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Home Grown Revolution by James Wong

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:41 pm
by sleepyowl
Not fully read into it yet, just synopses of the crops & a bit further on a few plants that have really interested me. It has taught me a fair few things already just by reading said synopses already, so far it has turned out to be a fascinating & hopefully incredibly useful book especially when it comes to flavouring food & creating an edible garden that doesn't look like one.

Re: Home Grown Revolution by James Wong

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:36 am
by Odsox
sleepyowl wrote:..... creating an edible garden that doesn't look like one.

Not having read it and it's probably out of context, but it seems rather odd.
Is growing you own food something to be ashamed of ?

Re: Home Grown Revolution by James Wong

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:14 pm
by The Riff-Raff Element
Odsox wrote:Is growing you own food something to be ashamed of ?


Not at all, but having an "ornamental" garden that is edible is most definitely something to be proud of.

Re: Home Grown Revolution by James Wong

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:20 pm
by Thomzo
I bought it and immediately rushed out to try some berberis berries - YUK! I suggest you see if you can try some of his odder suggestions before investing in a particular plant.

Zoe

Re: Home Grown Revolution by James Wong

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:43 pm
by sleepyowl
Odsox I have a plot for next year to grow the run of the mill stuff in, but reading the book I feel like growing some of the more ornamental looking things in the garden like dahlias, cannas, fuchsias, day lilies, bamboo, chop suey greens etc

Re: Home Grown Revolution by James Wong

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:24 pm
by Annemieke
At least 15 years ago I bought 'Plants for a Future' by Ken Fern and got the bug. I ordered lots. Many of them did not take to the soil/the climate or were horrible (yes, the berberis). What have I kept?

sweetshoot bamboo, a lovely spreading bush but can't be bothered with the shoots. Too much work and not really worth it.
strawberry tree: fruits edible but not wonderful. Unfortunately ready together with the real strawberries ....
turkish rocket: leaves edible but a bit rough for me.
landcress - fine and very hardy but I'm not keen personally.
good king henry - fine but my husband is happy growing perennial spinach.
pignut - edible but very small!
jam joe hollis - flourishes each year but we have never managed to dig up the tuber however hard we try.
oleaster - we found the fruit not edible really.
fuchsia - yes you can eat the fruit, but I'm not keen.
day lilies - flowers edible but not impressive. I put them in salads regularly, but nasturtiums are much nicer.
perennial lettuce - still going strong, yes it's a bit earlier than ordinary lettuce and no trouble.

We tried many more, the names of which I forgot by now. I remember we had several interesting tubers for quite a few years, but I let them go as well. We like our potatoes, swede, and so on. They're bigger!
My current favorites for edible ornamentals are pot marigolds - the lutein in them helps my eyesight (MD) and skin, and they're no trouble at all: once you have one you have thousands. Also nasturtiums, same reason.

That's it for now, I might see more when I walk round the garden tomorrow!
Annemieke Wigmore, http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.com

Re: Home Grown Revolution by James Wong

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:45 pm
by diggernotdreamer
I had a look at his website. I like growing a few unusual things so I am always interested in things that look ornamental that you can also eat. I find it a little preturbing that he is saying things like ditch the ration book veg, like the stuff he is advocating would replace traditional vegetables. You would end up pretty hungry if you just grew the seeds he is selling on his website and through Suttons Seeds. I have grown rats tail radish for many years, I got it from the Heritage Seed Library, yet on his seed packet, the immature pods sit next to a red chilli which they are being compared to , they will never turn red or even taste like a chilli, they taste like a radish but are really worthwhile plant as the tails are great in salad or stirfries, been grown in the uk since about 1880 apparently, and they don't repeat on you like regular radish. I grow Cape Gooseberries but I think I od'd on them last year and gave myself a terrible stomach ache, so have gone off them now

Perhaps we should have another thread with unusual edibles that people on here have grown and tried, has that already been done?

Re: Home Grown Revolution by James Wong

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:38 am
by oldjerry
Can't really get my head round this.Mankind,in whatever part of the world,has found ,through trial and error,over THOUSANDS of years,what grows well in a given place,and tastes OK.While obviously a tiny number of plants are developed that are 'innivative' and a few become hard to find as they don't adapt easily to commercial production,generations of ordinary people have probably got it about right.I'm sure that must be a bit depressing for the likes of Channel 4,Dorling Kindergartensley,et al ,but hey ho there you go...

Re: Home Grown Revolution by James Wong

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:38 am
by sleepyowl
I wanted it because I wanted some alternative crops, I'm not ditching regular veg, I like my onions, peas, raspberries, potatoes, carrots, cabbage etc

Re: Home Grown Revolution by James Wong

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:15 pm
by Odsox
sleepyowl wrote:Odsox I have a plot for next year to grow the run of the mill stuff in, but reading the book I feel like growing some of the more ornamental looking things in the garden like dahlias, cannas, fuchsias, day lilies, bamboo, chop suey greens etc

I think it's probably because I'm a right old fuddy duddy, but I've tried many of these "marginal" foods and I think I've discovered why they are relatively unknown. It's because they're not really worth eating (in my view).
Take Fuchsia for instance, I'm surrounded by wild Fuchsia and I really wish the fruit was tasty, but it's so bland even the birds leave it until all the other fruits are gone.
Although I still haven't read the book, I still can't see the attraction of growing food among flowering plants and shrubs. At best it's a fudge and at worst you will tread all over you flowers to get to the crop and/or leave holes in the design when you harvest an entire plant.
I can see the attraction of writing a book about it though. :iconbiggrin:

Re: Home Grown Revolution by James Wong

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:11 pm
by MKG
I thought he was a bandwagon jumper after I saw his first TV series. I haven't changed my mind yet.

For what it's worth, fuschia berries are a worthwhile ADDITION to a wine (they make a tasteless one by themselves) but you need a couple of pounds per gallon. It's potentially embarrassing when you get caught raiding your neighbours' plants after midnight. But, but, but - diggernotdreamer - you don't need any special radish variety to get radish pods. They'll all do it perfectly well - just let 'em grow (and they're big buggers!). Don't even think of eating the root, though, unless you also like eating Millstone Grit.

Actually - no, I don't think unusual edibles has been done. At least, not in a single thread. Go for it!!!!!

Mike