Category Archives: Perennial vegetables

Visit to Bioforsk Landvik in 2012

Norwegian:  I september 2012 besøkte jeg Grimstad for å snakke om min  bok Around the World in 80 plants som snart skulle se dagens lys! Jeg holdt et foredrag for Grimstad bys museum og Aust-Agder sopp- og nyttevekstforening. Jeg ble også invitert til Bioforsk Landvik hvor Åsmund Asdal fra  genressursenteret hadde et kontor. Jeg hadde samarbeidet med Åsmund over flere år som leder av Planteklubben for Grønnsaker. Jeg ga en kort foredrag for staben etterfulgt av en tur på forsøksarealene for å se førstehånd flere av klonsamlingene som Planteklubben mottok materiale fra hvert år!

English: In September 2012, I visited Grimstad in the south of Norway to give a talk about my soon to be published  book Around the World in 80 plants to Grimstad bys museer and  Aust-Agder sopp- og nyttevekstforening (the museum and local group of the Norwegian Useful Plants Society).  I was also invited to nearby Bioforsk Landvik where Åsmund Asdal of the Norwegian Genetic Resource Centre had an office.  I had collaborated with Åsmund over a number of years as leader of Norwegian Seed Savers (Planteklubben for Grønnsaker). I gave a short afternoon talk to the staff followed by a tour of the grounds to see first hand several of the clonal collections that Planteklubben received material from each year!


The last roots

The last roots I harvest in the autumn are perennial vegetables for eating in the winter. I usually do this as late as possible and some years harvestng involves breaking through the ice with a pick axe! With daytime temperatures of -7C forecast for next week, this may be the last chance! Yesterday was the annual horserdish (pepperrot) harvest….the big roots are for forcing young shoots as a vegetable (usually blanched) and the younger roots for grated horseradish! An annual dig also serves to limit the spread of horseradish which can be a problem in some gardens!
See my webinar from last winter on winter vegetables here:

Dandelion harvest

Dandelions are one of my favourite winter perennial vegetables. During the summer, wild dandelions sow themselves on my cultivated beds….one of the advantages of having too much open soil! I deliberately let them grow on until late autumn when I dig up some of the roots, others left to grow on to the next year, and plant them in large pots ready to force later in the winter like witloof chicory. I usually force them by moving from storage in my cellar to a cool room in the house where I force them in the dark!

The Holy Grail Kale and the Janas Ecovillage gardens!

I was blown away by the edible and medicinal gardens at the Janas Ecovillage (Ecoaldeia de Janas) during my stay there. Part of my course there was a tour of the gardens and when I enthused about the Portuguese perennial kale growing well in the gardens somebody quipped “Must be the holy grail of veggies!”. Well, not far from it, I’d tried to find it on previous work trip to Portugal having read João Silva Dias’ paper about it (see the last slide for the reference). I had contacted Dias (at the Technical University of Lisbon) to ask if he would share cuttings, but sadly he wasn’t willing. Imagine my surprise then seeing a woody plant that resembled the pictures in his paper. It was confirmed to be called Couve de Estaca (which I think means cabbage propagated by cuttings) in the ecovillage garden. The oldest plant was about 4 years and there was a newer two year old bed planted closely from cuttings! It didn’t flower!
So, here are a few pictures of the holy grail kale :)

Cactus pads for my last lunch in Mértola

Thanks to Matthias Brück for preparing cactus pads (nopalitos) from Opuntia ficus-indicus for lunch, a long job by hand to de-spine first, but delicious! Does the old variety developed by Luther Burbank, “Burbank’s Spineless” still exist?


Das Essgarten-Kochbuch: Überraschende Rezepte mit Funkie, Magnolie und Co.

The Edible Garden cookbook: surprising recipes with Hosta, Magnolia and others: Thanks to Matthias Brück for drawing my attention to this interesting German cookbook with recipes for several of the perennial vegetables in my book as well as a number of less known and up and coming fruits.

The index gives a taste of what you’ll find in the book (an English translation would be great), see below the picture!

Alcea rosea 46
Ampel-Crêpes nach Künstlerart 126
Schwarze 130
Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding 136
Aralia cordata 118
Aralia elata 116
Japanische 116
Aralie mit Anis 118
Aroniacreme nach Essgarten-Art 132
Aroniasaft 130
geschützte 25
Aufstrichrezepte 130
Baharat 80
Bambus 84
Goldrohr- 84
Schwarzrohr- 84
winterharte 84
Bambussprossen 84
Bambussprossen mit Ananas 86
essbar 84
Baumsaft 64
Beilage 18, 30, 44, 52, 102, 136
Beilage mit Japanischem Rhabarber
Belgische Hopfensprossen mit Champignons
Berberitze 8
Gewöhnliche 88
essbare 88
Berberitzenreis 88
Berberitzenreis Sereschk Polo mit
Huhn 90
Berglitschi 108
Bitterstoffe 8
Blaublattfunkie 20
Japanischer 108
Blumenhartriegel mit Aprikose und
Crème brulée 110
Brennnesselspitzen 68
Bunter Couscous 80
Camellia sinensis 56
Chaenomeles 60
Chaenomeles cathayensis 60
Chutney 62
Cornus kousa 108
Cornus kousa ‘Big apple’ 109
Cornus kousa ‘Milky Way’ 109
Cornus mas ‘Jolico’ 50
Cornus mas ‘Kasanlaker’ 50
Cranberry 104
Crème brulée 110
Datenbank 8, 141
Dessert 42, 56, 70, 74
Deutsche Oliven 52
Dschondscholi 92
Duftstoffe 75
Durchgedrehte Fetthenne – Fingerfood-
Schiffchen 44
Dureup 116
Echter Hopfen 70
Eierspätzle mit Taglilien 14
Einfrieren 68, 84, 88, 97, 131, 132
Taglilienblüten 16
Taglilienknospen 16
Eingelegte Magnolienblüten 102
Einlegen 100, 136
Erdnussbutter 86
Blüten 8
Knospen 8
Essgarten 6, 7
Essig 88, 90
Essigbaum 96
essbar 8
Essigbeere 88
Essbare 7
Fallopia japonica 28
Festtagstorte mit Kamelien 58
Fetthenne 40
Fiddleheads 26
Fingerfood 34, 40
Gemeiner 78
essbar 78
Fliederblütengebäck 82
Food- oder Aromapairing 36
Fruchtlikör 108
Gartenpflanzen 7, 10
Gefüllte Funkienröllchen 22
Gefüllte Taglilienblüten 18
Gelee 60, 130, 134
neue 7
orientalisches 96
Gewürzsumachs 96
Giersch 68
Giftpflanzen 7
Granatapfelsaft 90
Harissa 80
Hirschkolbensumach 96
farbige 108
Hopfensprossen 70
Hosta sieboldiana
’Big Daddy’ 21
Houttuynia cordata ‘Chamaeleon‘ 36
Indianerlimonade 98
Indian Lemonade spezial 98
Rhabarber-Erdbeer-Torte 32
Japanisches Wildrhabarbercurry 34
Jeon 116
Joghurt 54
Kalina 104, 106
Kalina royal 106
Kamelie 56
Kapern 92
Karamell 112
Karamellbeere 112
E-Book mit Wasserzeichenschutz (5912972-1/5e55ae6422974d65b7b8cf41e90343e5, BIC media 10/2018)
R EG I ST E R | 143
Kimchi mit Garnelen 128
Kochkurse 7
Komogi 24
Kornelkirsche 50
Kornelkirschen-Sorbet 54
Kriek Lambic 72
japanische 20
Leycesteria formosa 112
Leycesteria formosa ‘Purple Rain’ 114
Likör 130
Limonade 96
Linde 64
Lindensirup 64
Magnolia kobus 100
Magnolie 100
Kobushi- 100
Magnoliensalz 103
Malus ‘Chestnut’ 135
Malus ‘Evereste’ 134
Malus ‘Golden Hornet’ 134
Malus ‘John Downie’ 134
Malus ‘Red Sentinel’ 134
Malus spec. 134
Marmelade 62, 130
Matteucia struthiopteris ‘Jumbo’ 24
Molchschwanz 36
Mugunghwa 124
Naturschutz 92
invasiver 28
Nutzgarten 4
Oliebollen nach Essgarten-Art 138
Oxalsäure 29
Blaue 120
Passiflora caerulea 120
Passiflora caerulea
‘Constance Eliott’ 121
Passiflora incarnata ‘Maypop’ 122
saure 88
Pflanzendatenbank 8, 141
essbare 8
Phyllostachys nigra 84
Amerikanische 92
Gemeine 92
Kolchische 92
Pimpernusskaviar 94
Pimpernusslikör 92
Quiche Tilia mit Zwiebeln und
Schinken 68
Ras el-Hanout 80, 132
Regenbogen-Mango 38
Mochi 56
Rhabarberrezepte 28
Rhizomsperre 71, 96
Rhus coriaria 96
Rosenblüten 75
Rosenblütensirup 76, 80
Rosenlikör 76
Rosensirup 74
Roter Lindenknospensalat
mediterran 66
Sauerdorn 88
Sauerkirschbier 72
eingelegte 52
Gewöhnlicher 104
Pflaumenblättriger 104
Sedum spectabile 40
Sedum telephium 40
Sezchuan-Pfeffer 86
Silvestergebäck 138
Sirup 102, 130
Spargelrezepte 26
Staphylea pinnata 92
Staphylea trifoliata 92
Japanischer 28
Stockrose 46
Stockrosen-Lasagne mit grünem
Pesto 48
Straucheibisch 124
Straußenfarn 24
Sumach 96
Süße frittierte Passionsspießchen
mit Feigen 122
Syringa vulgaris 78
Taglilie 12
Taranome 116
Tee 46, 56, 64
Teepflanze 56
Tempura 116
Teufelskrückstock 116
Tiramisu formosa 114
Tomatensahne mit
Taglilienknospen und Pistazien 16
Trichterfarn 24
Trocknen 101, 102, 131
Trocknung 97
Unverschämte Fetthenne –
Fingerfood-Schiffchen 42
Vap Ca 36
Viburnum opulus 104
Viburnum prunifolium 104
Vorspeise 12, 18, 22, 42, 122
Wildgehölz 92
Wildobst 50, 88
Wurzelausläufer 71, 96 8, 141
Zierapfel 134
Zierquittenchutney mit Rosinen 62
Ziergemüse 4, 6, 7, 10
Ernte 8
chinesische 60
Zwischengang 42

Visiting McMillion’s acres!

On Sunday I finally found the opportunity to visit my friend and fellow Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN) board member Andrew McMillion who lives on a small farm in Nes, Akershus! We were joined by Amandine from France who is doing an Msc in Agroecology in Ås (Norway). She had joined us in Trondheim and Malvik at the KVANN weekend in June!
In Andrew’s tunnel greenhouse I saw several plants I’d never seen before and Andrew’s belief in the importance of diversity in a secure food production is evident everywhere! His greenhouse reminded me n fact of Alan Kapuler (Mushroom)’s amazing kinship (biodiversity) gardens in Oregon, USA (see
It’s amazing how Andrew grows  what for many are impossible vegetables with minimal additional heat!
Outside, he is developing the ravine on the side of the property with perennial vegetables! He is also a champion of Shetland Cabbage as a future hardy vegetable in Norway and this is one of many vegetables he offers each year through Norwegian Seed Savers!!
I look forward to following Andrew’s projects over the next years!!