A 230 onion pesto :)


A pesto with 230 different onions, served at lunch on Saturday (Allium) (grown and collected by me and prepared by Veronica and Rita) ;)
Why? Because we could….

World record ferment in Malvik

How many ingredients will we manage to cram into this fermentation jar today?
My world record salad from 2003 (page iv of my book)

This morning it’s raining (again) and cold, not a very pleasant day. Whilst conventional gardeners are complaining that it’s too cold to plant out less tender summer veggies in this record cold spring, this is the best season ever for us perennial veggie gardeners! Hardy perennials love these conditions growing prolifically although taking longer to reach flowering stage, extending the harvesting season!
Today, Norway’s fermentation queen Rita Amundsen will prepare a world record ferment with the highest number of ingredients ever, with a little help from my garden!  This is part of a one day food preservation course here organised by the local group of the  Norwegian Useful Plants Society (Trondheim Nyttevekstforeningen).
Guess how many ingredients will be used by 1600 Norwegian time today (or whenever it’s announced here) and win a signed copy of my book Around the World in 80 plants.
On page iv of my book you will find a picture of my world record salad from 2003!

Edible garden tour at the Tromsø arctic-alpine botanic garden

I’ll be in Tromsø on 22nd and 23rd June. On the 22nd at 1800 I’ll lead a tour around the botanical garden :) The focus will of course be on what food we can find amongst the garden’s impressive collections! I’m not sure if you need to be a member to join this tour.
The next day, there will be a course/talk, probably at Holt, also in Tromsø. More later about this.
Books will be for sale at kr. 200!

Jeg skal være i Tromsø 22. og 23. juni! Det blir hagevandring den 22. juni kl. 18 i Tromsøs arktisk-alpine botaniske hage. Vi skal selvsagt se hva vi finner av spiselige vekster i samlingene :) Jeg er ikke sikker på om man må være medlem av venneforeningen for å være med?
Dagen etter (23. juni) blir det et kurs/foredrag, sannsynligvis på Holt, Tromsø – mer informasjon kommer!
Bøker blir å få kjøpt til kr. 200!


Grand potting on of perennials seedlings

I germinate seed of perennials naturally in a cold frame in the garden. They then germinate when they are ready. Due to much travelling in May, I hadn’t got round to potting on any of the seedlings that had germinated outside… Luckily it has been very cool all of April and May, so that most of the seedlings were still in good condition. However, there were more seedlings than I had bargained on and I finally finished at 10:45 last night after 10 hours potting on some 160 species in the garden!

The cold germination frame in a normal winter – the top is covered with Enviromesh so that precipitation can pass through and it doesn’t get too hot.


A view in the cold frame before germination starts


160 new pots was the result of yesterday’s work. But, where will they all go when big enough?


Osmorhiza – seed from the woods of Woodstock, Vermont last autumn!


Canadian wood nettle (Laportea canadensis) seedlings from New York


Perennials thrive in a cold spring!

With plenty of rain and a maximum temperature of only 16C so far in May with no frost, it’s been perfect growing conditions for my perennial vegetables. My Udo (Aralia cordata) is nearly as tall as me already!

Ostrich fern and Udo (Aralia cordata)
Udo (Aralia cordata) is up to my shoulders!
Aralia californica… Blanching: when the bucket is lifted off the ground by the plant it is ready to harvest!
Rheum palmatum is already blooming!
Forest garden view….apples, Aralia elata, Aralia cordata, redcurrant, blackcurrant and ostrich fern (the lowest level is a carpet of lesser celandine, over a month ago!)


Taraxacum haemanthum

I just fell in love with a picture of a dandelion from the Caucasus, Taraxacum haemanthum, in this picture from page 76 of the Scottish Rock Garden Club journal “The Rock Garden” (Jan 2014). For a minute I thought the leaves at the front belonged to the dandelion, but they don’t. Just hope it really is that orange!


Edibles & ornamental plants