Sally is an experienced no-dig, organic gardener and plant lover, growing her first plants at the tender age of 5. A love of growing plants must be in her genes as she was encouraged by both grandfathers who were keen vegetable growers.
On moving to a 3-acre smallholding in Hampshire, her dreams of keeping animals were realized and soon she had a menagerie of chickens, ducks, geese and a few sheep. A few years later, a visit to Rosemary Verey’s potager at Barnsley House led to development of a new kitchen garden.
A lack of space (common on all smallholdings!) resulted in the move to Empire Farm in Somerset. Although the farm has 100 acres with organic certification, Sally works on about 10 acres, leaving the rest to be grazed by a flock of sheep owned by a local farmer. Her main focus is her walled garden and one-acre-plot with a polytunnel, vegetable growing areas, perennial vegetable plot, small orchard and fruit cage plus several livestock pens. She loves to grow unusual vegetables such as yakon, oca, achocha, tree spinach etc and experiment with different methods. Her latest is deep mulching in Ruth Stout style. There are also a few community allotments on the plot, which shows you just how much can be grown on one acre!
Sally studied Natural Sciences (botany) at Girton College, Cambridge. After a few years for research into ecological restoration of quarries and then teaching, Sally set up an environmental photolibrary and started writing articles and non-fiction books. To-date, she has written more than 250 books, mostly children’s non fiction, on a wealth of subjects including natural history, science, and geography.
She is editor of Organic Farming Magazine published by the Soil Association and writes regularly for CountrySmallholder and other smallholding magazines.
Her latest book, The Healthy Vegetable Garden, was published in September 2021. This new book looks at how you can create a healthy, biodiverse growing space packed with vegetables and flowers fuelled by a healthy soil. There are plenty of ideas on how to improve your soil, make compost, mix up your planting, attract pollinators and natural predators plus manage pests and diseases organically.
After writing on climate change and other environmental issues for many years, she teamed up with Kim Stoddart, and they wrote The Climate Change Garden which was published by Green Rocket Books in 2019 (more on her Climate Change Garden website). So much is changing in this field that a new edition is to be published early in 2023.
Another of her books, One Living on an acre or less, was published by Green Books and launched at the Edible Gardening Show at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire in March 2016. A new edition was published in 2021 with an extra chapter on coping with extremes of climate.
She also enjoyed writing a biography on one of her heroes, David Attenborough. The Incredible Life of David Attenborough was published by HarperCollins in autumn 2017.
Sally gives talks on smallholding, growing on small spaces and climate change gardening. She was guest speaker at the Edible Garden Show, River Cottage Festival and the Welsh Spring Festival. She also provides consultancy on climate change gardening and smallholding matters.
Follow Sally on Twitter @Sally_Morgan and on instagram @the_organic_plot