In your garden: Eat from polytunnel all year round

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The Edible Gardening Project polytunnel has served us well all winter with a variety of crops. We have had a steady supply of leafy greens such as spinach, chard and salad leaves with the odd radish and spring onion thrown in.

The purple sprouting broccoli has been a huge success too.

The winter vegetables have had to be cleared to make way for the tender summer crops that require a little extra protection from the elements. As it happens, most of the winter crops had run out of steam and some had bolted and started to flower. Out with the old and in with the new. We are full to the brim again with aubergines, tomatoes, chillies and sweetcorn.

We have also been busy with local community groups and schools for our Communities in Nature project. This is an innovative project coordinated by the Botanic Garden Conservation International and funded by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The idea for the project was inspired by a groundbreaking research report into the social role and relevance of UK botanic gardens. In 2012 Communities in Nature will involve four organisations developing individual projects to grow their social relevance.

We are very pleased to be one of the gardens taking part in this project. We have recruited four groups of young people from the local area to take part. They come in on a weekly basis to tend their own vegetable plots in the garden, while learning about growing and eating healthy food too. You can see the excellent work they have done on their plots in the demonstration garden. Follow the blog for updates:

The Edible Gardening Project is based at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and aims to teach people the skills and knowledge they need to grow their own food. Funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery, the project is for those who are keen to grow their own but don’t know where to begin.

• For more details about the project and our demonstrations and drop-in sessions please go to