Cutting edge veg growing with Garden Organic
Part of the fun of fruit and vegetable growing has to be the opportunity to try out new and exciting varieties of produce to grow at home. So often, though, even if we’re relatively self-sufficient on our veg patch, more exotic herbs and spices still need to be bought in as an addition. According to the well renowned folk at Garden Organic, this need not be the case. So if you fancy widening your horizons, this unique course being held on Thursday July 26 at their gardens in Coventry is certainly well worth a look.
Led by Dr Anton Rosenfeld, who has worked at the organic championing charity for 14 years, the day is designed to show you how to grow many wider vegetables, herbs and spices not commonly associated with being grown in the UK. As Garden Organic explains: “In the last 50 years our culinary horizons have broadened to encompass a wide range of cultures. However, it seems that our growing skills have lagged behind our cooking habits.”
The course is designed for those with some degree of previous gardening know-how (although you don’t need to be especially seasoned to benefit) and passes on the expertise gleaned from Garden Organic’s work with immigrant communities around the Midlands. As such, all the plants covered have a proven track record of growing in the UK, many of which can also be nurtured out in the open, without the need for a polytunnel or greenhouse.
Previous attendees have said how wellpaced the day is, with lots of information covered in an interesting, informative and enjoyable manner. It’s also a great opportunity to visit the charity’s showcase centre at Ryton Gardens in Coventry and to see first-hand the exotic garden they have there in practice.
Cutting Edge Veg starts by looking at some of the challenges associated with growing non-traditional crops before launching straight into a look at exotic legumes, cucurbits, tubers and roots. They pack in a lot of information in a relatively short space of time, also covering unusual herbs and spices, making garam masala, sowing haloon and taking African kale and lemongrass cuttings. Seed saving is also covered, and at the end of the day you can
go home armed with a variety of factsheets and the inspiration, confidence and know how to give something new a try.
Course leader Anthony has oodles of expertise in growing exotic crops both home and abroad and one of his career highlights over the years has been his involvement in the Sowing New Seeds project where they worked to unearth many of the exciting foods grown by ethnic communities across the Midlands - experience that is at the heart of this course and as Anthony explains: “It is a privilege to share the wealth of knowledge and experiences held within the diverse communities that make up our society and pass it on to others attending this tantalisingly interesting day in July.”
ABOVE: Anton Rosenfeld
INSET TOP RIGHT: Haloon
INSET ABOVE RIGHT: African kale