Sheffield’s ‘organic guru’ who was ahead of his time

Richard Clare, ediculturalist, who is teaching a ten-week evening class   in how to grow food
Richard Clare, ediculturalist, who is teaching a ten-week evening class in how to grow food
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A memorial event will be held next week for a Sheffield man who inspired thousands of people to grow organic food.

Richard Clare pioneered cultivation of organic food from the 1980s, when the term was vaguely eccentric rather than a mainstream selling point.

Known as the ‘organic guru’, he set up the Sheffield Organic Food Initiative in 1998 and was a founder member of GrowSheffield.

He tended a number of allotments and deployed his self-taught skills to lead food growing projects and run courses at places such as Walkley Community Centre.

He was also responsible for planting woodland and an orchard on the Ponderosa open space at Crookesmoor, and the memorial event is being held at the Ponderosa Community Orchard on Friday, May 3 at 4pm.

Richard died aged 49 of an aortic aneurysm at home in Upperthorpe.

Friend Stephen Watts said: “Thousands of people over the years have been influenced by Richard.

“ Before he died he spent a lot of time putting the information he had gathered on to the internet in Youtube visitors.

“It is so sad that he is not around but we are going to try and continue his legacy.

“Richard had a huge seed bank which we will try to keep going and make all of his teaching information accessible to people through the internet so people can still look up his courses and expertise.”