Seed banks

Turnip Tokyo Cross


We, and I mean all of us have been brainwashed into thinking that the supermarkets offer a full range of veggies and fruit which they don’t. I’ve spent weeks pouring over seed books and drooling over heritage seed banks and there are masses of different varieties of carrot in every colour not just orange or beetroot that aren’t that deep purple.

The more I investigate the range of seeds available the more I want to try them all. It’s not just about a turnip. Not all Turnips are the same and while the turnip is a brassica I’ll be sowing a small fast growing Tokyo F1 cross which has foliage that can be thrown in to a stir fry.

Really it’s impossible for me to select on type of plant over another without trying them and I think that’s exactly what I might do and I don’t mind growing more food than I can eat because if I can’t store the food then I’ll harvest it and give it to my neighbours, I know Nina would love some organic fresh lovliness, in fact she asked me to grow the Cavolo Nero while she was beautifully pregnant.

The overall plan hasn’t changed, I’d still like to get to a point where I grow the majority of my food and understand the growing cycle, I want to re-discover those old techniques to keep my harvest through the lean months, I have childhood memories of mum pickling onions and eggs, I still love a pickled egg today and I plan on having a few rescue hens eventually and recapture that taste of childhood. It really is a case of me turning in to my mum.

Originally I was planning to have a standard allotment layout using raised beds because my soil quality isn’t brilliant due to soil erosion and I was happy with that until I saw the range of seeds available from Suttons Seeds and now I can’t help but think that these foods could be used to grow an ornamental edible garden but first I have to eat my way through the seed bank and figure out what I like and what I can grow. Initially I’m looking for easy tasty foods that I can depend on with experimental seeds being thrown in the mix every year.

This isn’t just about living cheaply, it’s about eating well. The government is telling everyone to eat their five a day but there are studies that report the nutritional value of the food we buy and eat is less than it was because of the forced growing methods. I’m growing for full flavour, high nutrition and chock full goodness without destroying the environment with food miles. Growing food has so many benefits it seems silly not to take advantage of the space I have, I wish I had a greenhouse so that I can get a jump on the growing season with earlier sowings.


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