Growing From Your Roots

Garden Organic’s Growing from your Roots (GFYR) project has been busy working with a wide range of community groups in the West Midlands, helping to spread the word about how to grow exotic crops in the UK.
Two gardeners from our Growing from your Roots project

Anton Rosenfeld Project Officer says: "We’ve held workshops in Walsall and Birmingham focusing on growing and using produce from a diverse range of countries from Bangladesh, Jamaica to Zimbabwe and beyond. The morning session focused on how to grow leafy crops including Vietnamese mustard, African Kale and patra leaves. This was followed by a practical afternoon session sharing top tips on how to grow plants such as lemongrass and cardamom. People also talked about crops they’d like to be able to grow here; such as Nigerian bitter leaf and fluted pumpkins, both of which are said to have health benefits."

You can see photos from the workshops here.

The project, which is supported by the National Lottery by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has also been busy interviewing Midland growers who originate from across the globe, and are now putting together an oral history and a series of growing cards to share top tips on growing exotic crops.

Anton continues: “We’ve gathered together some fantastic stories about what people grew in their home country, what they’ve tried growing here and the highs and lows of their first encounters with British cuisine. The Growing Cards feature individual’s stories, recipes and top tips on how to grow some exotic veg for yourself. You can find out more about growing African kale from Kenya, Kidney beans from Jamaica or how to make a tasty roasted aubergine and pepper paste from Romania here."