I enjoyed my visit to Jøssåsen Landsby (Camphill Village) here in Malvik in the inland higher part of Malvik kommune. It’s too long since I visited! Inger Line Ødegård, who is also KVANN’s (Norwegian Seed Savers) events secretary, had invited me up to do a walk and talk about the edible wild and cultivated plants. Inger Line is working at Jøssåsen as part of her biodynamic BINGN education.
We found both planted Hosta, Daylilies and Hops around the houses. We also found many wild edibles, notably burdock (Arctium tomentosum), alpine bistort (harerug), caraway (karve) and sorrel (engsyre). We talked about the huge potential of growing perennial vegetables in higher areas like Jøssåsen and KVANN’s Sansai group which are trialling perennials in mountain areas.
After the walk, Inger Line showed me the vegetable gardens and greenhouse which she has responsibility for.
During KVANN’s (Norwegian Seed Savers) annual meeting weekend in Trondheim we had an official opening ceremony for my garden, The Edible Garden (Den Spiselige Hagen), as a Permaculture LAND Centre, the 3rd in Norway. The official opening was fun and can be seen in the second video. Owner of Norway’s first LAND centre, Eirik Lillebøe Wiken performs the official opening from ca. 18.00 in the second video!
The videos are mostly in Norwegian!
I’m making the most of my invite to the Mid-West Wild Harvest Festival at the end of September, where I get to teach alongside great North American foraging authors Sam Thayer, Leda Meredith, Ellen Zachos and others! I am pleased to announce a number of other events including a walk and talk with the great Joe Hollis at Mountain Gardens in North Carolina and an event put on by the one and only Eric Toensmeier in Holyoke, Western Massachusetts (I’m promised ripe pawpaws and American persimmons!), followed by a series of other talks in New England organised by my friend Aaron Parker of Edgewood Nursery near Portland! Here is the whole list (still possibilities in Boston and New York):
22nd September: Walk and talk with the great Joe Hollis at Mountain Gardens (near Asheville, North Carolina) (see https://www.mountaingardensherbs.com and https://www.facebook.com/MountainGardensHerbs); details not available yet!
24th September: Evening talk at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, Georgia; details not available yet!
26th September:Visit and talk at Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa!
1st October: Talk organised by author of Perennial Vegetables and other great books, Eric Toensmeier in Holyoke, Western Massachusetts (details not available yet).
3rd October: Talk “Around the World in 80 Plants: New England to the Mediterranean” organised by Aaron Parker of https://www.facebook.com/pg/EdgewoodNursery in or around Portland, Maine (details not available yet). The talk continues with the rest of the world in Portsmouth the next day:
Grand Opening of The Edible Garden Permaculture LAND Centre
(Thanks to Berit Børte, Kjell Hødnebø, Lone Dybdal, Elin Mar, Bell Batta Torheim, Inger Line Skurdal Ødegård and Margaret M. Anderson for the pictures )
Sunday 5th May was a cold showery day here in Malvik and the 3rd day of KVANN’s (Norwegian Seed Savers) annual meeting weekend in Trondheim and Malvik. This was also the day of the official opening of my garden as a Permaculture LAND centre, which was celebrated by a primula ribbon cutting ceremony and the LAND multi-species salad (how many ingredients? See below!). Meg had decorated the gate for the occasion, now a permanent feature:
25 participants from all over Norway met in the garden at 10:30. Due to the weather, we moved inside where I gave an introduction to how the garden had developed into a permaculture Forest Garden despite the fact that I knew nothing of permaculture principles! The rain eased off, so we moved outside for a walk and talk around the garden with focus on the plants. The album below shows some of the plants we talked about:
I had got up at 6 am to pick the ingredients for the multi-species salad we made for lunch (all 146 ingredients) to celebrate the garden’s LAND status!
LAND: Learning And Network Demonstration network – a network of permaculture sites. Sites are set up to show permaculture in practice to visitors and volunteers in a safe, accessible and inspiring way. There are a number of requirements to receive LAND certification, one of which was that I had to have a PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate) which I took in 2017, sharing the teaching with Jan Bang (yes, I taught myself the plants part of the course!)
Many thanks to my friend Alfredo Sendim for inviting me to hold a course at his amazingly diverse Herdade do Freixo do Meio farm. It is run as a cooperative using many innovative agricultural methods, inspired in particular by Ernst Goetsch and Syntropic Farming! I was very happy that Fernanda Botelho also joined us to share her knowledge on local edible plants!
The 3 videos at the end show Agroforestry methods on the farm at Freixo do Meio, olives intercropped with a wide diversity of edibles and other useful plants!
Clouded yellow butterfly on lucerne:
Agroforestry methods on the farm at Freixo do Meio, olives intercropped with a wide diversity of edibles and other useful plants:
In the morning of the masterclass on permaveggies on 1st November 2018 organised by the Janas Ecovillage, we visited Jardim da Condessa D’Edla in collaboration with the Sintra Natural Parks! Fernanda Botelho and myself lead the tour of this amazing place seeking out a large diversity of edible plants, both wild and cultivated :)
On 4th April 2018, I took advantage of my trip to Switzerland to attend the The Potential of Perennials for Food Resilience symposium to visit KVANN’s (Norwegian Seed Savers) sister organisation Pro Specie Rara in Basel. Many thanks to Director Béla Bartha (since 2002) and Head of Education, Esther Meduna for making me feel so welcome. The trial grounds and offices of Pro Specie Rara are located in the Merian Gärten, a botanical garden in Basel. I lead a walk and talk of the trial grounds and botanical collections followed by an evening lecture at Markthalle in the centre of Basel! A great place for a seed saver organisation to be located! Béla also showed me their seed vault a specially climate controlled room (15C and 15% humidity). The walk and talk was sadly interrupted by heavy rain and we moved indoors and I did a short version of my evening lecture instead!
Day 3 of the KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers) meet was at the Ringve Botanical Garden Open Day in Trondheim. The day started early as I drove one of the participants to the station in Trondheim and then spent a couple of hours collecting some of the ingredients for a multi-species salad. Including plants collected on a walk, talk and forage for KVANN members, we managed 111 ingredients in the salad! Thanks to all who helped make it a very successful and fun weekend!