This year’s Norwegian heritage potatoes

This is the second year we’ve grown the ten  (new) virus-cleaned mini-seed potato varieties made available every year through the national Norwegian program, managed by Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN), to conserve our potato heritage.  These have been grown in KVANNs vegetable sanctuary at Væres Venner Community garden.  These will be used as seed potatoes for next year!  In order to try to restrict the spread of disease, those receiving the mini-tubers are not allowed to pass them on or swap them!
In the picture below, the following varieties are seen:
Top row:  Truls, Shetland Black, Tysk Blå, Hroars Drege, Gjernes Potet
Bottom row: Røde fra Skjåk, Beate, Ivar, Kerrs Pink Blå, Brage

Last year’s potatoes are seen in the following link:

Potato harvest at Væres Venner

Edimentals tour of the US

I’ll be giving a series of talks and courses in the US from 22nd September to 6th October, including at Joe Hollis’ Mountain Gardens in North Carolina; at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, at the Norwegian-American Vesterheim Museum in Decorah in collaboration with Seed Savers Exchange; at the (sold out) Mid-West Wild Harvest Festival, in Holyoke, Massachusetts (organised by Eric Toensmeier); in Portland, Maine (Resilience Hub and Aaron Parker of Edgewood Nursery);  in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (Seacoast Permaculture);
and ending up in New York City!
Please share if you know anyone who may be interested!
Here are the details:
22nd September:  Walk and talk with Joe Hollis at Mountain Gardens (near Asheville, North Carolina) (see and; Tickets available at  (FB Event:

24th September:  Evening talk at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, Georgia (the Alston lecture); see

26th September 18:30-19:30:  Talk co-hosted by Seed Savers Exchange and the Norwegian-American Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, Iowa! (At the museum in Decorah).  Free event. See

27th-29th September:  (SOLD OUT) Mid-West Wild Harvest Festival (Keynote plus two*3 hour talks /courses); and

1st  October 18-20.  Talk organised by Eric Toensmeier at the Holyoke Community Center, Holyoke, Massachusetts (see

3rd October: Talk “Around the World in 80 Plants: From New England westwards to the Mediterranean” organised by Aaron Parker of  and the The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture at the Resilience Hub in Portland, Maine. See 

4th October (19-21):  Talk “Around the World in 80 Plants: The Mediterranean north and westwards via Old England, Norway to New England” at the Urban Forestry Center
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA (organised by  Seacoast Permaculture, North Shore Permaculture Collaborative in collaboration with The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture ) (FB:; Tickets:

5th October: Looking for organisers for an evening event in the Boston area (possibly a walk and talk in the Arnold Arboretum)

6th October:   An event is being organised in the New York City area (more details will be posted)

American chestnut at Ringve in Trondheim

There’s a great little American chestnut tree (Castanea dentata) just outside the office building at Ringve Botanical Garden in Trondheim where I work. This one has bloomed almost all summer.

The tree has separate male and female flowers, but there has to be at least two trees for pollination ….

I have 5 one-year-old trees from a northern provenance, Jefferson County in Washington State (via Chris Homanics in Oregon) and hope that Ringve would like to plant more eventually….I would love to see if the nuts would ripen here… and also help to preserve a tree species that is threatened with extinction by an imported fungal disease where it grows wild in eastern North America. In its homeland, this is one of the quickest to produce nuts from seed (as early as 5 years!)

Chris, one of my food diversity / preparedness heroes, wrote in 2016:

“Last month was spent collecting many distinct types of chestnuts from about 30 separate sites throughout Western Washington and Oregon. Some were even from old naturalized forests full of chestnut trees. Amassed it represents a diverse foundation stock for planting up, far and wide. In the face of growing droughts and the woes of climate change, I believe this plant will play a significant role in feeding people in the future as it has gone far back into the deep past. My hope is to help foster a revival of interest with the chestnut as a viable sustainable food source by offering a diverse collection of these nuts to the public to select and adapt to their local environment. ”

My other plants I’d like to plant in KVANN’s garden at Væres Venner Felleshage!


Early Autumn Pollinators

With only a few inflorescences left on my Buddleja plants, the red admiral and painted lady (tistelsommerfugl) butterflies are transferring their attentions to other flowers in the garden, notably and most importantly Eupatorum cannabinum (hemp agrimony / hjortetrøst, seed of which came original from the banks of the River Itchen in Hampshire). Other flowers of choice at the moment are Anise hyssop (Agastache), Monarda and Marigold.

In the first video, the Red Admiral defends its hemp agrimony flower against a bumblebee!

…and a few other pollinators:

Edibles & ornamental plants

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