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What’s that?! Exotic veg training for London Master Gardeners

What’s that?! Exotic veg training for London Master Gardeners

Dudi, lablab, alaloo, haloon, karella, yard long beans, chana, mouse melon or mexican gherkin, cho cho, mooli, oca, West Indian thyme…just some of the tender and exotic crops 26 Master Gardeners learned about on their latest extra training day, 17th February 2013.

Dr Anton Rosenfeld has been working with growers in the Birmingham area to grow on and document a number of saved seed crops. How do you grow crops from countries with a longer growing season, more sunshine, different humidity? What’s the benefit of growing from seed that’s acclimatised here?

On this karella fruit you can see the evidence of a ‘traffic light’ activity – green ‘I know it’, yellow ‘not sure’, red ‘no idea’. Well, we all knew at the end that karella is a cucurbit from the Indian subcontinent best grown under cover, salted to remove bitterness, spiced and baked, and a natural aid against diabetes.

It was a truly inspiring day for the Master Gardeners, all on the same wavelength of loving detail of cultivation knowledge, comparing crops they know and sharing experience. They now are ready to go forth, grow their own and multiply.

Thanks to Anton for excellent training and materials, the MGs for their wonderful contributions, Karen Virtue for ayurvedically spiced delicious catering and the Leonard Cheshire Disability Media Centre in Southwark for a great venue.

Want to get some of this knowledge for yourself? Get a year’s free growing support with our Master Gardeners – click here

And click here for top tips on exotic veg.

Growing callaloo! I’m going to improve on my previous attempts using seeds I collected today.

I will be raiding local Indian and Asian grocers for seed supplies and I really want my own lemongrass plant!

Inspired to experiment with chick peas, turmeric and lemongrass!

Read Gloria’s blog on the day here (click)

Anton and a dudi

Gloria and our lunch

Don’t want to miss a thing

Thoko, Alona and the taste test

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