MY LIFE AS A SEED DETECTIVE

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I have a passion for growing fruit and vegetables, which I have been doing since I was a little kid.  Not a year has passed since I was ten that I haven’t grown something to eat.  I ran a small market garden in the late seventies when growing organically unusual vegetables was considered very odd.  Trying to sell red Brussels sprouts or yellow zucchini was not a profitable business then, so I returned to film-making to support my love of horticulture.  My interest in discovering rare, endangered but above all, delicious vegetables from around the world began as the result of meeting a remarkable lady in a vegetable market in Donetsk, Ukraine in the late eighties whilst making a documentary series there. So began a journey of discovery and learning about the social and cultural relationships we have with what we grow that I have been on for the best part of 35 years.

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Sometimes I simply let plants drop their seed where they will and see what happens. This parade of poppies is the result of pure neglect!! They delight every year. How they arrived I know not but I am mighty glad they have made the path around the house home

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Saving seed of the leek Autumn Late Giant. It’s a commercial variety and I harvest through to early April. Kept back a dozen plants for seed. Soon the bees will be all over the attractive flowers and I will collect seed in the autumn

I love saving carrot seed. These @HeritageSeedsUK Red Elephant are an ex-commercial Australian variety. Such lovely flowers too

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Time to lift my Omani garlic I discovered on the Sayiq plateau in 2010. Pungent, early, great fresh and very happy in Wales😋😋. Will plant for 2023 in October

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This is the second of my early dwarf French beans, Blue Jay. A Canadian heirloom widely cultivated it was the result of accidental crossing in 1978 and subsequently shared @SeedsDiversity heavy cropping, scrumptious and compact so great for small spaces

I’m having this little darling for supper tonight. The first of my Syrian cucumbers from seed I brought back from Damascus in 2011. Simply the best. Once tasted no other comes close 😋😋