Early last week I made this little video after the annual collapse of my largest vegetable, Aralia cordata (Udo) …. the berries/ seeds were collected for sharing in Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN) by the participants of the Malvik Permaculture Design Course :)
On 3rd July 2009, local historian Geir Neverdal invited me on a tour to witness first hand the old traditional onion roofs of Gudbrandsdalen near the town of Otta. I had first heard of Geir through the following web site about these very special old turf roofs on which Allium fistulosum / welsh onion / pipeløk had been planted as a protection against fire (the leaves are succulent even in very dry conditions and this Siberian species is extremely hardy and drought tolerant): http://www.otta2000.com/Diverse/Pipeloek/pipeloek.htm. The onions were also traditionally harvested in spring and used in scrambled egg and other dishes.
He had arranged visits to 5 different farms near Otta and Vågå. Two local botanists had also been invited along: Hans Petter Schwencke and Bjørn Engehagen.
One Norwegian botanist thinks that as these roof onions have developed over such a long time in this very special environment that they should be lifted to species level. I suggest Allium gudbrandsdaliensis ;)
Geir also blogged about the tour here http://www.otta2000.com/Diverse/Pipeloek/pipeloek.htm#Prosjektleder_
Below are a series of pictures from these farms: Søre Breden where owners Knut Romsås Breden og Eldri Seim met us; Hole; Nedre Gjetsiden; Nerøygarden (where Ingrid Dokken and her husband met us)and, finally, Sve Gård in Vågå kommune where farmer Harald Bjørndal showed us around. At the bottom is a document in Norwegian which I wrote after the visit. The story of these onions is also told in my book Around the World in 80 plants!
I carried out the final day of planting of the new Allium garden at the Ringve (Trondheim) botanical garden this week giving a total of 265 different perennial onions in the ground! Can’t wait to see the results next spring!
Following my 2002 renaissance salad at the botanical garden in Trondheim in 2002 (see www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=14320), I followed this up at the Trondheim Food Festival (Matfestivalen) on 5th August 2006 with an 80 species medieval salad: