BBC's Big Allotment Challenge winner visits Ryton Organic Gardens

Rob Smith winner of the BBC’s Big Allotment Challenge enjoyed a visit to Ryton Organic Gardens today, Friday 19th June.

Rob, one of our Heritage Seed Library (HSL) Seed Guardians, was seen on the BBC series earlier this year growing and showing our HSL varieties including Trifetti chilli and Boothby's blonde cucumber. His inspiration for growing these varieties began back in his childhood.

Rob says: “I began growing heritage varieties when I realised that the produce I’d grown with my Grandad had much more flavour – the taste takes me back to my childhood.

Since being crowned Allotment Challenge winner, Rob has noticed an increased interest in these age-old varieties, which can be seen in the demonstration gardens here at Ryton.

Rob continues: “People are enthusiastic about them for their flavour, the variety of colours, shapes and sizes. I’m always being asked where I get them from. They inspire people to taste or grow something new; especially children who love them because they’re so different from anything they see in the supermarkets.”

Rob is now researching heritage varieties for a book he's writing, to enthuse others to follow in his footsteps.

Rob is one of around 180 active Seed Guardians, who works hard to produce seed for the Heritage Seed Library. Each year, around 150 varieties from our seed collection are chosen for inclusion in the Heritage Seed Library catalogue. Garden Organic members who subscribe to the HSL receive the catalogue annually in December, from where they can choose six free packets of seeds. Find out how you can join and grow these heritage varieties for yourself at home here.

Friday, 19 June 2015