From Malta to Japan and back again

The article below, published in Grobladet in 2006 is the story (in Norwegian) of how one of the commonest spring flowers in the Mediterranean countries became one of the most important vegetables in Japan, yet was completely forgotten at home…this is the story of shungiku, the edible-leaved Chrysanthemum, Glebionis coronaria.

Download (PDF, 2.69MB)

Grobladet was the magazine of Oikos, Norway’s biggest organic organisation.


Yesterday afternoon (8th May 2017) before my evening talk at Nabolagshager, I was invited by Heidi Bjerkan to visit her newest project, Vippa, in Oslo and what a fantastic place it is with amazing views of the Oslo harbour, Hovedøya and Ekeberg (see the pictures)! Project Vippa on Vippetangen in Oslo is a response to Oslo Harbour Authority’s wish for serious projects that can contribute to the revitalization of this area. Heidi Bjerkan, who has previously worked as head chef for the Norwegian royal household (slottet) and whom I’ve got to know in Trondheim where her main project is the restaurant Credo, and in particular through our collaboration during the Trondheim film festival Kosmorama in March (see and ). Credo is currently re-establishing itself in a new location in Trondheim.
With these two projects running in parallel, Heidi is an extremely busy woman! Vippa opened only a month ago with its streetfood concept and already has a good reputation (most people that I’d asked knew about it) and the number of people visiting has been over expectations. The aim is that Vippa will be a food, culture and learning centre for the people. I am privileged to have been asked to act as adviser and inspirator for local farms producing the food for both restaurants and planting of edimentals around the restaurants and on the roof of Vippa, in particular perennial permaculture inspired plants! I am happy to do this as sustainable food production and recycling of food waste to make soil is an important part of both Credo and Vippa concepts and the adoption of permaculture in this way may be a first!

 …and this room will be a popular place to hold courses and talks!


I had a little time to spare on Monday 8th May 2017, before my talk in the evening in Oslo. I went for a little walk on the coastal path (kyststien) on Nesodden where my son lives. Here’s a few pictures…

Incredible Edible Jevnaker

Picture of the course participants by Anita Neby​

What an amazing group of people who had assembled in Jevnaker at the weekend to learn more about perennial vegetables, edible weeds and edimentals! It was sad to leave…
Thanks to Trude Skåre Johansen of Jevnaker Hage and Mr. Permaculture Norway himself, Jan Bang for arranging the weekend!

The Hablitzia salad, mostly Hablitzia shoots plus ground elder (skvallerkål), dandelion (løvetann), wild hop (humle), chicago onion (Allium cernuum), Allium scorodoparasum (bendelløk), primrose x oxlip hybrid (kusymre x hagenøkleblom), Primula elatior (oxlip / hagenøkleblom), Allium triquetrum, Allium paradoxum, Arabis alpina (flowers), Cardamine pentaphyllos (flowers), Primula denticulata (Kuleprimula; flowers)
Great to finally stay with Jan Bang…who has a fantastic sunset…
I admit that I did have a little slice of this cake at the weekend…