Gavin Cassidy has recently joined the Urban Green Clean team as our new Local Food and Allotments Officer. This week we sat down with him to get to know him better and heard all about his passion for his new role, got some advice for budding growers, and his unique former home.
Why did you want to work for Urban Green Newcastle?
It feels like a revolutionary project to revitalise the city parks and growing spaces in a dynamic team. I was born in the area and so care a lot about the future and vision of our green spaces for the generations to follow.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
Engaging with people from all walks of life about how growing food is a transformational tool for health and wellbeing.
Do you have a specialist subject?
The philosophy of Permaculture. Permaculture is a way of growing which is more sustainable and natural, inspired by systems in nature. It includes stuff like companion planting and designing your allotment in the most efficient way to maintain.
What’s your best piece of advice for allotment growers and home gardeners?
Start small, but start. Grow a plant from seed, whether it’s on your windowsill or on the doorstep. While it grows, learn to utilise what already grows wild in nature – and prepare and cook it at home. Then gradually build up to where you eventually cultivate a garden or an allotment and use the produce daily.
Do you have a favourite green space in the city?
I like what the locals call ‘’the plum walk’’ in Iris Brickfield in Heaton. The orchard there is a fine example of how growing fruit for the community can be such a joy.
What was your dream job as a child?
What would your ideal weekend be like?
Visit a place in the countryside that I have not been to before, walk to a waterfall and end up at a traditional country pub for dinner with friends and family.
What do you do outside of work?
Bushcraft (outdoor survival skills), chopping timber, and growing plants. I also play basketball, and like reading about current affairs, history, and psychology.
What’s a surprising fact about you?
I once lived in a converted horsebox in the middle of a field in Leicestershire.