Monday, 23 June 2008


New issue of The Garden arrived today, with big balls on the front cover (fnarr fnarr). 

The first news item concerns the on-going Scandal of the Illegal Goji Berry Bushes. It doesn't make any sense though. The story tells that a "government spokesman" advised that plants not of European origin be disposed of in household waste. 

This is because Goji plants from outside the EU could be infected with viruses that could spread easily to other members of the Solanaceae -  potatoes and tomatoes to you and me.

Yet the real picture seems more complex than this solution suggests. Many gardeners bought their bushes from reputable firms in this country (and even got given them as part of a subscription offer to Grow Your Own). But the reputable UK firms had bought from Dutch wholesalers, who had bought from illegal importers. Confused? I was. 

Still I can't help thinking this is a giant storm in an over-sized Goji Tea cup. Especially after reading the debate about it on the messageboards (scroll down to the bottom for the fairly final word on the matter from SMS6). 

In the small print, even The Garden admits "the risk of spread is described as relatively low".

Given that Goji berries are being grown by, ooooh, about 0.00007% of the horticultural public, does this really deserve to be the lead news item in the RHS mag? Is it just a case of someone trying to rustle up a drama - when there really isn't one? 

1 comment:

Senior Officer, Metropolitan Police Goji Squad said...

Outrageous news nitpicking on your account Townshend. And very unsupportive to our efforts to wipe out the Goji scourge. It was naysayers like you who lost us the war.