Riceroot and Hog Peanuts

I like the comment by Eve Emshwiller in the interesting article http://whyfiles.org/2012/farming-native-american-style  looking at how to learn from how the Native Americans had developed stable, sophisticated food-gathering systems:
“There were a lot of people who were not considered agriculturalists, who were [supposedly] just gathering from the wild. But if you really understand what they were doing, there is not a sharp line between gathering and farming. There is a huge continuum of ways that people manage resources and get more from them.”  This is a message that I try to get across in my book where many examples are given of this continuum between foraging and gardening.

I grow a couple of the wild gathered tubers mentioned in the article. First, Riceroot is a really hardy edimental  and an important foraged food plant across its range (the first group of pictures below). The last three pictures are of Hog peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata).

A beautiful yellow flowered form of rice-root
The rice is the small bulbils just below the surface
Fritillaria camschatensis with the normal coloured flowers known as Svartlilje (Black Lily) here in Norway

Continue reading Riceroot and Hog Peanuts


The ATW selfie is going viral worldwide…. ;) Send me yours and it will be added…you will be showing support of a very good cause: the conservation of the amazing diversity of food plants Around the World!

Thanks for this one, Søren Holt!! Here he is with his ATW selfie and his favourite edimental, Allium victorialis – read my book to understand why :)
Søren Holt with one of the great edimentals that didn’t make it into the book, Ligularia fischeri!


Thank you Bunkie Weir for this one…I’m assured the book was read rather than burned ;)

Thank you Maxime Dufresne!!

Thank you Kelli Ploeger Hinn!


Chris Fowler isn’t very experience with selfies and missed!
…and thank you Knut Poulsen..you may remember I visited his interesting gardens in Denmark this summer: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=6205




Joe Atkinson, Permaculture teacher during his October 2016 Design tools and principals in Permaculture course at Naturplanteskolen in Denmark (photo: Aiah Noack)


Honorata Gajda from the Norwegian Botanical Association!


Luan Van Le​ from GMO Free USA has been travelling around Europe and the US with Neil Young’s Global Ecovillage tour and was the coordinator of the News You Can Trust stand which I took part in at the Stavernfestivalen in July 2016!


At the “Fantasilater: Har du spist en blomst?” / “Fantasy salads: Have you eaten a flower” event at Grennnessminde, Denmark!
With Sachiko Ito after my talk in Tokyo :)

With Sachiko Ito after my talk in Tokyo :)



Lasse Hav is a gardener at Grennessminde organic nursery in Copenhagen, Denmark!
Another happy selfie! This is Joann who is a volunteer with my colleagues at Naturplanteskolen (NPS) in Denmark. Joann was visiting NPS on her birthday and here she is giving herself my book for her birthday! Happy birthday, Joann…
Aiah + bogen
Fantasy salad queen Aiah Noack shows it off in Copenhagen :) She is particularly happy as she (Naturplanteskolen) have sold 86 of these so far!!


I had a great chat to this Maori guy at the Rainbow Community in Golden Bay, NZ. He was so pleased that someone from the other side of the planet should be so interestedin his vegetable traditions that he should write about it :)
My friend Maria Silva and Sofia have a lot of bed time reading ahead!
Steen Noerhede Roskilde Dyrskue June15
Steen Nørhede showed my book on stage during a talk about Permaculture at the Roskilde Agricultural Show (Dyrskue) yesterday (8th June 2015) :)


Joan Bailey in Japan has sent me this beautiful shot taken at dusk in her community garden plot in Tokyo! Joan was the first to review the book in Permaculture Magazine and a lovely review it was too…I remember being relieved that somebody liked it :)


My friend Gunn Apeland!!









Wouter of Foodforest Ketelbroek with Ramsons!
Elin Kiraly and a suspicious Bolla



First up, my friend Telsing Andrews / Ottawa Gardener /Aster Lane Edibles, the future of edimental garden (see on the Links page)
Not a selfie? My toes are very nimble!
Another ATWtoeselfie, but who could it be?
Mr. Decomestibles Ronny Staquet, amazing how happy a man can be – would recommend his web site Wallogreen – see the links page
Tim Harland , the very first toe ATWselfie…. :)
…a very cool lady, seems something in the book has shocked her :)


Tony Bülow and the first #mirrorATWselfie
…and the perennial kale was feeling left out, so decided to join in the FUN :)
Patricia Wallinger in Canada is pleased to join the ATW owner’s association….
…and my friend, leading New York forager Leda Meredith sent me this lovely one from Jerusalem!
Foodforest Ketelbroek are a bit shy and have only revealed a hand in this ATWselfie
…and in this one, Foodforest Ketelbroek have only revealed a foot! Come on guys, we want to see more!

ATW SelfieAiah




Guinness Megasalad Record Book Rejection email from 2001

The first time I made a megasalad in 2001 with 363 different plants (see  http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=206) I approached Guinness to claim a world record.  They were not interested and I accidentally found the rejection email today (from 10th October 2001). Their reply: “Unfortunately, we would not be interested in a record for the most diverse salad. I recommend that you choose a salad of some particular variety and attempt the largest salad of its kind.”

After this,  I was glad that I’d been refused as the Guinness Records represent greed and an inorganic product. I tried half seriously to find an organic brewery that would be interested in starting a record book of records with a sustainable message…..still looking…

Download (PDF, 85KB)

Hablitzia and Digitalis entwined

Hablitzia (the Caucasian Spinach) and Digitalis  purpurea (Common Foxglove) are both shade tolerant perennials one an edible and the other an important medicinal, so not unlikely that they would meet as in these lovely pictures captured by my old friend Robin ALLAN whose name I spelled wrongly in the book’s acknowledgements, confusing with my cousins who are ALLENs.




The coffee plant is a fantastic edimental indoor plant that tolerates quite low temperatures in winter….but don’t expect more than a cup of coffee a year :)  Coffee tea is an alternative (made from the leaves) and the fruit are also tasty. Strangely, coffee fruit juice isn’t often seen (large amounts of fruit flesh must just be thrown away)? Coffee fruit wine is also produced locally..


An old Facebook album:


New Year Hablitzia

There are 8 pages in my book devoted to this, one of my all time favourite perennial vegetables, Hablitzia tamnoides. I prefer just to call it Hablitzia or Habby as my friend Telsing calls it fondly, but sometimes it is known as the Caucasian spinach revealing its home territory.  I’m particularly in awe of its hardiness as shoots appear in autumn and are usually undamaged after being exposed to up to 3 months of freezing temperatures. Even if the shoots were killed off, there are numerous shoots waiting at the ready to sprout from the roots! Even on the 31st December, the snow having disappeared for some days, I could now harvest a few shoots for a winter salad! I did this last Xmas which was very mild – the reddish shoots at the bottom in the 50 species salad picture are Hablitzia. The pictures of my oldest Hablitzia root mound below were taken today, 31st December 2014….
I also noticed like last year that several seeds have already sprouted around the plant,  eager to get started with spring. Last year they all died in our winter drought…. I’ll leave them and see if they make it… :)





Oca Harvest

Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) is a short day plant from the Andes which produces next to nothing  outside here as the plants are usually killed by the first hard frosts in early October…..
In order to lengthen the season, I grow my Ocas in large pots, which I usually bring in to the porch on the first frosts…
This year I was a bit late and most of the foliage was killed before I could bring the plants inside and only the odd stem remained green until harvest. I hadn’t therefore expected much yield.  However, some of the varieties were as good as normal….













Ocas in pots in the garden:








In the porch (not this year):















This old man’s beard has gone to seed…..

Most of the snow disappeared in the garden after rain and high temperatures over the last 24 hours…revealing this old man’s beard in seed. I’ve grown Clematis vitalba as a spring edible (cooked young shoots) for a number of years, but after a long mild summer and autumn this is the first time the seed has matured and the beard has emerged…this is a good one for the Forest Garden, but remember that it needs to be cooked as poisonous raw like most members of the Buttercup family, Ranunculaceae…
Clematis vitalba is an important wild foraged edible particularly in Italy!


Edibles & ornamental plants

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