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:
On 1st June, I gave a talk at one of Norway’s oldest herb farms, Nordigard Aukrust, run organically by Ola Aukrust since the 1980s. This was my first visit although I’d known of Ola’s work for many years! See the pictures below, including a few Alliums in the beautiful herb garden (immediately below is a summer shot taken from a local tourist page!)
On the bus from the train at Otta to Lom the evening before, I noticed a sign to Valbjør Farm, which my friend and Norwegian Seed Saver (KVANN) Andrew McMillion had visited in 2015. During the visit he had found Allium fistulosum growing on one of the turf roofs and had been given a few onions which he has since shared through KVANN’s Year Book. 10 years ago, I had been on a tour of nearby onion turf roofs near Otta and Vågå (see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=14436). I had heard that there were also onions at Valbjør but hadn’t yet been there. It turned out that the woman who offered to give me a lift from the course at Lom back to Otta, had been at one of my talks some years ago in Heidal. I asked her if we could see Valbjør up on the hills from the main road and told her about the onion roof! Even better, she said, we’ll make a detour to the place.
So, it came to pass that we spent 45 minutes or so at the farm and met the long-term organic farmer, Kai Valbjør, who had run the farm organically since the 1980s and, it turned out, was one of the open organic gardens in the national Norwegian organic network which we and Nordigard Aukrust were part of!! It’s all interconnected!! There was also an overgrown herb garden. Valbjør Farm comprises 13 restored buildings from the 17th, 18th and 19th century and is protected by law. A young couple, Ola og Kjerstin Kaurstad, had bought the farm last year and, in particular, Kjerstin was very interested to learn more about the herbs that had survived, despite the neglect. We spent some time looking for herbs and I took a few with me, in case they turn out to be old! There were a few more surprises, see the album at the bottom of this page!
Where did the Valbjør onions come from?
It turned out that the roof onions at Valbjør had not been there for long and had come from another location. Initial information was that they came from Sve Farm (which I had visited and already had onions in the national onion collection at the Ringve Botanical Garden in Trondheim. Kai Valbjør told that Andrew that they had been given them from herbalist Adi Bertoli at Sjoa. Adi was not sure that it was she who had given the onions to Valbjør, but her roof onions came from seed she was given by botanist Hans Shwenke in Otta (who had been on the tour of roof onion locations 10 years previously). Adi remembered that Hans had his onions from a place called Steberløkken in Kvam. Hans confirmed that the farm was probably called Næsset.
Edimentals is back on tour and today will be introducing the good citizens of Lom in the Norwegian mountains to perennial vegetables and edimentals around the world at Aukrust Gard og Urteri!
A series of shots from my hotel room overlooking the famous stave church in the town centre!
Jeg holdte vedlagt presentasjon denne uken om status med KVANNs første hagene hos Væres Venner like utenfor Trondheim (Ranheim).
Vi trenger flere som har lyst å hjelpe til…ta gjerne kontakt isåfall!
Vi besøker hagen under KVANNs årsmøte helg 5. mai! Alle er velkommen!
English: This is a presentation of the first year’s work and status of KVANN’s (Norwegian Seed Savers) new gardens at the Væres Venner Community Garden in Trondheim. Pictures of both the World Garden and Vegetable Sanctuary are shown.
My second talk in the UK was in Cobham in Surrey for Plant Heritage, an organisation that administers 620 national plant collections (https://www.nccpg.com) including Jackie Currie’s national Allium collection. She is the reason I was asked to give this talk as I visited her a year ago! For the fourth time I gave a talk in a church (St. Andrew’s) as there was a double booking in the church hall (I talked in the church at Todmorden a few years ago and twice in churches in Ottawa!). A well attended evening with a knowledgeable group and several said they would be trying Hosta this spring :)
Thanks to board member Wendy Bentall who picked me up at Wisley and put me up for the night in, naturally, the Priest House flat in her garden which is in another village, Chobham, only 20 minutes away from Cobham!
I’m very chuffed and honoured to have been asked to be guest speaker at next year’s Midwest Wild Harvest Festival on September 27-29. The festival is organised by Melissa Price and my favourite foraging author Samuel Thayer!
Norwegian: I september 2012 besøkte jeg Grimstad for å snakke om min bok Around the World in 80 plants som snart skulle se dagens lys! Jeg holdt et foredrag for Grimstad bys museum og Aust-Agder sopp- og nyttevekstforening. Jeg ble også invitert til Bioforsk Landvik hvor Åsmund Asdal fra genressursenteret hadde et kontor. Jeg hadde samarbeidet med Åsmund over flere år som leder av Planteklubben for Grønnsaker (Norwegian Seed Savers). Jeg ga en kort foredrag for staben etterfulgt av en tur på forsøksarealene for å se førstehånd flere av klonsamlingene som Planteklubben mottok materiale fra hvert år!
English:In September 2012, I visited Grimstad in the south of Norway to give a talk about my soon to be published book Around the World in 80 plants to Grimstad bys museer and Aust-Agder sopp- og nyttevekstforening (the museum and local group of the Norwegian Useful Plants Society). I was also invited to nearby Bioforsk Landvik where Åsmund Asdal of the Norwegian Genetic Resource Centre had an office. I had collaborated with Åsmund over a number of years as leader of Norwegian Seed Savers (Planteklubben for Grønnsaker). I gave a short afternoon talk to the staff followed by a tour of the grounds to see first hand several of the clonal collections that Planteklubben received material from each year!