Colin says, “Growing is in my genes.” His great grandfather was one of the first horticulturalists in Auckland, NZ in the 1800s. His grandparents on both sides were market gardeners.

As a child, Colin learned to garden by working alongside his grandfather, a traditional grower who learned to grow in the 1930s, before the rise of modern industrial, chemical agriculture.

In his ’20s, Colin visited and worked on organic farms around NZ, learning from experienced growers. He completed the first Permaculture Design Course training in NZ. This was his first experience of viewing the design of food growing systems from an ecology perspective.

In his ’30s, Colin travelled through the British Isles, Europe and the U.S.A. Along his way he visited many farms and gardens, learning from growers in different parts of the world.

Creating vibrant, eco-friendly gardens producing nutrient-rich food has been Colin’s top priority since he returned to NZ in 2000. He spent a decade working at a national level on professional and community initiatives. Since 2010, he has shifted his focus to raising his young family, developing online education and helping gardeners in his local community.

Colin continues to study, research and learn.  He originally gained his knowledge from books and directly from gardeners. With the advent of the internet, he now accesses current scientific research and new discoveries made by growers around the world.

Today, Colin draws upon his expansive tool kit of knowledge, skills and experience to provide personalized advice and mentoring to gardeners around the world.

Colin’s experience

Professional advisor, project manager and educator/presenter

Colin’s professional experience includes:

  • Creating and managing a joint government/industry funded research project on organic plant breeding and growing organic seed commercially in NZ. Project partners included universities, commercial organic vegetable growers, commercial seed growers and community seed growing groups.
  • Co-designing, then coordinating a government funded national organic advisory service for commercial organic growers in New Zealand.
  • Managing D.J. Scott & Associates, a landscape design and resource management consulting company.
  • Delivering a popular, educational gardening radio show, “iPlot”, on Radio New Zealand’s programme, “This Way Up”, hosted by Simon Morton.
  • Advising private clients in New Zealand and overseas on designing, creating and maintaining abundant, eco-friendly gardens on their properties.
Community Educator

Colin’s past community experience includes:

  • Training interns and apprentices in the theory and practice of growing nutrient-rich food in eco-friendly ways.
  • Designing and teaching courses and workshops on vegetable and seed growing.
  • Working for Children of the Green Earth Trust, teaching and working with children to plant native trees and vegetable gardens in Auckland primary schools.

Colin’s current educational focus is:

  • Producing online and on-the-ground education for people who want to grow an abundance of nutrient-rich food in eco-friendly ways.
  • Supporting gardeners, seed growers and community gardens in Northland, NZ.
Hands-on grower

Colin has spent five decades building in-depth knowledge, skills and experience growing food, including:

  • vegetables
  • herbs
  • flowers
  • berry fruit
  • subtropical fruit
  • deciduous fruit trees
  • grains.

He also has 20 years’ experience growing vegetable, flower & herb seeds.

Colin has worked with gardens and properties that range in size from 1 square metre to hundreds of hectares. Recently, he has turned his hand to container gardening. He advises and mentors gardeners growing at any scale, in the earth or in containers.