James Wong is on a mission to make people think about what they can grow and eat and he has started a new train of thought when it comes to growing edible crops at home. This book will encourage every gardener to grow something different in their garden and from saffron to sweet potatoes, it is full of surprises.
In 'Homegrown Revolution', published in September 2012 by Weidenfield & Nicolson, he will be changing the habits of many gardeners in what they grow and why they grow them.
For the past hundred years or so it has been customary for gardeners in the UK to grow a limited range that included potatoes, carrots, onions and plenty of greens. James wants to turn this on its head by introducing us all to some incredible crops that have been grown for centuries in different countries around the world.
James comments, ‘This is an ideal time to introduce a whole new range of tasty, healthy and productive alternatives to everyone who enjoys the experience of growing their own food.’
His enthusiasm and vast knowledge on the subject is inspiring and in this book he not only tells us what can be grown and how to actually grow these crops but also how to prepare, cook and eat them. Included are the descriptions for one hundred new edible plants that can be grown in the ground and in containers; in locations from back yards to allotments, or a high rise balcony.
There will be plant surprises for both experienced and new gardeners; from Alfalfa and Asian Peas, Barberries and Butterwort, Manuka and Mizuna, Vanilla grass and Vietnamese fish mint and not forgetting the Wasabi.
Certain chapters have slightly biblical headings such as ‘Create the Promised Land [the perfect soil]’ and ‘Let there be [loads of] Light’ followed with ’My Ten Commandments’. Each one contains good practical information that will be useful at different stages in the growing season.
A section called ‘Natural colours’ describes how to create a living paint box of botanical food dyes such as Hot Pinks, Ruby Reds and Electric Blues, these being essential for all party loving growers!
The illustrations include both photographs and drawings and cover the plants and culinary dishes described in the text.
James Wong is a Kew trained botanist and a BBC presenter on shows such as Countryfile and Grow your own Drugs. He has a tiny London garden where he has grown all the plants and he assured me that he has tried, tested and tasted all the materials used in the dishes from this book.
His enthusiasm and passion for growing and eating healthy food is unquestionable, this book will be essential reading to all those who wish to try something new alongside their more traditional crops. Well done James for getting us growing outside the box (or pot).
‘Homegrown Revolution’ by James Wong is published by Weidenfield & Nicolson
ISBN: 9780 297 867 128