Category Archives: Perennial vegetables

Taro harvest

Taro (Colocasia esculenta) ia an important root crop in tropical and subtropical climates, but is also surprisingly hardy so that I can have it out in the garden the whole summer with temperaures close to zero. I’ve grown Taro as an attractive edible house plant for over 15 years and I harvest the edible corms about once a year! 

Yesterday, we cooked and fried in olive oil the largest corm and served with salt and chili:

Some years we also eat the leaves, and my Nepalese friends taught me how to prepare them here: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=6593
See more taro pictures from Malvik here: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=5738
It’s sadly less easy to grow it as a house plant these days as greenflies have taken a taste for it :(

Onions in the snow

Several Alliums are extremely hardy and can stand green all winter even when exposed to temperatures under -20C. Similarly, young leaves of species that start to sprout in early spring as soon as the frost disappears near the surface have no problem with snow and frosts. Here are a few after yesterday’s snowfall!

Habby in the snow

I think that we ate Hablitzia (fondly known as habby) shoots every day this March as the mild winter and largely unfrozen soil brought them on about a month earlier than normal, even the plants in the shadiest parts of the garden, where frozen soil normally lingers longer, have been harvested regularly this year. They’ve been used in all sorts of dishes from pizza to quiche to salads to a soba dish, stir fry in green pasta sauce, in curry, in vegetable patties and baccalao. Tasty, adaptable and nutritious! We’ve had 3 or 4 heavy snow falls which have melted again in a few days but the Caucasian spinach (stjernemelde or star orach in Norwegian) is hardly affected. 
HABBY EASTER TO ALL MY FOLLOWERS :)

Spring harvest video by Friends of the Earth, Norway

(English: Short Norwegian video of a few things I’m harvesting from the garden now)
En kort norsk video om litt av det jeg høster i hagen for tiden. Dette i forbindelse med et intervju til et magasin artikkel som ble gjennomført (på avstand) i forrige uke!
Planter som nevnes er
Strandkål (Crambe maritima)
Bendelløk (Allium scorodoprasum)
Prærieløk eller Chicago-løk (Allium cernuum)
Stjernemelde eller Kaukasisk spinat (Hablitzia tamnoides)
Og det bør nevnes at jeg kunne fått alle mine grønnsaker fra ute i hagen denne våren (men noen tar jeg også fra kjelleren).
Lagt ut foreløpig kun på Facebook av Naturvernforbund i Trøndelag! 
https://www.facebook.com/192991824049531/videos/844838809324232

27th March Veggies from the garden

Tonight we made a quiche (eggepai) with these vegetables:
Allium nutans (Siberian nodding onion)
Allium cernuum
(nodding onion / prærieløk)
Dystaenia takesimana (Giant Ulleung Celery)
Brassica oleracea (Perennial kale / flerårige kål)
Allium paradoxum
Allium oleraceum
Alliaria petiolata
(hedge garlic / løkurt)
Angelica archangelica (Voss Angelica / Vossakvann)
Myrrhis odorata (Sweet cicely / spansk kjørvel)
Tragopogon pratensis shoots ( Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon / geitskjegg)
Carum carvi (caraway / karve)
Aegopodium podograria (ground elder / skvallerkål)
Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion / løvetann)
Rumex acetosa (sorrel / engsyre)
Smyrnium olusatrum (Alexanders / sorte løpstikke)

25th March Veggies

These delicious fresh perennial vegetables were added tonight’s dal towards the end
Aegopodium podograria (ground elder; skvallerkål)
Allium cernuum (nodding onion; prærieløk)
Brassica oleracea (perennial kale; flerårige kål)
Ficaria verna (lesser celandine; vårkål)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard; løkurt)
Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach; stjernemelde)
Taraxacum officinale ( dandelion; løvetann)  Forced and blanched in the cellar with flower buds now forming
Myrrhis odorata (sweet cicely; spansk kjørvel)

Giant Ulleung Celery

In my world, plants that are both perennial, edible, ornamental and popular with pollinating insects are the most valuable (I term this class of plants edi-ento-mentals) and the Giant Ulleung Celery, Dystaenia takesimana, ticks all 3 boxes! That it can provide winter greens at a time of year when little else is available is its biggest advantage as an edible plant! This plant has been a closely guarded secret amongst a selected few for many years, but is now poised for the big(ger) time! The fact that I’ve written the article below about this plant is thanks to one man, plant breeder Professor Elwyn Meader (1910-1996) who collected seed on its small home island of Ulleung-do in the East Sea between the Korean peninsular and Japan in 1953! Without his generosity and enthusiasm 30 or so years ago to share seeds, we wouldn’t know about one of the potentially most useful permaculture plants! Please download the article below and seek out plants and seed!

Download (PDF, 3.1MB)



The photo below of a flowering Giant Ulleung Celery at Eric Toensmeier’s home Paradise Lot in Holyoke, Massachusetts is courtesy of Jonathan Bates, who’s in the picture too.





More from the garden

We seem to be at least a month ahead of normal this year. I don’t normally see new shoots of ground elder (Aegopodium) until the middle of April but this year they are popping up all over the place.
Today’s veggies are a bit different from yesterday as it depends which part of the garden I harvest from. They are:
Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach; stjernemelde)
Aegopodium podograria (ground elder; skvallerkål)
Rumex acetosa (non-flowering) (sorrel; engsyre)
Rumex patientia (patience dock; hagesyre)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion; løvetann)
Allium fistulosum (welsh onion; pipeløk)
Allium paradoxum
Allium x proliferum (Egyptian onion; luftløk)
Myrrhis odorata (sweet cicely; spansk kjørvel)
Allium cernuum (nodding onion; prærieløk)
Hemerocallis (day lily shoots; daglilje)
These were used in a delicious vegetable pea soup!

Slowly Approaching the time of Plenty: Spring!

Tonight’s sourdough pizza greens, all harvested outside after most of  the snow  disappeared during the day. From the top and clockwise; Ficaria verna (lesser celandine / vårkål), Allium cernuum (nodding onion / prærieløk), Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde), Allium carinatum, Allium senescens (or hybrid), Primula veris (cowslip / marianøkleblom), Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard / løkurt) and Taraxacum spp. (dandelion / løvetann)

Announcing the 4th Permaveggies course in the Edible Garden

Norsk: Se lengre ned på siden

English:
This is the course for you who want to learn more about perennial vegetables and forest gardening in a course held in and around Norway’s world-renowned Edible Garden, now one (of 4) Permaculture Land Centres in Norway, led by author and head of KVANN / Norwegian Seed Savers, Stephen Barstow. There will be lectures on Allium, an extended garden walk, making lunch and dinner with spring harvested produce, foraging on the shoreline and the ostrich fern tour along the Homla river canyon. Full program, pictures and link to pictures in the pdf at the bottom

It is also possible to extend your stay to Monday when we will work together in KVANN’s gardens at Væres Venner in Ranheim on Monday 11th May.

Course fee and registration: You must either be a member of KVANN or the Norwegian Permaculture Association. NOK 1600 (for the whole weekend) for KVANN members (membership costs NOK 250), NOK 1800 for members of the Norwegian Permaculture Association. Kr. 900 for students and unemployed. There is a binding registration when paying the course fee. VIPPS to 91529516 (private). Bank account: 82306086762. This course has been fully subscribed all the times it has been arranged in the past with a waiting list. If you sign up but are later prevented attending, there are good chances of finding someone take over your place and we will help advertising that!

Sign up to sbarstow2@gmail.com with your name, address, email, phone and year of birth (we need this information because we are seeking support from Studieforbund Natur og Miljø)

Norsk:  Dette er kurset for deg som vil lære mer om flerårige grønnsaker og skogshaging i og rundt Norges verdenskjent Spiselig Hage, nå et (av 4) Permakultur Land Sentre i Norge, ledet av forfatter og leder av KVANN, Stephen Barstow. Det blir foredrag om Allium, utvidet hagevandring og felles matlaging, sanketur i fjæra og strutsevingetur langs Homla. Fullt program, bilder og lenk til bilder fra de 3 tidligere kurs kan man laste ned nederst på denne siden.

Det er også mulighet å være med på dugnad i KVANNs hager hos Væres Venner mandag 11. mai.
Kursavgift og påmelding: Man må enten være medlem av KVANN eller Norsk Permakultur Forening. Kr. 1600 (for hele helgen) for medlemmer av KVANN (medlemskap koster kr. 250), kr. 1800 for medlemmer av Norsk Permakultur Forening. Kr. 900 for studerende og arbeidsledige. Det er bindende påmelding ved betaling av kursavgifta. VIPPS til 91529516 (privat). Bankkonto: 82306086762. Dette kurset har blitt fulltegnet alle ganger tidligere med venteliste. Om man tegner seg på, men senere blir forhindret er det gode sjanser for å få noen til å ta over plassen din og det skal vi hjelpe til med!

Påmelding til sbarstow2@gmail.com med ditt navn, adresse, epost, telefon og fødselsår (dette trenger vi fordi vi søker støtte fra Studieforbund Natur og Miljø).

Download (PDF, 1.11MB)