rocket lamb’s lettuce

Share of employees with a migrant background (dark green) in the craft sector in Germany.

Eruca sativa (rocket) neophyte from Italy; Valerianella locusta (lambs lettuce) indigenous plant from Germany


Source: Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks e.V.: Handwerk: Bereits jeder 5. Mitarbeiter mit Migrationshintergrund, press release from 02/04/2014

Eruca sativa (arugula)
Brassicaceae (mustards)

Herbaceous annual, 15–50 cm in height, with upright stems, pinnate leaves, racemose inflorescence and cream-colored dark-veined flowers. Dispersal by wind and humans.

Ancient crop, known in the Mediterranean region since Roman times, used to be considered an aphrodisiac. Previously grown in Germany, then fell into oblivion. The kind of rocket on offer these days is usually a different species, namely Diplotaxis tenuifolia (perennial wallrocket).

Native to the Mediterranean, among others to Italy. Unstable neophyte in southern Germany, occasionally introduced in contaminated seed stock, for example, in the seed of Persian clover.


Valerianella locusta (lamb’s lettuce)
Valerianaceae (valerian family)

Annual herbaceous plant, 10–25 cm tall, leaf rosettes formed in autumn, tiny pale blue flowers and small nut fruits the following spring, already dying off in early summer. Dispersal at close range as a hydrochore and by cystometeorochory.

Wild in vineyards, in grasslands, on the edges of fields and on embankments, in former times often on fields. Grown as a hardy salad since about 1700 in large-leaf cultivars in gardens, on fields and in unheated greenhouses.

Indigenous to the Mediterranean and sub-Mediterranean climatic regions of Europe, for a long time native in Central Europe. Known in southern Germany since the Neolithic Age, archaeophyte.

Craft Sector

In 1897, the London-based Bamboo Cycle Company first presented a bicycle with a bamboo frame to their astonished customers. (1) However, customers would still only be convinced by steel and aluminum alone, and it took until 2007 for US scientists David Ho and John Mutter to come up with an idea: namely to encourage the production of cheap bamboo bicycles in Africa as a means of economic development. The Bamboo Bike Project actually became a great success. In 2011 in Kumasi, Ghana, under the leadership of Ghanaian entrepreneurs (2), production began of larger quantities from low-priced materials to create a robust means of transport for the region, but also for more distant markets.

But the success brought European and US manufacturers to the forefront, who recognized the exotic image of the bamboo bicycle as a Western business idea. They now created new workshops in Kumasi, probably exclusively for the western market for luxury bamboo bicycles. The high-tech products are now offered in Europe for the price of 3000 to 4000 euros. One manufacturer in Kiel/Germany donates part of the profit to a school in Africa, but still:

The sturdy, simple bamboo bikes by the non-profit Bamboo Bikes Initiative from Kumasi in Ghana didn’t stand a chance against this supremacy. (3)

However: The craftspeople of the initiative can be reached at: