Four talks on our favorite fruit and veg; botany, history, medicine, folklore, ethnobotany, as well as their plant family connections and a myriad mix of fascination and information.
Michael Holland studied Ecology at Lancaster and Oregon State Universities and is a keen photographer, wildlife gardener and all-round composting nerd! Michael had a 25-year career at the eminent Chelsea Physic Garden in London, latterly as Head of Education for over 17 years. He has taught tens of thousands of people, aged 2 to 92, about the natural world. A Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and the London Environmental Educators’ Forum (LEEF) he has spoken at a number of global conferences; a highlight being invited to lecture at a botanical garden in Japan.
He has also appeared on a number of television and radio shows and podcasts about plants and history (including Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, Channel 5’s ‘The Thames: Britain’s Great River’ series with Tony Robinson and Mr Plant Geek’s Plant-Based Podcast to name a few). His recent book ‘I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast’ is a colourful compendium of plants and ethnobotany aimed at children and families.
You can book for each one on separate tickets or all 4 on a multi ticket.
*Please note: This event also contains a limited number of free tickets thanks to funding from City Bridge Trust for our Botany on Your Plate project and it would be appreciated if these are taken by those who really need to, please buy a ticket if you can – thank you.
£5 for 1, £16 for all 4
Michael Holland, https://www.growingunderstandings.co.uk/
Talk 1 – 14 Oct 10 am
‘Gourd Almighty! – Cucumber Cousins’This is a truly versatile plant family. It’s members are exfoliating, water-carrying, sound-enhancing, worm-expelling, breath-freshening, ink-erasing, soothing, cooling and nourishing. This illustrated talk will explore aspects of botany, geography, ethnobotany, innovative horticulture and more. What is it with cats and cucumbers?
Talk 2 – 21 Oct 10 am
Core! & more: Apples, Pears and the Rose Family’ After defining what a fruit actually is, this illustrated talk will delve into a variety of subjects from forbidden fruits and corporate logos to divination and natural medicine. The evolutionary, ecological and environmental implications of industrial orchards will be featured and you might even find out wherebaby apes sleep.
Talk 3 – 4 November 10 am
Saucy and spicy:Chillies, Tomatoes and the fruits of the nightshade family.
This illustrated talk will cover Scoville Units, goji berries, witches on broomsticks, pharmaceutical breakthroughs and ‘Wolf Peaches’ slithering at 0.028 mph! We’ll get under the skin of seed dispersal, visit the sewage plants and hopefully gain some Heinzsight.
Talk 4 – 11 Nov 10 am
Taking the pith/Zest and the rest: Oranges, Lemons and the citrus family’ Members of this fruity family have worldwide appeal. The segments of this illustrated talk will touch upon world-changing medicinal and technological breakthroughs, tangy tastes, perfumery, electricity, etymology, religious symbolism and much more. What exactly is a tangelo? How ugly is the Ugli fruit? And when is grapefruit bad for you?
We will email you the ticket once sales have ended for that particular talk, please check your junk mail too.