Waxwing and Tawny Owl

A small flock of Waxwings (sidensvans) finally arrived at the end of November and have been foraging in the garden since (rowans / rogn failed this year). In these videos, they are eating apples, elderberry and guelder rose berries (epler, svarthyll and krossved). I’ve heard tawny owl (kattugle) calling in the garden regularly recently too and the last video is a recording of one calling.  

Sam Thayer and Mississippi wapato

As I mentioned in my post about harvesting wapato in my garden a couple of days ago, I attended the Midwest Wild Harvest Festival in Wisconsin in September 2019 to do the keynote and a couple of talks and was lucky enough to be able to attend Sam Thayer’s Wetland Plant Hike along the Mississippi during which the highlight was the demonstration of wapato harvest. There had been record flooding that spring on the Mississipi and water levels were still high which meant that the places where Sam normally harvested were too deep. However, he did find a small patch to demonstrate harvesting techniques. As Sam mentions, this is how Canada geese do it! Did I mention that I rate Sam’s 3 books above all other books on wild edibles! His book The Forager’s Harvest has 16 pages on wapato! See the videos and pictures below:

Freezing Wapato and Chinese Arrowhead harvest

When I attended the Midwest Wild Harvest Festival in Wisconsin in September 2019, I was lucky to be able to attend Sam Thayer’s Wetland Plant Hike along the Mississippi during which the highlight was the demonstration of wapato harvest. Look out for the video I took that day in a post in the next few days. Earlier this week found me harvesting my own wapato, grown in large tubs in the garden….an altogether more invigorating experience, the gardener’s equivalent to winter fjord bathing, as the water temperature was only about 1C (and the following day the water was frozen); I had planned to try locating the tubers by feet the next day, but (fortunately) the thick ice made that difficult (OK, I’m a wimp as I could have broken through the ice with a pick axe ;))
I’m growing both North American wapato (Sagittaria latifolia; picture) and Chinese arrowhead tubers (Sagittaria trifolia) which were originally shop bought. 

“Over the top” Flowery Whopper Carrot Salad

I was going to post an album of pictures showing off all the late flowers in the garden this record-breaking mild autumn still without any frost, but as they’re all edible I made a salad instead!
There were 33 different edible flowers (see the list below the pictures) plus 30-40 greens and a whopper carrot which I decided to keep whole as a feature! It was cut up when the salad was tossed afterwards. It has a story too as it is one of the Danish accessions rematriated from Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) in the US last winter. I took a few seed before sending the rest on to Danish Seed Savers (Dansk Frøsamlerne). It’s called Kämpe which means Giant in Swedish/Danish (I call it Whopper as it’s probably the biggest/thickest carrot I¨’ve grown here). It’s not a very old variety and SSE informed that it was a cultivated variety originally from the Swedish seed company Weibulls. Anyone know more about it?
Salad flowers, all harvested from the garden
Salvia (blackcurrant sage / solbærsalvie)
Fuchsia magellanica
Hemerocallis “Stella de Oro”
Taraxacum spp. (dandelion / løvetann)
Rubus fruticosus (blackberry / bjørnebær)
Papaver somniferum (opium poppy / opium valmue)
Viola altaicum
Campanula persicifolia (peach-leaf bellflower / fagerklokke)
Sonchus oleraceus (common sow-thistle / haredylle)
Glebionis coronaria (chopsuey greens / kronkrage) (3 varieties)
Daucus carota (carrot / gulrot) (unopened flower umbel)
Geranium sanguineum (bloody cranesbill / blodstorkenebb)
Brassica oleracea (kale / grønnkål)
Oenothera biennis (evening primrose / nattlys)
Begonia
Malva moschata (musk mallow / moskuskattost) (white and pink flowered)
Malva alcea (hollyhock mallow / rosekattost)
Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot / rørhestemynte)
Monarda “Elsie Lavender”
Calendula officinalis (pot marigold / ringblomst (2 varieties)
Campanula trachelium (nettle-leaved bellflower / nesleklokke)
Calamintha nepeta (lesser calamint / liten kalamint)
Tropaeolum majus (nasturtium / vanlig blomkarse) (2 varieties)
Pisum sativum (garden pea / ert)
Origanum spp. (wild marjoram / bergmynte) (2 varieties)
Campanula lactiflora
Alcea rosea (hollyhock / stokkrose)
Tragopogon pratensis (Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon / geitskjegg)

Burdock harvest

I have a large bucket on the balcony where i grow greater burdock (Arctium lappa) for the birds, Both goldfinches (stillits) and greenfinches (grønnfink) eat burdock seed in winter and by growing the plants on the balcony I have close views of both species from where I’m typing this! Last year, the plants flowered and set seeds, they germinated en masse this spring, I thinned them and this was the harvest today. The largest roots and the smallest ones will be replanted in the spring. The others will be eaten in oriental stir-fries this winter.

See also other burdock posts: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?s=arctium

Twisted-leaf garlic for lunch

I’d sent a few bulbs of twisted-leaf garlic (Allium obliquum)  to members of Norwegian Seed Savers’ (KVANN) guild for Alliums and had a few left overover, so I fried them up for lunch and ate them with cheese on toast. A delicious sweetish taste after heating in olive oil. The onions are also a good size! This was one of the 80 in my book Around the World in 80 plants! 



Physalis “Indian Strain” at 13

The last time I blogged about this Physalis it was 7 years old. It is now 13 and still going strong. The last time I wrote about it, I wrote the following: “This Physalis which I’ve called “Indian Strain” is now going into its 7th year. I got  this from Seed Savers Exchange in the US. However, that one is supposed to be a tomatillo and I wonder if I mixed it up with another I got at about the same time, P. heterophylla, clammy ground cherry, although the stems are not clammy (sticky) to the feel. That would explain it’s hardiness as it is found in the wild north to Canada (see http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PHHEH3).  I definitely planted heterophylla in the garden and it’s survived since 2009 without winter protection, but the summer is just too cold for fruit (it does flower).
It lives in a cold bedroom all year and produces a few fruit most of the year, even continuing to ripen fruit despite the temperature being often under 10C.  The fruit are sweet and have good flavour. It’s not hugely productive but little bother (aphids don’t bother it). I cut it back when it gets too straggly”.
I repotted one of them today and cut all 3 plants back to 1/3 height (it reaches the ceiling).
The conclusion is that it is a cape gooseberry / goldenberry (Physalis peruviana).


Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden