With record temperatures recorded in this area at the moment after a mild winter when all the cold spells coincided with good snow cover means that the soil was hardly frozen all winter and garlic shoots had appeared a few days ago at least two weeks earlier than I’ve recorded before and I also found the first ground elder (skvallerkål) shoots – welcome back my friend and, be warned, I will be eating you until the autumn! It’s the marbled purple stripe garlic varieties that I grow that appear first: Aleksandra, Estonian Red, German Hardneck and Valdres!
Last night we made a green pea soup and apart from the Hablitzia (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde), I used perennial vegetables growing in a wild part of the garden. With little or no help from me there’s a bounty of wild edibles in this area under wild hazels (Corylus avellana) and this made for a delicious pea soup with masses of greens. Campanula latifolia is documented as used in spring soups in the 16th century in my area in Norway and Heracleum shoots are also a tradional soup ingredient, in particular Russian borsch now thought of as a beetroot soup was originally made with hogweed shoots.
Continuing my series of veggies harvested from the garden. this time used in a baccalao with parsnip (pastinakk), potato (potet), bulb onions .(kepaløk), Jerusalem artichokes (jordskokk), (bought) organic tomatoes and chili. Greens used from the garden: Urtcia dioica (nettles/brennesle) Aegopodium podograria (ground elder/skvallerkål) Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach/stjernemelde) Rumex patientia (patience dock/hagesyre) Taraxacum officinale dandichokes (dandelion /løvetann) Ficaria verna (lesser celandine/vårkål) Allium sativum shoots (garlic/hvitløk)
Tonight’s garden foraged perennial veggies for an oriental stir-fry!
Lots of Hablitzia (stjernemelde), ground elder (skvallerkål), Svenskelauk (a form of Allium fistulosum), sweet cicely (spansk kjørvel), dandelion (løvetann), day lily shoots (daglilje), blanched horseradish shoots (pepperrot) and a variety of Allium victorialis (victory onion, seiersløk) which is the earliest form I grow along with one from the Kola peninsular in northern Russia; other varieties have hardly grown yet!
On 2nd April 2018, Matthias Brück who had invited me to Switzerland to take part in the Perennials for Resilience seminar in Stans asked me along on a trip through the Alps to the Piedmont area of NW Italy! This is the first of three blog posts about this trip to an area that I think one day Matthias and his good lady Katharina will have a big impact in this area! This is also written as a thank you to Centro d’Ompio’s founder Pius Leutenegger who invited us to stay at the centre, wined, cheesed and dined us and took us on a wonderful tour of gardens and nature in the Lago d’Orta / Lago Maggiore area! I hope to come back one day and repay your kindness in helping developing the Centre’s gardens and maybe holding a course to start the process!