Bitesize Blog

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Harriet and I’m the owner and grower of Harriets Plants, the first commercial, peat free and chemical free plant nursery in the UK.I’m 30 years old and have been growing plants for the best part of 10 years. I take my personal and business sustainbility ethics very seriously and I do everything in my power to make sure I’m as sustainable as I can be.I love hiking, running and spending lots and lots of time with my rescue dogs.  I’m an extroverted introvert and my love language is quality time and physical touch.  I’m a huge believer in people and their powers to make change and feel like small changes make BIG differences.

Where can people follow your blog?

I don’t have a blog but my journal of all things sustainability wise and houseplant wise can be found here:
www.harrietsplants.co.uk/harriets-blog and my Instagram which follows my growing journal here: @harriets.plants

Harriets Plants

Interview

What made you start your blog?

I started my journal to help people look after their peat free houseplants better and to also shine a light on many of the issues that are occurring when growing houseplants in an inorganic way. For example, the use of peat, the inorganic chemical use to prevent pests and the unsustainable usage of virgin plastics.  I’m trying to change this within the industry and to showcase that I can grow houseplants with the UK seasons in mind and without importing a vast amount of houseplants.

What are your thoughts on Climate Change?

This is a HUGE topic. I’ve made it very clear on my social media how important this planet is. The sea, the land and everything in between.  The climate crisis saddens me no end.  It hurts me that we as humans have caused irreparable damage to the earth that serves us so well.

I think there are many topics within the climate crisis that need to be discussed and more and more people need to make changes to their habits in order to help the planet recover.
That is one of the main reasons why my journal is trying to bring more topics to the surface for people to educate themselves and ultimately make those changes.

Have you changed much about your lifestyle?

ABSOLUTELY!! I’m still learning, we all are.
I’ve been plant based for about 7 years now which was a huge change that I made to do better for the planet, as well as the farmed animals.

I take my reusable cup everywhere I go. If I ever forgot it I would just have a coffee in a take away cup anyway…that’s not an option for me anymore. If I don’t have my reusable cup and I don’t have time to sit in then I simply don’t have a coffee. This planet is way more important that my coffee addiction.

As much as possible I monitor my plastic consumption . I shop at greengrocers where possible and either always take my own veg bags or simply chuck it all in to my ‘peatfreepeople’ tote bags that I carry everywhere! 

What sort of reactions do you get from people who come across this?

It’s not as difficult as people think to make these small changes that make HUGE positive impact on the planet.

Harriet

What changes have you found the hardest to make and what have you done to overcome them?

The hardest thing I find to do in the greenhouse is education. Changing peoples perceptions on chemical control is so difficult. Changing peoples perceptions on peat usage is also hard. 

I keep having open conversations on the topic to make it easier for myself and for others to understand and learn about the topic of sustainability when growing plants.

What is your biggest fear about the future?

That change won’t happen and the planet will suffer.

Our peat bogs are in danger and the wildlife that frequent these bogs are in decline. Peat bogs don’t regenerate quick enough in comparison to the amount we extract. 

WE MUST CHANGE THIS AND GO PEAT FREE NOW!!!

Who is your biggest inspiration?

SO MANY!!

In the horticulture world, Charles Dowding without a doubt. He’s a no dig and organic grower of food.

There are some amazing growers out there that do some incredible things and I’m inspired daily by organic and peat free growers that bear the environment in mind with their lifestyles and their businesses. It’s hard to go against the big businesses, especially when they have big marketing budgets and are really good at greenwashing consumers.  Its such a huge problem.

 

What is the one thing you would like people to take away from this?

I think we should all be buying less and better. Having a sustainable lifestyle doesn’t mean you always have to spend more.  It actually costs me less in the long run as I just don’t buy as much.
Shop second hand where you can, buy from Eco Independents like Appletree & Avalon and when buying plants…always shop peat free and chemical free.  If it’s not labelled as peat free, it isn’t peat free. 

Do you have any advice for Appletree and Avalon?

It’s great to know that if I need anything eco-friendly, that it also follows my ethos & everything is made in the UK. It’s rare to find businesses like ours that follow that value. Keep doing what you’re doing!

Bitesize Blog

This is great advice from Harriet. I met Harriet at a market we sold at together & bought a cheese plant from her. He is aptly named ‘Malcolm’ & for those who follow us, he regularly features & takes pride of place in our living room!

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