The rampions (vadderot in Norwegian, Phyteuma in Latin) has been naturalizing in my garden but so far keeping to the cultivated beds. I needed to dig up a few this week as it was outcompeting some other plants I wanted to keep. I cooked the roots and they were delicious and almost fibre-free and used in a salad. Along with other plants in the Campanulaceae this is a very useful root crop for the root hungry gap! And just look at the bumble bees swarming over the flower tops, always the most popular plant for the white-tailed bumblebees (jordhumler), one of the most useful plants to grow, both tasty (I use also spring leaves and flower buds), nice to look at and a pollinator friendly, ticking all 3 boxes required to categorise it as an edi-ento-mental! Thr film shows bumble bees on a white-flowered patch of Phyteuma spicatum (spiked rampion). See also these posts about Phyteuma: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=21018 (an article I wrote on the ethnobotany of Phyteuma “The perennial rampions: Shade tolerant edientomentals”) https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=18624 (Rampions for dinner) https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=11910 (Rapunsel)
We may know that some of are most spectacular butterflies like red admiral (admiral), painted lady (tistelsommerfugl), comma (hvit C), small tortoiseshell (neslesommerfugl) and peacock (dagpåfugløye) may lay their eggs on nettles (Urtica), but did you know that just here in Norway there are 51 species of moths that do the same and two of the most beautiful were in the garden this morning: 1. The burnished brass / mindre båndmetallfly (Diachrysia stenochrysis) 2. The small magpie / nesleengmott (Anania hortulata) So, please keep a patch of nettles in the garden all summer (you can still eat the young shoots)…there are also several birds such as bullfinches (dompap) and finches such as brambling (bjørkefink) that eat the seed in winter!
Continuing a series of visits and projects where art meets my perennial vegetables. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of welcoming a delegation from the National Museum (Nasjonalmuseet), https://www.nasjonalmuseet.no/en Thanks to Heidi Bjerkan of Credo Restaurant who suggested that they should also visit my garden when in Trondheim on a fact-finding mission in connection with a planned exhibition celebrating 20 years of “New Nordic Food” in 2024 (see https://www.nasjonalmuseet.no/aktuelt/2022/nasjonalmuseets-utstillingsprogram)! Credo are one of Trondheim’s acCREDOited Michelin restaurants whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with and advise several times in the past. Here are a couple of pictures from the couple of hours they were here on a wonderful summer day with the garden at its most seductive :) 3 from Nasjonalmuseet with Martin Braathen on the far right with two Hablitzia plants to be planted outside the museum, with two also from Credo including Heidi Bjerkan!
We’ve had a lovely 3 day visit this last weekend from artist Elin Eriksen from Nesodden starting a project based on my perennial vegetables. She sketched and photographed candidate plants in all 3 of my gardens, The Edible Garden, Ringve Botanical Gardens Onion Garden and the World Garden at Væres Venner! We look forward to seeing the results!
Elin has earlier created a poster of birds for Birdlife Norway (also for kids) and recently lead a course in botanical drawing for Sopp og Nyttevekstforbund at Valdres.
Tonight’s perennial vegetables from the garden, used in a stir-fry: Top right and clockwise: Sochan / Cherokee greens tops (Rudbeckia laciniata); Norsk: Kyss-meg- over-gjerde (picture at the bottom) Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) “Skomvær”; Norsk: engsyre (picture at the bottom) Garlic shoots (Allium sativum) from a clump grown as a perennial; Norsk: hvitløk Perennial chicory tops (Cichorium intybus) Urtica platyphylla (a Japanese nettle species; later than Urtica dioica) Cabbage thistle (Cirsium oleraceum); Norsk: kåltistel From top and down Sherpa onion (Allium wallichii); perfect time for harvesting; Norsk: Sherpaløk Hogweed tops (Heracleum); Norsk: bjørnekjeks Hosta fortunei var. albopicta f. aurea Allium nutans; Norsk: Sibirsk nikkeløkSochan tops are excellent A sorrel I collected at Skomvær, an island outermost in the Lofoten Islands; it is floriferous and has a compact growth form!
Growing your own seed often has a positive impact on pollinating insects as here with a female orange tip butterfly (aurorasommerfugl) sitting on flowers of mustard greens / sennepsalat “Giant Red” (Brassica juncea). Eggs of orange tip (Anthocharis cardamines) are always deposited on inflorescences of crucifers like this one (I had seen both male and female early the same day in the same area).
Presenting this year’s udo (Aralia cordata) almost fully extended 🙂 Thanks to Elin Eriksen for the picture (she has been Artist in Residence at the Edible Garden the last few days with focus on perennial vegetables)!
There are two new salsify/havrerot relatives flowering in the garden! Presenting: Tragopogon coloratus (first 3 pictures) ranges in the mountains of Turkey to Iran Tragopogon balcanicus (Balkan goatsbeard) (last 3 pictures) is found throughout the Balkans.
This week, the tastiest part of turkish rocket / russekål (Bunias orientalis), the broccolis (affectionately known as brockets here!), were ready to harvest! Although considered an unwanted invasive nowadays in Norway, my 30 year old plant has never produced a seed. However, the plant died (I thought) a couple of years ago only for a number of new plants to appear from the roots some distance away. I hadn’t realised it did this. I was also puzzled to read on the Norwegian invasive species database that it is biennial and spreads aggressively by seed (see https://artsdatabanken.no/Fab2018/N/602). Anyway, it made a delicious lunch stir-fried with St. George’s mushroom (vårfagerhatt), some leftover cooked potatoes and mixed into scrambled egg with chili and garlic. Read more in my book Around the World in 80 plants.
On 9th April 2016 I was staying with my new friend Tei Kobayashi in the mountains in a lovely village, Nogura, above Ueda in Nagano Prefecture. I was put in touch with Tei through a mutual friend in Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN), Caroline Ho-Bich-Tuyen Dang, when I put out a call for an interpreter when visiting the farm with the underground udo forcing caverns in Tokyo: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=8284 and https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=7499 Tei had kindly agreed to travel down to help out! She took me to see udo (Aralia cordata) being grown on a small farm in her village with a villager who had knowledge of sansai. The new shoots were just appearing through a thick layer of rice husks. Here’s a video and some pictures of this beautiful place! Thanks again to you Tei for your hospitality without which this would never have been possible! There will hopefully be more posts from the visit with Tei as soon as time allows! Tei starts talking about another use of rice husks, in nukazuke, fermented vegetables in rice bran (nuka), see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nukazuke (Thanks to Tei for the following clarification: I just wanted to comment on the Udo cultivation process. I just learned that it is not “nuka “ but “momigara” that the plants are grown in to keep them white. “Momigara is the outermost husk of the rice kernel. “Nuka” is the inner rice hull it is very finely ground into an almost powdery substance. Nuka is the outer covering of the rice that is removed to make it white…it is often polished after the hull is removed”.)
Showing us Chengiopanaxsciadophylloides (koshiabura) which had yet to emerge:
Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden