Exotic plot good enough to eat at BBC gardening eventPosted Friday 8th June 2012
Sam Wilson's Exotic Edible Patch planting plan
Exotic crops that love to grow in the British climate will be the focus of Garden Organic's ‘Edible Patch’ at BBC Gardeners’ World Live this June.
Taro, Calaloo and Zimbabwean Kale - not usually associated with UK allotments - will be showcased in a living garden exhibit by Garden Organic, which aims to highlight the important work of its project, Sowing New Seeds.
Sowing New Seeds aims to collect unusual and exotic vegetable varieties grown by migrant communities on UK allotments. Piloted in the Midlands, it has collected over 200 varieties of lesser-known crops from Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham aiming to conserve not just the vegetables but also the knowledge needed to grow them.
With a keen gardening audience set to attend the BBC event in the thousands, Garden Organic’s Anton Rosenfeld said, “We’re really excited about showcasing the fantastic and unusual exotic veg that we’ve collected through this project. Our Exotic Edible Patch represents the changing face of the British allotment and we hope the exhibit will highlight the range of foods that can be grown in this country, as well as a little bit about the cultural influence of migrant communities growing their own food in our towns and cities.”
“Much of the veg we’ve collected isn’t available from the seed catalogues, but has been carefully saved for years by allotment holders, meaning that they have adapted gradually to the UK climate and therefore grow successfully in our colder temperatures.”
Visitors to the Exotic Edible Patch, designed by Sam Wilson, will be able to see a host of exotic produce, including more well known ingredients like lemon grass, chick peas and scallions, as well as lesser-known and lesser-grown ingredients like Haloon, a spicy Indian cress, Taro, eaten for its tubers and leaves, and a perennial Kale or ‘Covo’ widely grown by Zimbabwean, Ethiopian and Kenyans on allotments.
See the Exotic Edible Patch at BBC Gardeners’ World Live from 13 to 17 June at the NEC. Find out more about Sowing New Seeds at www.sowingnewseeds.org.uk