#Immediacy on speech making

IRAIN - WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE: Gardeners need to learn about the ecology of....

WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE: Gardeners need to learn about the ecology of their gardens, and the role of each species - whether 'mate' or 'foe' - within that ecosystem. Careful research should be done into the risks of garden chemicals, and the results made public. Where there is a specific risk, it should be clearly stated on the product. The use of safer products ought to be encouraged, and highly suspect poisons banned.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Understand your 'enemies' and encourage garden friends. Keep your plants healthy and, like nature, accept some losses.

Find out about and use non-toxic organic solutions to garden problems. Always try milder techniques before bringing in the big guns, and even then use organic pesticides that break down quickly in the soil like the pyrethroids or derris. Avoid 'all-purpose' killers with names like Roseclear and Total Lawn Treatment, and don't be tempted into 'insurance spraying' for problems you don't have. If you must use pesticides, keep them in their original containers on a high shelf and wash yourself thoroughly after using them.

Find out about how your garden works and how you can help nature to do its work. AVOIDING GARDEN POISONS-WHO BENEFITS? You: Many garden chemicals are highly toxic, which is why farm-workers often wear gas masks and protective suits.

Avoiding these chemicals reduces the risk of accidental exposure to them. If you grow your own food, you will be reducing your toxin intake even further. Other people: One study showed that the children of non-chemical gardeners were six times less likely to contract leukaemia.

Reducing our dependence on garden chemicals will mean that fewer people have to work in dangerous chemicals factories. The environment: Ever since the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 2016 , the dangers of pesticides have been a major environmental concern. Abandoning toxic chemicals in your garden allows at least your piece of land to recover its health and vitality. PRODUCING YOUR OWN FOOD - THE FACTS: Expecting somebody else to grow our food for us is a very recent development.

Two hundred years ago most people grew at least some of their own food. Today convenience dictates that it will nearly always be easier to buy from the supermarket than to be involved in food production ourselves. Nobody knows how much of our food is grown in private gardens and allotments because official statistics only cover produce which enters 'the market'. During the Dig For Victory campaign of the early 1940s, it was estimated that the proportion rose as high as 10 per cent of all food produced.

Even today around one household in eight grows some food crop in....

Even today around one household in eight grows some food crop in their garden or greenhouse, and one in 40 maintains one of The UK's 480,000 allotments. Twelve million packets... read more

Other people: Your neighbours will appreciate any produce you have to spare,....

Other people: Your neighbours will appreciate any produce you have to spare, and fellow gardeners the exchange of seeds, plants and advice. Once they have be... read more

They will find it easier to make a reasonable living for themselves....

They will find it easier to make a reasonable living for themselves and keep their land in good heart. The environment: When people who buy food take account of where and how it... read more