Stussvik and Vidar Rune Synnevåg

On my way from Hardanger (Eirik Lillebøe Wiken​ and Hege Iren Svendsen​) to my walk and talk in Bergen in September 2016, I had a great evening with my friend Vidar-Rune Synnevåg. He is one of the most important figures in the organic movement here in Norway from the early 1970s, working towards self-sufficiency, organic farming as well as being a skilled house architect and boat builder. As a young man, he worked towards an alternative future from the early days through talks, articles, books and TV and radio appearances! A great inspiration for many of us here in Norway! And he is working just as hard today towards a better future, including as leader of the board until recently of the  (formerly the Nordic Peace Academy).
See the opening talk he gave 2 years ago (in Norwegian)

See more from my last visit two years ago here

See pictures from Vidar-Rune’s place and dinner with “neighbours” Veronica and Dag Kyrre Lygre and garden visit chez Aase Kristensen

Malabar spinach in my bedroom….

Green and red stems of the two varieties intertwined next to my bed
Flowers and swelling seeds/fruit…
From outside, the Basella is growing behind two different varieties of tiger nuts (Cyperus esculentus)
Green and red stems of the two varieties intertwined next to my bed
All three of the Basellaceae for Xmas dinner 2007 – Madeira vine, ullucos and potatoes with Malabar spinach on the right!

I have Malabar spinach (also known as Ceylon spinach or just Basella), a vigorous climbing spinach which isn’t hardy outside here, but grows very well and sets seed every years in an unheated bedroom, this year in my bedroom…should I be worried it might strangle me in its sleep?
It’s in the Basellaceae alongside Madeira Vine (Anredera cordifolia) and Ulluco (Ullucus tuberosus), both of which have both edible tubers and leaves… I actually included all 3 of these in Xmas dinner one year (picture below) :)
Malabar spinach can be harvested here – I usually take a few leaves and mix with other greens – from August right into the depths of winter, a great winter leafy green house plant!  This year I have both green (Basella alba) and red-stemmed (Basella alba “Rubra”) varieties growing alongside each other…
I presume that Malabar is the area of southern India where it’s a popular vegetable and I look forward to making Malabar bhaji next time I make an Indian meal!

On she who wrote Jade Balls and Alien Pearls….

Emma “the unconventional ethnobotanist” Cooper has been a favourite blogger in the realm of unusual vegetables for some time and has referenced this my little blog, on several occasions for which I’m deeply grateful <3
So, it was about time I returned the favour….
Emma has for a year now been tendrilling the big wide Internet for vegetable snippets to interest us, in her own words “Tendrils are my (ir)regular round-ups of the intriguing, plant-related goodness I find elsewhere on the interwebs. It’s my gift to you of a weekend of entertaining reading”.. (follow the link to be entertained: and search for tendrils for more of the same, well different…)
I’d encourage you to have a look, you won’t regret it..and she even mentions my “Many uses of Udo” article in the current issue…
Emma is also author of a book with an intriguing title “Jade Pearls and Alien Eyeballs: Unusual People and their Plants” or something like that, featuring a rogues gallery of the vegetable growers world amongst which yours truly features.
Thank you Emma Cooper……