In June 2009, I was shown the only naturalised stand of victory onion (Allium victorialis) in south western Norway (away from Lofoten Islands – Vestvågøy – and Bodø area where there are several large populations). It’s found in a damp wood (which regularly floods in spring) along the Granvinselven. Please refer to my book Around the World in 80 plants for more information about this fantastic onion!! This onion can grow both in shady and full sun localities:
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!
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!
I’ve also harvested onions of Allium stipitatum “Album”, one of the so-called Ornamental onions…but for those in the know also a fantastic Edimental onion. I bought this one as Allium rosenbachianum “Album” from Taylor’s bulbs in 2009. My friend, THE onion man,Mark McDonough tentatively ID’d it rather as Allium stipitatum “Album” – a bit disappointed as I’d just discovered a paper documenting the traditional use of the young leaves of rosenbachianum in traditional soup dishes in Tajikistan (see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=6578). However, stipitatum is one of at least 3 species of onion of which the bulbs are harvested, sliced and dried and sold as Persian shallots around the world. I’d earlier blogged about a second tall edimental onion I was growing; ID’d by Dutch onion grower Wietse Mellema as probably Allium altissimum (but bought as Allium hirtifolium “Album”) (see my blog A Year in the life of the Persian Shallot – http://tinyurl.com/jexyak7 and
http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=893). However, Wietse commented this summer that he didn’t think it was altissimum….so still unsure what this is…
Anyway, I harvested the largest onions, replanted the smaller ones and they are now drying along with apples above my wood stove…must remember to mark them as onions when dried this year as the last time I did this somebody ate one thinking they were apples ;)
I also discovered that the roots that the bulbs had already put down in preparation of spring were tasty and crunchy…. to be used in tonight’s salad!
Illustrating the beauty of this plant even in fruit in early October and the large differences of different accessions of the same species..
Here are a few of my Allium victorialis pictures from the 2014 onion safari to the Lofoten Islands! The aim was to see the naturalised stands of viking onion / seiersløk on the island Vestvågøy, quite possibly a viking introduction…it grows commonly around the Borg viking museum (on the site of an old viking settlement)…much more in my book on this amazingly tasty, healthy, shade-tolerant and productive onion!
Follow the link to the original FB album:
The document below is in Norwegian but contains many pictures from my first visit to Vestvågøy in the Lofoten Islands to see the stands of naturalised victory onion (seiersløk), Allium victorialis, including a harvesting trip with Judith van Koesveld (she and her partner Christoph produce a local pesto from the plants). The document also contains an account of a visit to Brynhild Mørkved at the botanical gardens in Tromsø to see the collection of Allium victorialis accessions from different parts of this onion’s extensive range (from the Pyrenees to Japan). Plants vary quite a lot in their form. Finally, I visited Geir Flatabø in Ulvik (Hardanger) in south west Norway and he showed me the large naturalised stand of this plant next to the Granvin river. There are also a few pictures from a collection of heritage ornamentals at the Lofotmuseet and from a visit to a once great but now derelict garden at Finneset (Steinhagen). All pictures were taken in June 2009.
Mostly annuals and biannuals tonight, but still 1/3 of the 41 ingredients are perennials!