Category Archives: Seed

On the World’s Vanishing Vegetables

The article that opened my eyes to the importance of conserving our vegetable diversity was 37 years ago, written by Lawrence D Hills, Director of the Henry Doubleday Research Association (HDRA) in the UK.  This article was in the first newsletter that I received having recently joined the HDRA.  Not much has changed in the intervening years, except it was the oil company Shell that was the “bad guy”. This is well worth a read for anyone interested in food and the history (now and then) of the fight to save our seeds!  We are now 37 years on, we in KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers) setting up Vegetable Sanctuaries here in Norway!
I had become a member of HDRA following a “chance” encounter on a train north to Edinburgh where I was studying. I was travelling with a bike as was a guy called Dave du Feu.  Dave was and still is heavily involved in cycle campaigning. On that journey he told me of the Edinburgh Cycle Campaign, Spokes and introduced me to organic gardening and the HDRA, both of which I joined!
HDRA_Spring80#0 HDRA_Spring80#1 HDRA_Spring80#2 HDRA_Spring80#3 HDRA_Spring80#4

2017 seed saving

Starting a new album of seed cleaned and packed  for 2017
See also a large album from 2014-2017 on Facebook:
31017: Added 45 more pictures!

051117: Added 5 more

081117: Added 7 more

101117: 24 more varieties added

181117: Added 4 more

201117:  8 more added

101217: 3  added

Current offers in Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN) autumn seed and vegetable catalogue

I’m often asked if I sell seed of my perennial vegetables and other plants I blog about. The answer is that unless you have something I’m interested in trading for, I only “sell” seed through out Norwegian Seed Savers organisation on a non-profit basis!
Here are my current offers in Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN) autumn seed and vegetable catalogue. I will add more offers later this week.  I hope you will want to support our work!
If you live outside of Norway and want to join (it costs Norwegian kr 200 / year), please go to  and click on “Bli medlem” and fill out your details. You can then either do a bank transfer or you can pay me 200 Norwegian kroner by Paypal ( and I will transfer for you! Once you have payed, I will send you the catalogue.  Please be prepared to cover post and packing  (I cannot guarantee that all members will be willing to send overseas, but I will!).
Note that all correspondence and publications from the club is in Norwegian (not a big deal these days with on-line translators!), but there are brief instructions in English too (or ask me).

Udo (Aralia cordata); seed  see
Houttuynia cordata, Himalayan water creeper.
Flore pleno (double flowers)
Joker’s Gold
Chinese Market
Garlic (Allium sativum) bulbils
Estonian Red
Black raspberry «Black Hawk» (Rubus occidentalis), seed
Ligularia fischeri  seed (see )
Papaver somniferum (opiumvalmue) mix (see pictures of my varieties here:

Angelica sylvestris «Vicar’s Mead»

Sanguinaria canadensis
Allium pskemense x fistulosum
Taraxacum rubifolium, red-leaved dandelion
Sugar cane, Saccharum officinarum (a hardy cultivar from New Zealand)
Hablitzia tamnoides mix seed
Allium scorodoprasum,  wild and garden forms:
Skåne (via Aud Berit Fjordheim in Gjøvik)
Grums i Sverige
Risør (Leikøya)
Milde, Bergen
Hauge på Lista
Sund, Bergen
Barbarea vulgaris «Variegata»
Phyteuma nigra
Phyteuma orbiculare
Allium cernuum «Pink Giant»
Cirsium eriophorum
Allium victorialis «Lofoten»
Rumex acetosa “Belleville”, sorrel
Rumex acetosa “Vysogorny”/ “Krupolistny” mix(Russian cultivars)
Rumex patientia
Cryptotaenia canadensis
Angelica gigas
Chaerophyllum bulbosum, Turnip-rooted chervil
Allium cernuum “White Max”
Allium cernuum “Dark Scape”
Allium insubricum
Allium schoenoprasum «Black Isle Blush»
Sonchus kirkii
Allium hymenorrhizum
Allium cernuum «Mix»
Symphytum x uplandicum “Bocking 14″, root cuttings
Rabarbra «Træna», vigorous early variety found on the island Træna

Saving seed from edible plants

An album for a “few” pictures from the wild and wonderful world of seed collecting…..

Siskins and birch

Birch seed scales are currently falling in the garden thanks to the feeding of siskins (grønnsisik)….
Added videos of a siskin feeding on fallen birch seed next to the entrance to the garden…this one allowed me to stand only 2m away and film:

…and above the siskins were feeding in the birch trees

…joined briefly by a Robin

…and showing the proximity to the road


Kamouraska and La société des plantes

Thank you to Charles “Mr. Accordion Pissenlit” Frandelion for asking me over to Saint-Pascal (in the Kamouraska municipality) east of Quebec City and entertaining me with a great day enjoying the nature of his area and visiting the headquarters of La société des plantes, run by the legendary Patrice Fortier​ (, where he works! Patrice was sadly in Italy…we will meet next time!