Urban Growing

“Meetings with Remarkable Vegetables: from Wild Parent to Cultivated Offspring”

Avon Organic Group

The Station, Silver Street, BS1 2AG

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Avon Organic Group’s next meeting is with Adam Alexander, seed guardian and collector of endangered seeds.

Adam is a consummate storyteller thanks to forty years as an award-winning film and television producer, but his true passion is collecting rare, endangered but, above all, delicious vegetables from around the world.

He is a board member of Garden Organic, and his knowledge and expertise on growing out vegetables for seed is highly valued by the Heritage Seed Library, for which he is a seed guardian. He has appeared on Gardeners’ World and the Great British Food Revival, CNN’s Going Green and Radio New Zealand.

He will be drawing on his last published book The Seed Detective, sharing his tales of seed hunting and the stories behind many of our everyday vegetable heroes – and how growing veggies connects us with our and others’ food cultures and is a continuation of a circle of sowing, sharing, savouring and saving.

We learn that the common garden pea was domesticated from three wild species over 8,500 years ago; that Egyptian priests considered it a crime to even look at a fava bean, that the first carrots originated in Afghanistan (and were purple or red in colour) and that the Romans were fanatical about asparagus. Taking us on a journey that began when we left the life of the hunter-gatherer to become farmers, Adam tells tales of globalisation, political intrigue, colonisation and serendipity – describing how these vegetables and their travels have become embedded in our food cultures.

Doors open at 6.30pm for an informal mingle in the Engine Room before the talk starts at 7pm when people can join in on Zoom.

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