Michael Ryan

Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Mick started growing vegetables at his grandmother’s house, where he used to spend his weekends. He hasn’t stopped since. Wherever he goes, he plants. Currently, in the bottom of a dark valley in the Pennines where he has a railway allotment and looks after a friend’s raised beds and greenhouse, he grows microgreens in his kitchen and, last year, grew vegetables in pots in his front yard. He also runs a small publishing company and drives up and down the hills to snap extraordinary photos of the beautiful surrounding landscape. He doesn’t trust supermarket produce, and he purchases from the local farmers’ market if he can’t harvest his own crop. His favourite plant is Cime de Rapa, also known as rapini or broccoli raab. The leafy broccoli-looking plant is tasty and nutritious and is part of the mustard family and related to the turnip and bok choy. It bolts in the heat, so best planted for late spring and autumn harvesting, which is perfect for northern climates. Mick says, “I think everyone will have to grow their own soon to supply at least some food they eat. It’s good for all of us and the planet.”

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Vegetable grower, natural beekeeper and edible spaces designer. Lover of all soil and urban farming techniques. Former head of growing at Incredible Aquagarden.