Multicultural veg - exotic and delicious

  • Last updated: 23 November 2022
Why grow exotic vegetables? Perhaps it's the novelty. Not many growers in this country can put their own sweet potato or chickpeas on the table.
Calalloo Mr Jefwa

Or perhaps you like the challenge? achocha and dudi can test your organic horticultural skills. The former makes a delicious lemony smoothie, and have you ever eaten a crunchy young dudi, stuffed with herbs and goats cheese?

Maybe these veg add some beauty to your plot and plate - amaranthus with its dark red plumes and lablab with its delicately scented flowers. Try cooking rice with amaranthus leaves and you get a stunning purple risotto. Or mash young chickpeas to make a delicate green hummous.

Of course, what is exotic to one grower is a taste of home to another. Over the last 40 years, the range of foods that we consume has broadened to encompass a whole range of cultures. South American, Asian, African and Caribean fruit and vegetables are part of our diet. You can grow your own perennial African Kale - it will keep you in healthy greens year on year. And you can top up your vitamin A with homegrown orange sweet potatoes.

So we suggest you use your organic growing skills to dig your dudi and cultivate your callaloo. You will be sowing new seeds, and joining a multicultural growing community.

Check out our easy How to Grow cards and fact sheets for the full range of vegetables and salad crops you can grow in our temperate climate. They also include some cooking tips to whet your appetite. Alternatively, our booklet, Sowing Need Seeds - A guide to growing unusual crops in the UK is a really useful reference guide.

Stop Press - there's still time to sign up for the course Cutting Edge Veg on Thursday July 26, 10 - 4pm, at Ryton Gardens. Cost £51.00 (GO member); £60 (non-member). Contact phone 024 7630 3517