Slow food at last!

After 11 days of mostly fast food, it was good to get home this evening to a jungle of slow food….
Ingredients: Hablitzia, Rumex acetosa, Rumex patientia, Myrrhis (young seeds), Hemerocallis middendorfii and H. lilioasphodelus (daylily buds), Crambe maritima (broccolis), Crambe cordifolia (broccolis), Nettle, 2* Origanum, Tragopogon pratensis (flower stems and buds), Allium senescens, Campanula latifolia, Asparagus trichophyllus, Chives (flower buds), Peltaria alliacea, garlic, chili and chicory (2 types)
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Walk and Talk in the Vienna Botanical Gardens

Presenting an album of pictures from BG Vienna showing edible plants I found in the collections and talked about during my walk and talk arranged by Arche Noah!

Coffee Tea

Did you know you could make coffee tea from the leaves of the coffee bush! I finally got round to trying the fresh leaves from my plant as a tea a couple of weeks back and it was really delicious, with a similar taste to coffee berries if you’ve tried them (the red  flesh around the seed used to make coffee).
Coffee tea is certainly easier to grow and make at home than coffee coffee …. I’m still saving seed for a brew :)


Hosta Superstar and Host in Vienna

The genus Hosta is just about my favourite vegetable as you can read in my Book Around the World in 80 plants, productive, tasty and perfect for a forest garden as it doesn’t mind deep shade! I did a walk and talk at the Botanischer Garten der Universität Wien as part of my tour organised by Arche Noah in mid-June 2017. To my great surprise, there was a Hosta installation in the garden and a large collection of species Hosta! It turns out that the genus Hosta was named after Austrian botanist Nikolaus Host (1761-1834) and he managed a garden on the site of the botanical garden until his death!
From the garden’s web site: “On the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Nikolaus Thomas Host (1761-1834). A group of students of the class for landscape design, under the supervision of the British artist and landscape designer Tony Heywood, is working on a “horticultural installation” for the Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna.”
Here’s a series of pictures from the installation “Hosta Superstar” and a long bed of species Hosta!
All Hostas are edible.
This was the highlight of my guided tour of the garden which ended at the Hosta installation.
It was unknown to the garden that Hosta are edible and the director was excited of this new dimension to the garden…perhaps there will be a Hosta tasting next spring!

Edimentals tour of the Botanischer Garten Universität Salzburg

My last gig in Austria was a tour in the young botanical garden in Saltzburg. Despite its youth (from 1986), it had one of the best collection of unusual edibles I’ve seen in a dedicated garden to the world’s cultural plants! Of course the ornamental beds also had a lot of food…

Arche Noah and the Seewardsee

Tom Strubreiter is my host up here in St. Koloman (see He picked me up at the station on Thursday and took me up to his mountain farm where he’s doing important work conserving rare breeds of farm animals that are much better adapted to local conditions and that rarely need visits by the vet! He showed me around his amazing ecostructure that he calls his Noah’s Ark that he is constructing … I spent the day botanising in the species rich alpine meadows and swam in the Seewardsee! Couldn’t be better


Auerhütte am Seewaldsee

This is the site of the talk I gave today with translation at Auerhütte, owned by Tom Strubreiter’s family!


Edibles & ornamental plants

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