Day 4 of the Permaveggies course and Ligularia wraps!

This was an unscheduled course day for me, my helper Lorna and Berit the camper,  as it was a national holiday in Norway and Christian Odberger gave us a short course in grafting and I now have 6 or so new varieties of apples on a seed propagated apple.  See also


Day 4 course participants
Day 4 course participants


The last supper: Rheum palmatum / Primula dip!


The last supper: Rheum palmatum / Primula dip!


This is a slide I’ve been using recently of my favourite perennial vegetable that didn’t make it into my book as I discovered it too late, Ligularia fischeri (gomchwi), an important shade tolerant vegetable in Korea… The pictures to the left and right are from the website of a Ligularia farm in Korea! See more about this amazing plant here:



We decided to try Ligularia fischeri wraps (the wrap leaves are eaten in Korea, unlike some other countries) and all agreed that it was delicious!
We decided to try Ligularia fischeri wraps (the wrap leaves are eaten in Korea, unlike some other countries) and all agreed that it was delicious!
I sympathise with these guys as I have the same edimental-collectomania ;) They went away with some 40 different plants!


Permaveggies course Day 1 : Introduction to forest garden design

I was very glad to have Christian Odberger and Dante Hellström from Stockholm University as guests on this year’s course! They kicked off the course on Friday evening with a 3 hour joint talk on permaculture inspired growing and forest garden design, giving an excellent introduction to the weekend. Inspiring for most of the audience!!
The course was arranged in collaboration with Trondheim sopp- og nyttevekstforeningen and Norsk Permakultur Forening

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Permaveggies Course Day 3: Ostrich fern tour along the Homla

As usual, the highlight of these weekends is the incredible walk along the river Homla just 20 minutes from home with large quantities of Ostrich Fern along the way, truly one of Norway’s most beautiful plants and also most delicious!!


Storfossen (literally large waterfall!), the second highest waterfall at 40m in our region (Trøndelag). There’s a total fall of 80m in 3 waterfalls. If you’re lucky you can see salmon trying to climb the lowest of the 3!
Participants showering in the drizzle from the waterfall stood in awe of this wonderfull sight, so close to Trondheim, but hardly known! We saw only a handful of other people on the trail in 4 hours!








We found a few fungi. This is Fomitopsis pinicola / rødrandkjuke

Basidioradulum radula (Tannsopp), earlier classified with the Hedgehog fungi!


Christian thinking about going for a swim?


Happy participants, HIGH on nature and wild food!
Happy participants, HIGH on nature and wild food!
This dandelion was collected as it had a good mild taste!
Ostrich fern / Strutseving
Ostrich fern / Strutseving
One of the confusion species that shouldn’t be eaten! With Anemone nemerosa (wood anemone / hvitveis) and Chrysosplenium alternifolium (Golden saxifrage/maigull)
Roof garden!


There’s a lot of up and downs along the 4 hour walk (with stops) from Storfossen to Hommelvik!



Everyone stopped in awe again at this beautiful rich stand of ostrich ferns which had come much further than in the cold air by the river
We found this Swede communing with the ferns
…Berit had a go too…next year we will have a group ostrich fern hug I think!




Hidden among the ferns are other edibles like nettle / nesle and giant bellflower (Campanula latifolia)




Fomitopsis pinicola / rødrandkjuke


The field horsetail/ common horsetail / kjerringrokk / (Equisetum arvense) is another sign of spring. The plant is known as sugina (杉菜) in Japanese, literally “cryptomeria vegetable”, possibly from the appearance of the green stems. The fertile stems at the stage shown are known as tsukushi (土筆). The ideograms literally mean “soil brush”, based on their shape. A common foraged vegetable in spring!! DON’T plant it in your garden, it is one of the most invasive plants on open land! BUT, one shouldn’t use large amounts…this is a spring vegetable used in a short period in spring!!
Knuskkjuke (Fomes fomentarius) is the tinder fungus used to start a fire!
Upon returning home we made a green pasta sauce with ostrich ferns (cooked for 15 minutes), Hablitzia shoots, Norrlands onion (see my book) for all 3), soaked dried chantarelles, organic tomatoes, garlic, chili, seasoned with cuban oregano, bay leaves and served over a choice of hemp pasta and emmer wheat pasta from Etikken in Trondheim!




Permaveggies course 2016 Day 2

Despite the very wet and cold start to the day, it was a fun day in my garden, kitchen and foraging along the shoreline with a great bunch of permaveggie lovers! Thanks to all for helping out and particularly my helper Lorna for all her help this week bringing the garden and house up to shape!!

Dante Hellström​ and the salad!!
8 wonderful ladies in my kitchen :) It’s obvious why I organise these courses :)
Salad ingredient list
Another wonderful group of course participants plus special guests Christian Odberger​ and Dante Hellström​ from Sweden
Sampling beach edibles Aster tripolium, Triglochin maritima and Plantago maritima which all grow together here!
Christian Odberger was the first to try my home produced sugar cane :)
Christian Odberger was the first to try my home produced sugar cane :)

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This evening’s salad (6th May 2016) with 61 ingredients, made with my first helper of the season…and I seriously need help this year!! Here’s the recipe…have a go yourself  (it doesn’t have to be exactly these ones ;) )

Take a few tops of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), leaves of cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris), a shoot of lovage (Levisticum officinale), a rhubarb leaf petiole, leaves and flowers of wood sorrel (oxalis acetosella), ground elder (Aegopodium) leaves, flowers of Primula elatior (oxslip), Jerusalem artichoke sprouts, Hop shoots, lots of Hablitzia shoots, leaves and bulbils of Allium paradoxum, flowers of Primula denticulata, flowers of Primula “Red Strain”, Allium fistulosum (welsh onion) leaves, Trillium grandiflorum leaves, leaves of Megacarpaea delavayi, leaves of Allium victorialis (Granvin strain), leaves of Rumex alpinum, flower buds of perennial honesty (Lunaria rediviva), two flower broccolis of Barbarea vulgaris, Atriplex rubra (garden orach) seedlings, leaves of white clover  Trifolium repens “Dragon’s Blood”, Black Isle Blush chives, shoots of jack-go-to-bed-by-noon (Tragopogon pratensis), Allium x cornutum leaves, leaves of Allium scorodoprasum, Allium hymennorhizum leaves, Ligularia fischeri leaves (Korean Ligularia), leaves and flower shoots of Allium zebdanense, flower  shoots of Chinese Allium humile, Allium cernuum (Chicago onion) leaves, Allium douglasii leaves and flower shoot, Honewort leaves (Cryptotaenia canadensis), Angelica gigas (Korean angelica) leaves, Mentha spp. shoots, Aster scaber (Korean aster) shoots, Viola Canadensis (Canada violet) leaves, Cardamine bulbifera leaf,  Cardamine raphanifolia leaves, leaves of Sorrel “Russian Giant” and Sorrel “Profusion” , Perennial Kale (cross) leaves *2 , Taraxacum “Vert de Montmagny”, Rumex patientia (patience dock) leaves, young garlics (from bulbils), carawat (Carum carvi) leaves, seakale leaves (Crambe maritima), Japanese chive leaves (Allium scoenoprasum var yezomonticola), day lily shoots (Hemerocallis dumortieri), Arabis caucasica “Pink” (leaves and flowers), Alchemilla (lady’s mantle) leaves, Catawissa onion (Allium x proliferum) leaves, Allium obliquum leaves, Scorzonera hispanica shoots, Myrrhis odorata (sweet cicely) leaves, Primula vulgaris flowers, German tarragon shoots (Artemisia dracunculus sativa) and Norrland onion (Allium nutans x angulosum)

I cut all the leaves with scissors, wash, add a simple salad dressing of olive oil and wine vinegar and a little salt, mix and decorate with the flowers and other interesting leaves and plants…EAT and enjoy the diverse tastes of spring, each mouthful is different!



Around the World in Oslo!

Honorata Gajda from the Norwegian Botanical Association introduces!
Udo, Aralia cordata, my largest vegetable!
I had far too little time in the garden…but I did manage to say hello to the vigorous Hablitzia (at the back) and neighbour Good King Henry / Stolt Henrik at the front, two of the 80 plants in my book Around the World in 80 plants (the book has a picture of this Hablitzia later in the summer!)!

A full house of a mixed crowd of all ages, some 70 people, had turned up for my lecture at the Botanical Garden in Oslo despite the beautiful evening (we should have been outside) and the long holiday weekend! Thanks to the Norwegian Botanical Associtation and Natural History Museum for putting on this event and in particular Honorata Gajda.
Back home now after a night on the train…a fantastic week on the road, thanks to all the people who helped along the way….and some 60 books lighter :)


Skirret shoots

I moved a skirret/sukkerrot (meaning sugar root) root into the cellar, planning to eat them….they went missing until I noticed the characteristic edible blanched shoots this morning! The roots had been like this exposed to the air all winter (I’ve previously lost roots when overwintered in a bucket in soil (they don’t like it damp it seems). See my book Around the World in 80 plants for more… :)
And it’s a beautiful day, but a night frost…

Edibles & ornamental plants

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