A BATHROOM salesman turned organic farmer in Powys has now also become an author, writing a book showing us how we can use gardening to deal with stress and avoid burnout.

Alan Heeks’ new book, ‘Natural Happiness’, shows us how to use parallels with organic gardening to cultivate our human nature, from composting our stress and using crop rotation to avoid burnout.

Alan, who lives in Hay-on-Wye, learned about organic methods when he dropped out of a successful business career and started an organic farm from scratch in his 40s.

He will launch Natural Happiness at Hay’s North Books on Friday (March 22).

“We talk a lot about environmental sustainability these days; human nature is getting burned out too, and we need as much care as the earth,” said Alan, 75.

County Times:  Alan Heeks’ new book, ‘Natural Happiness’. Alan Heeks’ new book, ‘Natural Happiness’. (Image: Alan Heeks)

The book developed out of Alan’s experience over many years leading workshops using his unique approach.

He added: “These methods really deepen people’s connection with nature, and I’ve seen them help hundreds of people to nourish their wellbeing and resilience, from troubled teenagers to ultra-stressed NHS doctors.”


Alan was enjoying a successful career managing building materials businesses, before he packed it all in in 1990. “I dropped out, aged 42, to start the organic farm, which is still going strong as an educational charity and farm,” he said.

There are two local events for Alan’s new book: a launch at North Books, Castle Street, Hay-on-Wye, between 10am-12 noon on Friday. The event is free to attend and no booking is required.

He will also be talking about his book at a session at Hay Festival, at 4pm on Friday, May 31.

For more information about the book and related events, visit www.naturalhappiness.net. To find out more about Alan’s organic farm at https://magdalenfarm.org.uk/.