The Roof Onions of Gudbrandsdalen in Norway

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!

Download (PDF, 2.18MB)

 

Worcesterleather and dried Aronia berries

The best October berry here is a berry that I have concluded in the past is Worcesterberry, although I had received it as Jostaberry, see the following blog post from 2015, I http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=2391 (it is thorny which Jostaberry is not).
During the PDC course at the weekend, the students helped harvest these berries in the garden..these are now drying in the oven for fruit leather, together with Aronia berries…

Perennial thicket bean update

A hardy perennial bean has been a wish amongst permaculturists for some years, and one of the most interesting species is Phaseolus polystachios. Jonathan Bates of Paradise Lot fame (with Eric Toensmeier) kindly sent me seed last year. The 2-3 plants sadly all died. This year one of my remaining seed germinated and the resultant plant has grown well, kept indoors all summer.. It is now in full flower in the living room, but has been invaded by aphids. Is it self-fertile?
 
See my earlier blog post here http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=3600

Trondheim Food Festival Renaissance Salad

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:

Edibles & ornamental plants

Bulk Email Sender