The Sowing New Seeds project aims to enable allotment holders, schools and community groups in the Midlands to grow exotic crops not traditionally grown in the UK. There is already a wealth of non-traditional crops grown on allotments in the UK but these crops and the skills to grow them are in danger of disappearing as they are not being passed onto younger generations. The project aims to capture and preserve both the crops and the knowledge and is making seeds and skills available to those who want to grow these crops, with a growing list of "how to" guides specific to each plant.
|Starting the talk|
The talk drew quite a crowd, despite showery weather. Anton gamely started off in a light sprinkling of rain, as we all sat round him on the fire pit benches. However, the rain sound got harder, so we sheltered in the polytunnel. This worked pretty well, apart from 30 seconds when the rain drummed so hard on the tunnel roof that we couldn't hear Anton at all, but then the sun came out again, so we went back to the outdoor benches to get away from the heat!
Anton covered a huge range of different crops, and observed that saved seed from allotments was giving him far better results than packeted ones from seed companies. He also covered how to process and cook the various crops, and it was really interesting to hear from the audience the different names and cooking styles they had for some of the plants.
|Anton shows us a range of unusual veg in the tunnel|
|A chance to examine unusual crops|
|Anton shows us a dudi|
|Back out in the sunshine.|
Everyone agreed that the talk had been excellent, and were delighted to pick up some seeds and fact-sheets. Anton has left us with a Sowing New Seeds file, so we can lend this to anyone who is interested. We also got the spare seeds, so again let us know if you would like some. Anton is also hoping that we can organise a session in the Autumn where we will do some cooking on site to help people make full use of the exotic crops.