- How did you get started in the industry?
I always wanted to be David Bellamy when I was a kid, so I did a botany degree, but ended up as a minister. About 25 years ago, I started to write about self-sufficiency. Now we are opening a cookery school linked to self-sufficiency and growing courses. I am the Daily Mirror's Mr Digwell, so we are going to do "meet Mr D" courses.
- What does your typical day involve?
If I'm not gardening, I'm writing. I also occasionally do Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time, a bit of TV and The Edible Garden Show - doing demonstrations, making sausages and being Mr Digwell. They did ask me to grow a beard so I would look more like the comic-strip character. I'm also doing a grow your own show next spring for Sky and regional TV channel Lancashire One.
- What do you see as the future of grow your own?
In the long term, people are going to have to make their own food. A lot of people jumped on the bandwagon, but as soon as they found out about the time spent weeding and shovelling, they got fed up. However, allotments will continue to thrive and, eventually, grow your own will become the norm.
- What is your proudest achievement?
By law, if six people in an electoral ward want an allotment, they can petition the local authority, which is duty bound to provide it. The Government wanted to take this off the statute book. We did an online petition and a piece in the Daily Mirror, and the Independent on Sunday joined in. The following week, the prime minister announced in the House of Commons that the legislation would not be repealed.
- What does the future hold?
I can't wait to get our courses running, gardening, making cheese in a bottle, sausages, bread and bacon. And more writing.