New study of old Norwegian roof onions!

I’m just passing the mountain village Otta in Gudbrandsdalen on the train . In 2009, I visited several old farms in this area to witness first-hand the old onion turf roofs still to be found nearby and collect some samples (see Norway’s old edible roof gardens are also described in my book Around the World I 80 plants! I recently heard that a botanist, Bjørn Harald Larsen, did a thorough field study of the area last year (2016) and made a number of new finds. His report can be downloaded below (with many new pictures!).  Bjørn Harald has tried to partition his finds of old Allium fistulosum (pipeløk / Welsh onion) in this area as follows: There are now 10 intact roof locations documented of 31 «original known onion roofs»; 12 intact of 16 finds where plants had been moved / planted from older roofs; 2 occurrences where plants have naturalised on dry slopes; a few that have been planted in gardens; and finally two instances where plants seem to originate from other cultivated forms (i.e., plants have a different growth form – I had also noted this when growing out some of these onions in Malvik).

Download (PDF, 17.29MB)

2 thoughts on “New study of old Norwegian roof onions!”

  1. Stephen, I can’t wait to see you when you come out to visit our permaculture groups in Maine and New Hampshire! I was rereading your book and these roof onions are fascinating. Do you know of any source(s) for seeds? Thank you.

    1. Great! Look forward to meeting you!
      No, I don’t know of a seed source. I’m not saving seed this year as I don’t want the different accessions to cross….
      I’ll probably offering vegetative material this fall through Norwegian Seed Savers and maybe other members will offer seed, but you have to be a member ( and click on Bli medlem)

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