Hello, and welcome to Tendrils! I’ve been sowing peas for peashoots this morning, so there will be some real-life tendrils Chez Tendrils very soon.
I spent yesterday in London for the Garden Press Event, which was great fun (despite the fact that I’m full of cold and have lost my voice). Lots of exciting stands, and a Garden Bloggers meet-up to boot. Garden Bloggers are a lovely bunch of people, although I may be a bit biased because one of them brought me birthday cake and they all sang me happy birthday 🙂 It made me look amazingly popular!
If you need a nice long read for a lazy Sunday morning, then I recommend In Search of Ibn Battuta’s Melon, a lovely story about trying to track down a mythical melon in Uzbekistan.
It will no doubt prove easier to track down the tea plants stolen from a Scottish plantation.
In happier news from Scotland, forager Mark Williams offers a solution to the lettuce crisis, advocating free wild plants in place of “tasteless imported Spanish lettuce”. Ouch.
Hot on the heels of the unveiling of the quinoa genome and the admission that Incan farmers may have been onto something, NPR have been looking at millets, grains that might survive droughts and improve diets. It has only been about 40 years since wheat took over from millet in India, and yet it will still be hard to switch back.
Another heritage food, from the other side of the world, was brought to the fore by Good.is – an ‘Elite’ bean that could change the way famished regions feed themselves. It’s talking about Tepary beans, Phaseolus acutifolius, one of North America’s oldest agricultural crops and naturally heat-, drought-, and pest-resistant.
Tepary beans are not easy to come by in the UK (and even harder to grow in our cool, wet climate, I would imagine), but they’re available in the US, and Mother Earth News shared Tepary Tips and Recipes way back in 1983.
These days Tepary beans are championed by Native Seeds/SEARCH, who aim to “conserve, distribute and document the adapted and diverse varieties of agricultural seeds, their wild relatives and the role these seeds play in cultures of the American Southwest and Northwest Mexico.” They have a PDF of Tepary bean recipes you can download.
Seed savers everywhere are planting the seeds of a quiet activism, which is a lovely thought, and so I’ll leave it there.
Check back next week for more exciting Tendrils!
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