Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 16:39

James Wong, plant expert and presenter of the BBC Two series Grow Your Own Drugs, will be giving a talk at the Eden Project about exotic allotments on July 2.

James will be demonstrating that growing rare, unusual and luxury foods is far more straightforward than one might assume.

From Himalayan goji berries and cocktail-sized kiwi fruit, to fragrant saffron and fiery wasabi, an enormous range of exotic fruit and veg are not only hardy in the UK but can be very easy to grow.

James will be offering a light-hearted, dynamic and innovative alternative to conventional gardening talks and reveals how “growing your own” doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to potatoes and carrots.

Included in the talk are free tasting sessions of some of the weird and wonderful plants, so visitors can get a feeling for all the strange, exotic flavours that can be grown in the UK – like super-sweet Stevia sugar leaves and electric daisies that taste like licking a battery.

James said: "It's really exciting to bring this talk about a new, experimental take on 'growing your own' to the home of all things cool and cutting-edge with plants: the Eden Project."

James Wong is an ethnobotanist, television presenter and best-selling author based in London. Trained to Masters level at the University of Kent and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, his work has taken him to Ecuador, South China and Indonesia.

James was brought up in Singapore and Malaysia to an English mother and Malaysian father. His research interests include traditional medical systems, underutilised crops species and wild plant conservation.

In 2009 he fronted the award-winning BBC TV series Grow Your Own Drugs, introducing a fresh, modern take on preparing a broad range of plant-based remedies, reflecting his life-long passion for all things botanical.

He has since gone on to become a regular face on the hit BBC rural affairs series Countryfile, as well as presenting further series of Grow Your Own Drugs, Grow Your Own Drugs at Christmas and James Wong and the Malaysian Garden, which followed his efforts to co-design a gold-medal-winning garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.

James’s talk will take place at 7.30pm on Saturday July 2 in The Gallery at The Eden Project. Tickets cost £15.00 and are available from the Eden Project box office on 01726811972.