Living Soil Garden
is a no-dig Regenerative No-Dig Market Garden
on Goffin Land, in North Exeter.
All of our vegetables are grown on 1/2 acre of permanent beds,
cultivated without chemicals, machinery or tillage.
The growing team is composed of Flavia, the head grower,
and Dario, who helps with various tasks on a volunteer basis.
We are part of Biophilia, a project that aims to regenerate landscapes and ecosystems, create a space for reflection, learning & well-being.
To learn more about our way of growing, visit the Ethics section below
or check out our blog article on why organic is not enough.
Check us out on social media
We are Flavia & Dario, an Italian couple with a deep love for simple living, self-reliance and learning from nature.
When we first arrived in England in 2013, we immediately fell in love with the British countryside & wildlife.
Our Italian passion for nutritious & tasty food quickly developed into the desire to grow all of our vegetables.
While training in Horticulture and studying Permaculture, we became very interested in biodiversity & soil ecology, and started exploring ways to grow in harmony with natural systems & processes.
This inspired us to start practising no-dig and regenerative agriculture, which transformed our garden into a bio-intensive haven.
Thanks to Biophilia, our dream of a small regenerative market garden has come true and we are excited about providing our local community with the best local, sustainable & delicious vegetables.
Come chat with us at Goffin Land,
at our Farmers Market stall
or the nearest pick-up point.
Meet our team
Flavia is the head grower of Living Soil Garden.
Back in Italy she went to Agriculture school, but she wasn't inspired by the chemical and machinery-focused practices of conventional growing. Years later, thanks to the practical and hands-on approach of English gardening, her enthusiasm for horticulture has come back stronger than ever.
She has a passion for propagation and experimenting with novel varieties and exotic edibles.
Dario is a research scientist at the University of Exeter, where he studies the biophysics of living micro-organisms. He is fascinated by the interplay of soil microbiology and plant nutrition. In his free time he helps Flavia with crop planning and soil management.
He is constantly exploring ways to manage thriving and productive ecosystems by working with nature, simply & mindfully.
How we grow
Here at Living Soil Garden, we aim to grow food
while regenerating our landscape and nurturing natural ecosystems.
Some believe that tweaking modern agriculture might be enough to produce food without destroying our planet. But we are not interested in this.
What is needed, in our view, is to entirely rethink the way we interact with the natural world, and design practices that not only sustain,
but regenerate the ecosystems we are part of.
To read more about our growing philosophy,
check out our blog post on why organic is not enough.
The cornerstones of our practice are:
No-dig soil management & zero-chemicals policy
We never disturb the soil or applying any chemicals, so as to allow microbial, fungal and bacterial life to thrive. This in turn feeds plants, which end up being rich of precious micro-nutrients and minerals. To discover more about no-dig vegetable growing, we recommend you check out our Youtube channel, as well as the work of our master and inspirations: Charles Dowding and Richard Perkins.
Because we concentrate our work on a small scale, we are committed to using only emission-free, human-powered tools to cultivate our fields.
Seasonal & Local
We grow only seasonal vegetables and sell them locally. This reduces the necessity for energy-intensive ways to lengthen the growing season, and limits the impact of delivering our products to customers.
Recyclable & plant-based packaging
We strive to reduce our waste, both on the field and in the distribution of our vegetables. In order to do so, all of our microgreens are packed in plant-based containers, we offer our customers the option of paper bags and cardboard boxes, and our seeds are started only in durable, re-usable and 100% recycled plastic.
We are also trialling ways of completely eliminating plastic from our operations.
Soil Fertility built from local waste streams
We do not use any chemical nor organic imported amendments to build the fertility of our soil. All of our compost comes from Coastal Organics, who produce it by recycling green waste from local gardens.
Peat-free propagation compost
Although not even organic standards require it, we avoid all use of peat moss in our growing, as we believe it is an unsustainable source of organic matter.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” (B. Fuller)
The Biophilia project on Goffin Land seeks to host a wide range of activities to open doors onto the wisdom and ingenuity of our species and to relay these creative practices that have benefited our species, our planet and its biodiversity.
Biophilia is a work in process to regenerate soil, nurturing meadows and woodland to create a serendipitous space for reflection and learning for greater wellbeing, mindfulness and joy.
Find out more about Biophilia at biophilia.org.uk