Category Archives: Fruit

Saturday in Hurdal

Good to meet Randy Gunnar Lange and Ingunn Bohmann of Eikeløkka in Hurdal on Sunday! Eikeløkka is a permaculture farm under development on the island group Hvaler in the far south east of Norway!
Randy and Ingunn are currently doing the PDC course in Malvik!
More on Eikeløkka here:

Perennialen III: Alvastien Telste – from fjord to shieling

Documentation of yet another amazing day during last week’s Perennialen III in Hardanger!! Pictures taken on a fantastic 6-7 hour round trip from Eirik Lillebøe Wiken​ and Hege Iren Aasdal Wiken​’s house to their shieling (støl or seter in Norwegian). We took our time botanising on the way up, passing through different types of forest on the way up, from alder (or), ash (ask), planted spruce (gran), lime (lind), elm (alm), hazel (hassel), aspen (osp) and birch (bjørk) at the highest levels. Lower down, old apple trees witnessed that these steep slopes had at one time been worked for fruit production, no easy matter….
Eirik and Hege are planning to rejuvenate and replant some of this area and have planted a multispecies forest garden above and below the house, probably one of the most dramatic forest gardens in the world (more later).

Ostrich Fern (strutseving)

Ants on pine tree

Aspen (osp) and the fjord

Young blackcap (munk)

Raspberry Bilberry Leather

Fruit leather is a quick way to preserve a surplus of fruit.  I neither use sugar nor Stevia and don’t have a freezer (by choice), so I dry a lot of fruit from the garden and nature . I had too many raspberries in the garden and also bilberries picked the other week in Hurdal. I just boiled and crushed the fruit with a little water and then poured it as a thin layer into an oven tray and dried at about 50C in an oven for a few hours! This is much quicker than drying the whole berries. The leather can then be kept in a cool dry place for several years. Delicious as a goody to offer visitors!
I used an old red raspberry, originally from the old railway station garden in Malvik, an old Norwegian yellow raspberry and “White Russian” (yellow with a white blush):

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The Hampshire Walled Vineyard

Late April 2017 and I finally got round to visit some folks in South Hampshire who I’d met at the Walled Kitchen Garden Forum weekend at Croome in 2015! I love enthusiastic people who are willing to take risks…Tim Phillips is one of these…in his own words “His once abandoned 19th century kitchen garden in Hampshire provides a fantastic environment for…Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc vines. The combination of gravel soils, Lymington’s maritime climate and the thermal properties of the walls offer a unique vine-growing opportunity from which both still and sparkling wines are crafted”.. (see http://www.charlieherring.com/)
On the day of my visit, Tim had been up all night keeping his vines from freezing by burning wood fires in the vineyard….this strategy seems to have saved the crop from a complete failure of the 2017 vintage :) This problem wasn’t restricted to England but also famous wine growing areas in France: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/29/in-pictures-french-farmers-use-fire-to-try-to-save-their-vineyards.html
I look forward to returning in a few years to view you sea kale production areas ;)

Extreme winter record salad

 

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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!

http://kosmorama.no/en/2016/12/gourmet-cinema-in-defense-of-food

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!

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Celebrating chili diversity at Chelsea

Mainly for my friend the Extreme Chili Guy, Chris Fowler, who reportedly maintains a collection of over 1,000 chilis in South Wales, here’s an album of pictures from a little exhibition showing off the diversity of chilis at Chelsea Physic Garden this autumn!

First load of wood dried apples

My first (of many) loads of apples drying over the wood stove!

I’m 100% self-sufficient in fruit and never buy bananas, oranges etc. and don’t use a freezer. When the apples are properly dried, they can be stored for several years (so if there’s a bad apple year next year I also have fruit next year…it’s a good year this year so I dry as much as possible). When fresh fruit isn’t available (typically from February to June), I use only dried fruit. Dried apples are fantastic to eat as they are and are popular with guests as snacks and also a perfect present for family and friends. I eat a home made muesli for breakfast every morning – large organic oat flakes that I buy in large sacks and I mix with various nuts. I soak a mix of dried fruit (apple, cherry, bilberry, plums, saskatoons etc.) and use them on the muesli.

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