Environmental Issues
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Unusual Vegetables, Herbs & Other Edible Plants.
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Unusual & Old Fashioned Fruit Trees

Allotment Articles1.
Allotment Articles 2.


Over the last couple of decades the population of Great Britain seems to have acquired a taste for more exotic fruits. It must have started with cheap package holidays and air travel abroad to countries where the restaurants served interestingly different meals. Tourists retuned home with newly acquired tastes and so gradually foreign restaurants followed and established themselves in the UK to cater for the changing eating habits. Small wholesalers and importers developed bringing in a wealth of raw foodstuffs with which to supply the new style restaurants so they could prepare their exotic dishes. Then the large Super Markets decided to get in on the act and now the range of imported fruits on display in any fruit and vegetable shop can be quite bewildering.

Some foreign fruit such as Bananas and some vegetables have been imported for decades by ships where transportation is relatively efficient with low costs. In many cases the fruit is picked before it is ripe so that it can make the journey without deteriorating. This is the case with Bananas which are completely green when they are picked and start their travels. Much of the “Green” imported goods cannot be treated like this though and so needs to be imported quickly to prevent the cargo from perishing. Airlines are going out of business as the World Wide recession bites and import costs with the ever-rising price of fuel are escalating anyway. Also, times are changing and people are starting to think about the Environment and the huge impact that all these imports are having.

In 2008 commercial seed producing/selling companies reported that vegetable seed sales showed an incredible growth that far outstripped that of flower seeds as the public suddenly decided to grow their own vegetables. Some of this is undoubtedly due to the growing enthusiasm for healthy organic food as well that seems to be gaining momentum throughout the Nation. Allotments have suddenly become the in thing to have as people try to produce their own healthy vegetables.

One thing that does not seem to have happened as yet is a change in attitude to mass produced imported fruit as has happened with vegetables. When this happens and the imports slow up/stop because of increasing import costs the public are going to suddenly realise that fruit is seasonal in this country and you can’t have all year round Strawberries and Raspberries. When this does happen the public are going to suddenly ask what can be grown in this country that is different to the usual apples, plums, pears, cherries, etc so that their sweet and exotic tastes can be satiated. That is where this web-site may be of interest.

The site is not meant to be a complete authoritative reference work that explains all details of pruning the trees and explains how to treat all their diseases, but instead will hopefully show the extent of fruit trees and bushes that are not normally considered by gardeners in the UK. Many of the trees listed have long forgotten fruits no longer grown with their edible qualities not always immediately apparent. Others are plants which have found their way into the UK that people do not realise will grow quite happily in our climate. Some will grow, but may need varying degrees of shelter from the extremes of cold by being wrapped to protect them, or by being brought inside in a conservatory or greenhouse for the Winter.

For a series of special articles on "Ways Of Obtaining Plants" please Click on the following;-

  1. Without Paying For Them - (Legally!)

  2. Buying Plants from a Nursery Or Small Family Garden Centre.

  3. Buying Bare Root Mail Order Plants.

Please Note. Whilst the intention of this site is to promote the awareness of the edible qualities of less well known plants, people must be aware that many plants that are grown in the UK have names that suggest they are edible when in fact they are most definitely not. Obviously many plants have "Orange" in their name as a colour and people will realise this, but there are others that are less obvious, such as the "Curry Plant," Chocolate Cosmos" and "Sweet Peas."  Similarly, there are many plants that produce berries and seed pods that look very tempting to eat and as people see birds eating them they may be tempted to try them, but human digestive systems are different to birds and many other animals, so what is not poisonous to them may be very toxic to us. Children especially must be made aware that unknown things can be very harmful. Remember how the pretty yellow flowered Laburnum with its poisonous seed pods has all but disappeared from the streets as people became more aware of its dangers.