He is currently working to use the polytunnels, woodland garden and outdoor plot at Beechbrae to maximise the sustainability, variety and volume of produce we can grow.
Tom loves to be outdoors and growing food, but also enjoys swimming, walking, reading, carving and making things. In the words of the philosopher Michel de Montaigne, he hopes that years from now death will find him planting his cabbages, and neither worrying about it nor the unfinished garden.