I returned home this afternoon from my 6 city tour of Canada to a beautiful cool day here on the Trondheimsfjord. Spring is further advanced than anywhere I visited in Quebec and Ontario…with many of the early spring flowers now out, blackbirds, robin and chiffchaff singing and an abundance of greens everywhere!
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 moved 10 buckets of roots and stratifying seeds of edible perennials for sprouting and eating before the spring greens come on tap…filling the hungry gap. These have all been outside exposed to the cold since November.
In recent years, I’ve been experimenting with seed of perennials for winter greens, here the first time I’ve tried lovage / løpstikke sprouts. I sowed in November in a large pot left outside as they may not germinate without cold treatment. I then moved inside to an unheated room at the beginning of March and now there’s been mass germination and the taste is pretty good too :)
My favourite seed to sprout in winter is wild buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum), supposedly the wild ancestor of Fagopyrum esculentum the common buckwheat grown for the gluten free grain. I sow it repeatedly in large pots in earth on the window sill in the leaving room. The plants self-sow on my vegetable beds and each plant produces a lot of seed, so i just leave a few to grow and collect all the seed I need. Harvested some sprouts for lunch today: