About Us

Five A Day Market Garden is a not for profit community gardening project.  The project runs from a two acre garden, which is situated in the beautiful and tranquil hamlet of Englefield, approximately seven miles west of Reading, Berkshire.

History – The joy of setting up the garden

An idle conversation with a dread- locked hippie led to the set up of Five a Day Market Garden…

At the time Pam Goddard, our founder, was working across the road at Englefield Garden Centre and  waxing lyrical about the idea of using a garden as a platform for people of all ages of abilities to come and enjoy gardening and associated activities.  So when Jez (the dread-locked hippie) mentioned he was giving up the plot of land across the road she was hooked.

A few weeks later, after a four day crash course in setting up a business and put together a business plan.  Pam managed to persuade a few highly skilled people that volunteering would be a fantastic  and worthwhile experience! Next, the Berkshire Community Foundation provided a grant and that was the start!

Over the years, Pam, with a team of volunteers built up the community project providing courses and activities for all ages within the local community. Today the garden has over 2500 visitors a year and works with a number of local and national organisations.

In March 2017, Pam received an award from the High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire in recognition of her dedicated service to Five a Day and enhancing the life of the community.

In 2018 Pam moved to Devon and handed over the reins to Yvonne Redgrave (below), who created a wonderful year of activities and events. During 2019 Five a Day is being managed by the committee.

Qualified and experienced tutors lead community activity sessions including the Green Gardening course with adult learners and Thyme Together for older people.

Volunteers help out in the garden: sowing and propagating plants, making compost, pruning, making compost, mowing the grass, digging and preparing ground for planting and harvesting produce and cutting flowers for sale at the garden and Englefield Garden Centre. Find out more about Volunteering

Five a Day Market Garden is a non-profit community gardening project with the aim: To engage the rural and urban community in accessing healthy, naturally grown produce, to educate children, adults and older people in horticultural education within an outdoor therapeutic environment.

A Management Committee meets at least five times a year to agree and implement the Management Plan, and help with fundraising and publicity for Five a Day.  Please contact us using the Contact Form to find out more about the work of Five a Day Market Garden.

Volunteers: Five A Day couldn’t exist if it wasn’t for our band of experienced volunteers.  In the last few years, volunteer numbers have risen steadily and we now have over thirty volunteers.Green Gardening:  Five A Day Market Garden aims to engage the rural and urban community in accessing affordable and naturally grown fruits, salads and vegetables. Traditionally, food grown in this labour intensive manner has tended to be highly priced and outside the reach of many people.   Food is grown according to the seasons, which we think makes our salads, fruits and vegetables taste great.  Our produce is sold in biodegradable paper bags.

Here at Five A Day Market Garden we are trying to be as green as green can be.  Our naturally grown produce is started in trays in organic compost and we use organic seeds as much as possible.  We make as much home made compost as we can to spread in the garden during the Autumn months.  We also use green manures such as comfrey and Phacelia.

Conservation:  Looking after wildlife is important to us!  We have a number of wildlife areas within the garden including two ponds, a bog garden, beetle loggeries, beetle banks (wild flower strips) and a variety of bird and bats boxes.  We also feed the garden birds during the winter months with sunflower seeds, whole nuts and fat balls. In 2014, we were thrilled to be runners up in the Dorothy Morley Conservation Award.

photograph by Becca Flintham, volunteer

Education:  Our learning opportunities take place from early Spring all the way through to December.  We offer educational one off visits, workshops and courses to people of all ages – from toddlers to people in their 90s!

“We had a brilliant morning and really enjoyed all the exciting activities you planned for us.  When we got back to school, we couldn’t stop talking about all the fun things we did and all the new things we had learnt!”

Our educational programme covers a range of topics such as green gardening, conservation and eco art. Have a look at our events page for more details.

Team Building:  We welcome lots of corporate groups each year who are looking to do something a little bit different and want to make a difference in their community! Groups are typically given a choice of gardening / D.I.Y / or conservation projects.

Best volunteer day yet! Planting was fun and I hope we do it again next year.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.