Have you bean curious about what Plot produce is growing in the polytunnels? Well, wonder no more

Last week we shared our first broad beans of the season! We are growing these broad beans in our new polytunnel in White Lund which is going through a conversion to organic growing – this means that we are growing crops following organic principles in the new polytunnel for two years to give it organic status from the soil association.

The broad beans are a Grex (meaningflockin Latin) that the Lancaster Seed Library has been developing and saving for the last five years at Claver Hill community food growing project.

A Grex is a mixture of varieties growing together and encouraged to cross-pollinate. The seeds from those crosses are grown and saved again and again.

The Seed Library’s Grex includes two traditional broad bean varieties saved by organic farmers in the West Bank, Palestine, a purple broad bean that was shared by seed savers from North East England, broad beans from Greece and other open-pollinated varieties that the Lancaster Seed Library has collected over the years via solidarity and seed sovereignty networks.

At the end of the season we will save more seeds and share it with other growers across the North, they will then enrich it with their own open-pollinated broad beans.

This approach to seed saving allows us to develop plants that we like to grow and eat, thrive in our specific microclimates and are resilient to climate emergencies. To find out more about the importance of growing and saving our seed have a look at this policy brief.

The picture shows the beautiful diversity of all the seeds that make up our Grex, can you spot the differences?

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