Category Archives: Talks


I was very pleased to be invited to give a talk organised by the Curtis Museum in Alton, Hampshire, UK, not far from where I grew up in Eastleigh, Hants.

In my book I introduce the Hampshire towns of Alresford (watercress), Selborne (Gilbert White and sea kale) and Alton as the “Hampshire perennial vegetable triangle” or the UK hotspot of perennial vegetable domestication. Alton is included as the home of botanist William Curtis, who was Praefectus Horti at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London in the 1770s. He was also a friend of Gilbert White! He wrote a pamphlet, ‘Directions for the culture of the Crambe maritima or Sea Kale, for the use of the Table’ in 1799 to bolster efforts in introducing it as a market vegetable.
See the album of pictures from a wander around Alton with Sheila John of the Curtis museum, edimentals tour of the Allen Gallery garden and later talk there! See the album below!
Other related posts:

Directions for the culture of Sea Kale (1799)

The Hampshire Perennial Vegetable Triangle

Lecture at the Hillier Gardens

Hampshire’s Watercress Line

Centretown United Church and Ottawa snowchokes

Last night, the wonderful folks of Ottawa had what was advertised as “A night with Stephen Barstow”.  A great communicative crowd too and thanks for making my book load considerably lighter! I’ll come back and finish my story sometime soon :)
Last time I was in the city I talked in All Saints Church! Thanks all! Hope to see many more perennials next time!

Join me for a weekend in Sogn and Hardanger


On my way to Canada, I’m doing a slight detour to Hardanger and Sogn in western Norway where I’m giving a talk for Sogn Jord- og Hagebruksskule  (1700-1900) at Marianne Bakeri & Kafè in Aurdal (free entrance) next Friday 24th March (see also .

I then travel on to Jondal where I’m taking part at a weekend course in small scale organic cultivation at the Hardanger Academy. See the press release below (and at )

Pressemelding frå Hardangerakademiet,  mars 2017

 Interessert i giftfri, trygg og sunn mat, kurs i økologisk dyrking?

Den sjette seminarhelga   i Hardangerakademiets grunnkursserie går 24. – 26. mars. Tema er: ET  LAND – OG HAGEBRUK NÆRMERE NATUREN .

Økologisk dyrking for småskala yrkesdyrking og hagebruk.  

 Kurset har både praktiske tema om jordpleie,   levande og frisk jord, om dyrking av grønsaker, frukt og ber, permanent   hagebruk med fleirårige, spiselege vekster og meir teoretiske tema som   utviklinga av jordbruket historisk og i framtida.

Føredraga omhandlar t.d. biologisk dynamisk   dyrking, organisk biologisk dyrking og økologisk landbruk for framtida,   samanhengar frå jord til bord til helse, landbrukets forhold til klima, miljø, jordliv, insekt, fuglar, mm. og  landbruksutviklinga frå middelalderen til   framtida.

Føredragshaldarar er: Arvid Wold, agronom,   Dan Ente, gartnar, Vidar-Rune Synnevåg, gardbrukar,  Reidun   Pommeresche, siv.agronom og forskar,  Tom Harald   Eckell, økogardbrukar, Stephen Barstow, forskar – og mye anna.

 Dette er det siste helgeseminaret i akademiet sitt grunnkursserie  for undervisningsåret 2016/2017. Til hausten startar ein opp med eit nytt grunnkurs i fred, utvikling og miljø.

Det er mogleg å delta på ein av dagane eller på enkeltføredrag. Påmelding og kontaktinfo ligg på heimesida til Hardangerakademiet og på Facebook.

Gjør denne våren til din beste vår! Start med kurs i økologisk dyrking!

Around the world in 80 plant video from Hurdal

Presenting the entire 3 hour Around the World in 80 plants talk (in English for the first time), which was live streamed yesterday from Kjøkkenhagen in Hurdal Ecovillage, Norway across the world wide web . Links to the 3 parts, so far only on Facebook here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Some 100 vegetable fanatics had found their way to Hurdal for this “sell out” event. A fantastic international crowd of knowledgeable folks of all ages! Thanks specially to Berit Børte who arranged and promoted the event and to Ane Mari Aakernes for filming!! I’ll be back!!
Thanks also to the board of the newly established Norwegian Seed Savers organisation who had a successful steering committee meeting without me in parallel with my talk…you’ll see them at the end of Part 3!

The vegetable crowd!


Mini tour of Canada

Thanks to my long-term “virtual” friend, vegetable and fertilizer innovator extraodinaire Michel Lachaume, I have been invited by well-known Québécois farmer and author Jean-Martin Fortier to hold a seminar at the farm he manages in Hemmingford, Quebec: permaculture-inspired  la Ferme des Quatres-temps for leading chefs in the area! This will probably be on 11th April!

You can read more about Jean-Martin here:

I’m going to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to do a little mini-tour of Canada, do a bit of teaching, learning and experience early spring edibles in another part of the world in nature and gardens! Here’s my rough tentative itinerary
Arrive Vancouver 28th March
29th March – 4th April: Salt Spring Island – Victoria –  Vancouver
(5th – 6th April) Halifax, NS (uncertain)
7th – 12th (Montreal – Quebec – Ottawa area) with 11th at the farm!
13th Toronto (Botanical garden?)
13th Evening flight back to Norway!

A visit to Riverton in March 2015!

At the end of March 2015, I visited the small town of Riverton (Maori: Aparima) (population 1,430) in New Zealand to give a talk at the Riverton Heritage Harvest Festival!  The invite to give a talk had come about by way of my friend Steve Hart who I had met at the European Permaculture Convergence in Bulgaria. Steve (who is from NZ) and his lovely lady Martina had moved to NZ  that same summer and when I contacted them for suggestions for places to visit / talk, Steve was quick to recommended me to the organisers of the Riverton festival which coincided with my visit! A second contact, Jutta (now Jane) Meiforth who headed the local permaculture group here in Trondheim but who had also moved recently to NZ, wrote to me:   “….you should try to visit the food forest belonging to Robert and Robyn Guyton:”  The video above convinced me that this event was essential on my tour of NZ (the Guytons were also central organisers of the festival!)

I’d been meaning to post something about my visit to the Guyton’s forest garden and the festival for a long time. What inspired me to do this was a fantastic new video of the Guytons’ food forest which my friend Peat Miller Moss ( a Kiwi who has strong Norwegian connections!). See

If you watch the two videos above you will understand why I think (and hope) that one day Riverton and the Guytons will be recognised as one of the main global origins of the evolution of the New World diversified Perma-order! It really is an inspiring place, particularly as it started as degraded land, and the Guytons have inspired many New Zealand gardeners to plant food forests and, I’m told, have inspired folks to settle in Riverton, resulting in a hike in house prices! Nevertheless, there’s no mention of the Guytons and these  very important developments on the town’s wikipedia page!

Below are 3 galleries of my own pictures from my visit to Riverton.  The first gallery shows pictures from the food forest…unfortunately my best camera failed and it was getting dark and not the best time to visit being autumn….so these pictures don’t really do the place credit!

The gallery below has been posted before (FB: and shows the great display of heirloom potatoes, apples and tomatoes at the Festival! See
It includes various Maori potatoes (

Finally, a gallery of other pictures taken at the festival which was held at the Aparima College Hall in Riverton

After the festival was a great Pot luck Traditional Heritage Feast on the Saturday night! I remember teaching how to fold your own traditional seed packet sometime that evening. The following link shows how!
I learned this some 30 years ago from my gardening friend Marie Gaden (now 86) who told me she had learned the technique from an old lady! Here’s one of Marie’s seed packets photographed on her table 2 years ago!
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Weekend course at Nesheimstunet

A few pictures from this weekend’s course on perennial vegetables based on my book for Haugaland sopp- og nyttevekstforening (Haugaland useful plant society). I gave two 4 hour talks on Saturday and Sunday, but still had to skip a few plants….
Thanks to Gro Hetland for inviting me!