Growing New Greens
We are delighted to be working with Garden Organic and Birmingham EcoPark on a community science project called ‘Growing New Greens’ .
This project is working with different communities to trial growing primarily Amaranth, and collect information about people’s cultural experiences and preferences for growing and cooking with the crop.
Amaranth (also known as Callaloo, Dugi, Chauli or Data) is a versatile and hardy crop that could be a viable alternative crop to grow as a staple leafy green or grain in a warming UK climate. It has been exciting for us to grow three different types of amaranth, in addition to the amaranth that we were already growing in our garden. Amaranth is a staple in many cuisines and an important crop to many of our volunteers.
Our Kitchen Garden group started growing three different types of amaranth in May, under specific conditions. Then, on 15th August, we had the first opportunity to taste the different varieties together and share cultural experiences of growing, cooking and eating amaranth from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Congo, Cameroon, Greece, Argentina, and Turkey. People shared uses of amaranth from salads to soups and stews, as well as use of the grains as a cereal. In Iraq amaranth can be used to soothe colds and sickness by making it into pastilles to chew, or a wholesome soup.
The project has been funded by the Natural Environment Research Council until Feb 2024.