Category Archives: Root crops

Centretown United Church and Ottawa snowchokes

Last night, the wonderful folks of Ottawa had what was advertised as “A night with Stephen Barstow”.  A great communicative crowd too and thanks for making my book load considerably lighter! I’ll come back and finish my story sometime soon :)
Last time I was in the city I talked in All Saints Church! Thanks all! Hope to see many more perennials next time!

Extreme winter record salad

 

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Proof one more time that north is best for growing a diversity of tasty salad greens ;)  Presenting (and claiming) my new world winter salad diversity record, a salad with over 140 ingredients all harvested locally without using any additional energy than is available in my house and cellar (no greenhouse; no freezer; no fermenting involved and only dried fruit and seed used apart from fresh vegetables!). Despite the snow cover I was able to harvest some 20-30 edibles outside. More on how this can be done will be the subject of a separate post!

The salad was presented and eagerly devoured by those who had bought tickets for the Gourmet Cinema event on 9th March 2017 as part of the Trondheim Kosmorama Film Festival! It went so quickly, I didn’t even get a taste myself!

The film was followed by a Food talk with a panel including the film’s director Michael Schwarz, the head chef at Credo Heidi Bjerkan, myself and Carl Erik Nielsen Østlund, the owner of the biodynamic organic farm that supplies much of the food to Credo, moderated by Yoshi!

http://kosmorama.no/en/2016/12/gourmet-cinema-in-defense-of-food

As Michael Pollan concludes in the film:
Eat Food, Not too much and (as many as possible) mostly vegetables!

The day before, I had prepared a 105 ingredient salad for the festival dinner at Credo restaurant (http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=10184). While preparing that salad, I made a second salad with the same 105 ingredients…and then added almost 40 additional ingredients that I hadn’t had time to harvest the day before!

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Jicama-ahipa à la Henry quinoa

One of the culinary highlights of the year is the annual Jicama (hee-ka-ma) meal….if you’ve never eaten yam beans or Jicama (Pachyrhizus erosus), you haven’t lived!
I grow this subtropical vegetable in my office, which only gets sunlight for maximum 1 hour a day which isn’t optimal conditions (they are usually grown in open fields), but being a climber originates in forests, so it tolerates shade. I grew it’s brother on-climbing Ahipa (Pachyrhizus ahipa) beside it, but that species didn’t produce much (perhaps it’s more sensitive to light?). I also didn’t think the taste was as good.  Both species died down at the end of the year and I harvested the tubers in early January!
Jicama tubers are best eaten raw and are crispy and a little sweet. Being one of the lost crops of the Incas, much more popular in the Americas than in Europe, I served them sliced with a cooked quinoa mix – mixed home grown Quinoa and black-grained Henry quinoa from Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus), flavoured with chilis and lemony sanshō seeds (Zanthoxylum piperitum or Japanese pepper).
NB! Both species, Ahipa and Jicama are normally started from seed which I haven’t succeeded in growing myself!
Day Two: I didn’t eat it all yesterday, I needed a bit more, so I cooked up a third species quinoa, Fat Hen quinoa (Meldestokk quinoa), from the seed of one plant of Fat Hen or Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium album). It was added to yesterday’s to give a Three species quinoa and jicama salad (two pictures added)

Yam daisy aboriginal tuber cultivation

Yam daisy or murnong (Microseris lanceolata) from Australia, harvest outside in Malvik on 12th November 2011. I’ve had lower yields of other crops! Needs a bit of selection, but not an impossible project I think!
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This post is inspired by this video about aboriginal Yam daisy agriculture, introduction of livestock by the Europeans largely destroyed this sustainable agriculture… https://www.farmingsecrets.com/growing-yam-daisies-australias-earliest-agriculture

Rice lily

The smallest of the tubers in yesterday’s dinner (see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=9577) was so-called rice lily or riceroot (Fritillaria camschatensis), small (but many) sweet tasting tubers that often lie right on the surface all winter! One of the hardiest plants found in Western North America from Oregon to Alaska, Northern Japan and the Russian Far East…and quite a common ornamental for its almost black flowers…
 
See also my blog post Riceroot and Hog Peanuts (http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=480)
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..and end of the year Yacon harvest

Yacon (Polymnia edulis/Smallanthus sonchifolius) also gives higher yields when grown on inside until the end of the year in a large pot; however, it is much less day length sensitive than ulluco and oca…when I had a cold greenhouse, yacon would give at least as good a yield as this by October…
The sweet tasting tubers are becoming quite popular in recent years! Yacon is in the Asteraceae, the roots containing inulin like its edible tubered cousins Jerusalem artichoke and Dahlia.

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The yacon was moved into my living room which is heated…about 2/3 of the leaves froze off before harvest, but it resprouted from the base and continued flowering….

 

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The propagules were sprouting (small nodules used to start next year’s plants)

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