The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘seed laws’

vegan Singapore-style noodles

Climate change brings unpredictability and instability to the environment, a major worry when it comes to growing food. Plants which may once have thrived in a particular region may no longer do so if that region suddenly experiences significant fluctuations in temperature, or becomes subject to flooding or drought. This uncertainty makes it all the more important to our survival to have a wide range of edible plant species available, […]

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new potato salad with rocket, lemon and mint pesto

Whilst the eyes of many environmentalists have been focused on the “marriage made in hell” that will result from the takeover of notorious agrochemical giant Monsanto by Bayer, two other equally alarming acts of corporate consolidation are in train. The state owned Chinese chemical company ChemChina is in the process of swallowing up Syngenta in a $43 million deal. Last week, the proposed deal received both EU and US antitrust […]

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leek, potato and chive cakes with shallot and tomato sauce

This is the time of year when we gardeners like to indulge ourselves by browsing through seed catalogues and deciding what we want to grow in the year ahead. A proportion of the vegetable seeds I will be sowing this year are seeds I have saved from last season’s vegetables, all of them heritage (“true seed”) varieties. Some vegetable seeds are easy to collect, for example beans, peas, tomatoes and […]

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noodle soup with pak choi and lemongrass

A large proportion of the fruit and vegetables I grow on my allotment plot are so-called heritage varieties. In other words, I can save the seeds from the best of each year’s crop and sow them again the following year and expect to get pretty much the same plant again. Quite a few of the heritage varieties I grow are illegal to buy or sell, not because there is anything […]

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broad bean and coriander falafel

Growing your own food is not only a liberating and fulfilling experience: in a world where so much of our food is controlled by global corporations it is also an act of dissent. Some of the fruit and vegetables that I grow on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden are rare, heritage varieties which, under draconian EU seed legislation, are now illegal to buy and sell. In recent years, the […]

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aloo chaat

Hailed as one of the emerging great economies, India boasts some of the wealthiest people in the world. It is also home to more of the world’s poor than any other country on the planet. Whilst the country has seen a huge expansion in its technology and consumer goods industries over the past two decades, around 70% of India’s inhabitants still live in rural areas and have been largely untouched […]

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halloumi cooked in buttermilk, with coriander, lime and chilli dressing

Amongst the many herbs I grow on my allotment plot, the Circus Garden, there is always space for coriander (cilantro), which I sow from seed saved from the previous year’s plants. It is one of the oldest culinary herbs, with records of its use in ancient Greek, Egyptian and Roman cooking. Saving seed to sow again the following year in this way is a natural and traditional activity, although it […]

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Indonesian style spicy noodles with summer cabbage

This year I am growing several different varieties of cabbage on my allotment plot, The Circus Garden, and all being well these should keep us supplied with cabbage from now through to January. Regular readers of my blog will know that I grow my vegetables using organic principles. This means that I do not use pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or artificial fertilisers. To deal with the pests and diseases that cabbages […]

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pea, avocado and basil risotto

I grow a beautiful variety of pea on my allotment which for many years I’d known as Lancashire Lad, but which I’ve recently discovered is actually, rather more prosaically, called Victorian Purple Podded. Both Lancashire Lad and Victorian Purple Podded are what is known as heritage varieties, neither being available commercially. Such is the extraordinary way seed production is regulated that it is in fact illegal to buy or sell […]

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