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Ed Morrison Roots – Bath Spa University

BSU graduate returns to his roots at Newton Park

Tuesday, 23 April, 2024

BA (Hons) Media Communications graduate Ed Morrison has taken his passion for nature and turned it into a growing business – literally. 

Ed is the founder of Roots Allotments, a Bath-based company offering space for people to have a go at growing their own food. Launched in December 2021, the allotment spaces are no-dig, chemical free and supply members with organic seeds, plants, tools, in-person events and online educational videos to help them along on their growing journey.  

Sowing the seeds 

The seeds for the business were planted during the Covid pandemic. After leaving a career in advertising and returning to Devon to live with his grandma, Ed began experimenting with growing his own food. Talking about how his passion developed, he said: 

“There was a universal pull within me that told me I needed to learn how to grow my own food. Luckily my grandma was supportive and said I could use part of her garden to experiment with the no-dig technique I had come across from the amazing Charles Dowding. During lockdown, I totally lost myself in growing and went through a transformation that turned me into a happier, healthier person.” 

After moving back to London (and into a second-floor flat with no garden), Ed considered getting an allotment, but when he looked into it, he discovered there was a 28-year waiting list in the borough where he lived. 

“I thought, ‘this can’t be true!’” he said. “Then we started to look into the issue and were shocked to find stories up and down the country of years-long waiting lists.” 

Luckily, Ed’s close friend Will is a Bath local whose family farms the land around BSU’s Newton Park campus. And there just happened to be a field that he thought might be the perfect place to test an allotment site. Another friend, Christian, floated the idea of a new type of allotment that provides its growers with everything they need to get started and remove a lot of planning and preparation, which can be overwhelming for beginners.  

And with that, Roots was born, with Will and Christian running the company alongside Ed as business partners. Since its launch, Roots has opened four sites across the UK and aims to have another five open and thriving by the end of the 2024 growing season. 

It’s not just food Ed hopes to grow on his allotment sites. In addition to helping people improve their mental and physical health, working an allotment helps to grow a sense of community, and over 60% of Roots members say they met someone new through their allotment. Ed says he’s inspired by meeting other like-minded people who want to work towards progressive change and champion a community spirit. 

The Roots Allotments team posing under the Roots sign

From green thumb to Green Week 

It may seem like the worlds of advertising and allotments would require entirely different skillsets, but Ed credits his time at BSU with giving him a range of applicable skills and experience: 

“My degree helped me get into the advertising industry, which unlocked a multitude of skills that I had started to develop at university, from project management and communication to hands-on practical knowledge. My role within Roots is focused on growing advice, community events and marketing. I also juggle outdoor work with writing blogs and emails, editing reels, and helping other team members reach their goals.” 

As part of Bath Spa University’s Green Week (22-26 April), Ed is returning to BSU to talk about no-dig growing, soil health and community. He’ll also pay a visit to the University’s on-campus allotments to share his knowledge and experience. Ed hopes to inspire a new generation of food-growers: 

“When we look at a future that is uncertain for many of us, it's essential we try to empower ourselves with skills to grow a better future that champions community and locality! I would love it if everyone is inspired to sow a seed and experience the magic of growing their own food.” 

Ed also offered some advice for budding food growers and creative professionals alike: 

“The most important thing I’ve found in life is to be consistent, determined and not give up on your dreams. There are many paths to take, and you might not immediately land on the thing that makes your soul sing, but if you keep playing and exploring then you will find your ikigai [sense of purpose].” 

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