The last time I blogged about this Physalis it was 7 years old. It is now 13 and still going strong. The last time I wrote about it, I wrote the following: “This Physalis which I’ve called “Indian Strain” is now going into its 7th year. I got this from Seed Savers Exchange in the US. However, that one is supposed to be a tomatillo and I wonder if I mixed it up with another I got at about the same time, P. heterophylla, clammy ground cherry, although the stems are not clammy (sticky) to the feel. That would explain it’s hardiness as it is found in the wild north to Canada (see http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PHHEH3). I definitely planted heterophylla in the garden and it’s survived since 2009 without winter protection, but the summer is just too cold for fruit (it does flower). It lives in a cold bedroom all year and produces a few fruit most of the year, even continuing to ripen fruit despite the temperature being often under 10C. The fruit are sweet and have good flavour. It’s not hugely productive but little bother (aphids don’t bother it). I cut it back when it gets too straggly”. I repotted one of them today and cut all 3 plants back to 1/3 height (it reaches the ceiling). The conclusion is that it is a cape gooseberry / goldenberry (Physalis peruviana).
I had been asked if I had photos of the roots of chicory (sikkori) and sweet cicely (Spansk kjørvel) for a talk about wild edible roots. I therefore dug some from the garden. Inspired by traditional Mediterranean ways of preparing wild and cultivated vegetables, I boiled the roots and they were then stir-fried with onions and winter chantarelle mushrooms before being added to scrambled egg (see the pictures for more). All the roots on the perennial chicory were far too fibrous to eat, but the sweet cicely roots were good (at least the younger ones!) More or less any vegetable can be prepared this way! Simple is best!
I harvested two of the more beautiful broad (fava) beans I’ve grown yesterday, both of which originate in Canada. Red Cheek and Fingerprint favas. The diversity of forms, colours and sizes in these beans doesn’t cease to amaze me! I will definitely be trying to maintain these forms within my grex of broad beans (selection for a wide diversity of different forms every year and all planted close together so that they will cross promiscuously)! Read legendary Will Bonsall’s article on fava beans where he talks about the diversity of forms and his collection of 250 varieties he maintains for Seed Savers Exchange: https://www.mofga.org/resources/beans/favas
I harvested the last potatoes yesterday. This variety is Sharpe’s Express, an English variety from 1900 developed by a Mr. Sharpe in Lincolnshire. Although an early variety, I planted them late in June just before I left for my Dad’s funeral. He had told me that he grew this variety during the war and having a few seed left it felt right to plant them <3 Historically, this is a variety commonly grown in Norway and rated by many as the best tasting of all varieties. Surprisingly, they didn’t get blight. I got these as virus-cleaned mini tubers as part of KVANN’s (Norwegian Seed Savers) potato project.
Spending so much time in the 3 gardens I look after – The Edible Garden; The World and Demonstration Gardens at Væres Venner Community Garden and the Allium Garden Chicago at the Ringve Botanical Gardens in Trondheim – I don’t get into the surrounding forest so often. Yesterday, we had a fantastic day foraging fungi in the forest nearby in Malvik and the forest shared with us and these will mostly be dried. The following edibles were picked: Winter chanterelle / traktkantarell (grows in damp mossy locations in the forest) Gul trompetsopp / yellow foot (on the edge of bogs) Chantarelle / Kantarell – a bit late for this, but we nevertheless found a few patches Rødgul piggsopp / terracotta hedgehog Piggsopp / hedgehog fungus (Hydnum rufescens)
(Norwegian under) This year was the 20th season of growing Sarpo potatoes here in Malvik/Trondheim and yields are as good as ever with 100% blight resistance! These were harvested from the community garden at Væres Venner in Trondheim this week. My favourite variety is Sarpo Tominia which seems to be a little earlier and therefore better for areas with early frost (they remain vigorous right through to the time when the first hard frosts kill the foliage). I’ve also grown Sarpo Mira since 2009 and have also tried Sarpo Axona and “Sarpo Surprise” (from true seed). Norwegian: I år var det den 20. sesongen med dyrking av Sarpo-poteter her i Malvik/Trondheim og avlingene er like gode som alltid med 100 % tørråte-resistens! Disse ble høstet fra felleshagen på Væres Venner i Trondheim denne uken. Min favorittsort er Sarpo Tominia som ser ut til å være litt tidligere og derfor bedre for områder med tidlig frost (den vokser helt frem til de hardfrostene). Jeg har også dyrket Sarpo Mira siden 2009 og har også prøvd Sarpo Axona og “Sarpo Surprise” fra ekte frø.
Back in April 2017 I had been invited by Jean-Martin Fortier to give a seminar on perennial vegetables to the staff of La Ferme des Quatre Temps, an amazing farm near Hemmingford, Quebec. Jean-Martin is well-known for his book “The Market Gardener” (see https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=12597). I used the opportunity to travel around Canada and ended up in Quebec where I had been invited to visit namesake Patrice Fortier who runs an alternative seed company La société des plantes. Sadly Patrice was on a trip to Italy, but I nevertheless had a great couple of days in Kamouraska, see https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=10384 We kept in touch and earlier this year he asked if he could interview me for his new print-zine Mi-Sauvage: Les Adventices (Half-wild: The Weeds) has now been published and can be ordered from Patrice here: https://www.lasocietedesplantes.com/blogue/ It can’t be bad with a lovely illustration of a dandelion on the front. I just wish I had payed more attention in my French lessons :) (however, modern technology allows me to scan and translate!)
The climate is such here that starting runner beans / blomsterbønner (Phaseolus coccineus) in mid-May they normally aren’t ready to harvest until September and the first frosts in October usually stop their development. Growing seed to maturity is also a challenge in many years, so it’s difficult to select better and earlier varieties more suited to my climate. Early October and we are only just managing to eat all the runner beans. Only once in the almost 40 years I’ve been growing them here was there such a big harvest that I had to preserve them. Not having a freezer, they were salted for later use. These were used in a fish soup this week, sliced using an English runner bean shredder! I grew two varieties this year, the heirloom Painted Lady with bicoloured red and white flowers and red flowered Firestorm with very long stringless beans. Firestorm was a little later. They were transplanted outside at home and in the Americas part of the World Garden at the Væres Venner Community Garden.
Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden