A year ago, on 22nd September 2019, Joe Hollis had invited me to do a walk and talk with him at his Mountain Gardens in North Carolina! Before the event he took me around the woodlands to show me the woodland flora. I made a short video at most of the plants to help me remember what they were. I’ve now put them together into one video (see below). Joe talks briefly about the following plants: Disporum spp. (trachycarpum?) (medicinal) Medeola virginiana; Indian cucumberroot Hosta sieboldiana (self-seeding) (food) Panax quinquefolius; American ginseng Prenanthes trifolioliata; Gall of the earth (Food and medicine) Smilax rotundifolia; common greenbrier (Food and medicine) Acer spp.; maple Castanea spp.; chestnut Sassafras albidum; sassafras (Medicine and beverage/spice) Cacalia delphinifolia? (Far Eastern edible and medicinal) After the video is a gallery of photos taken on the same tour. Will post more from the walk and talk later. This is one of several blog posts about my visit to Joe. See more by searching here: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?s=joe+hollis
One year ago, it was a pleasure to spend some time touring Joe Hollis’ Mountain Gardens with these three guys who’d come all the way from NE Ohio and Columbus Ohio (an 8-9 hour drive). John Wright from NE Ohio Isaac John Koblentz from NE Ohio via Scandinavia :) Jared Morris (Columbus, Ohio) (he gave me some delicious pawpaws, Asimina triloba)
It’s a year since I arrived at Joe Hollis’ Mountain Gardens in North Carolina. I wrote about it here https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=24110 and just added a few additional pictures. Here are a few additional pictures from his extensive library, Chinese herb pharmacy and seed store which he offers as a resource for anyone wanting to study the useful plants of the world!
In April 2018 both myself and Joe Hollis were invited as speakers at The Potential of Perennials for Food System Resilience Symposium in Stans, Switzerland. I also had the opportunity to spend a great day botanising at two of Zurich’s Botanical Gardens with Joe, see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=17040
Joe said to me at the time that I should come visit if I was ever in the US. I already knew at that time I was invited by Sam Thayer and Melissa Price to the Midwest Wild Harvest Festival at the end of September this year, but Joe’s place seemed a long trek south, so I forgot the idea. Then this spring, I was asked if I would be interested to do a talk at the Atlanta Botanical Garden….and I managed to change my travel plans to do this…and looking at the map I noticed it wasn’t too far from Joe’s Mountain Gardens (aka as Paradise)! So I contacted him and he replied: “Good to hear from you and that is great news! I am very much looking forward to showing you around my garden and adjacent National Forest land, there is a lot to see”.
So it came to past that I arrived in Asheville, North Carolina on 21st September 2019 and picked up a hire car as Joe’s place was an hour or more up in the Black Mountains subrange of the Appalachians. Four hours later I arrived at my hotel, the Celo Inn (as for why it took so long see the album captions). It turns out that the Celo community is one of the oldest intentiona communities in the world (1937), based on ideals of cooperation between residents and care for the natural environment….and it turns out that a neighbour and old colleague back in Trondheim actually went to school here…small world!
The pictures below show the approach road to Mountain Gardens from the Celo Inn (only a 5-10 min, drive away) and my first look into the garden!
Entering the garden for the first time I spy what is probably the native North American devil’s walking stick Aralia spinosa in full flower. Does this species flower much later than Japanese Aralia elata? My A. elata had finished flowering at home.
The following morning I walked around the grounds of the Celo Inn on a warm sunny day with monarch and swallowtail butterflies on the ornamental Asters. The owners had quite extensive vegetable beds and the ripe chilis bore witness that the summers were hot even up here in the mountains.
Thanks to everyone for supporting me on the perennial edible adventure I’ve been on since my little story was published 5 years ago today!
It’s not too late to be included in my gallery of #ATWselfies either!
Please send me your picture and you’ll be added! You will be showing support of a very good cause: the conservation of the amazing diversity of food plants and their related traditions Around the World. See the album of #ATW Selfies below and also on FB here: https://www.facebook.com/stephen.barstow.7/media_set?set=a.10157331181205860 and previously on this blog at http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=466
And it’s always nice when your peers say nice things about your creation….here Joe Hollis of Mountain Gardens :) (I was sitting there though!)
Isaac John Koblentz (see his #ATWselfie) was one of 3 guys who travelled all the way from northern Ohio for the joint walk and talk I did with Joe Hollis at Mountain Gardens (North Carolina) in fall 2019! Here they tell a little bit about each other! Thanks so much for coming!
I’m making the most of my invite to the Mid-West Wild Harvest Festival at the end of September, where I get to teach alongside great North American foraging authors Sam Thayer, Leda Meredith, Ellen Zachos and others! I am pleased to announce a number of other events including a walk and talk with the great Joe Hollis at Mountain Gardens in North Carolina and an event put on by the one and only Eric Toensmeier in Holyoke, Western Massachusetts (I’m promised ripe pawpaws and American persimmons!), followed by a series of other talks in New England organised by my friend Aaron Parker of Edgewood Nursery near Portland! Here is the whole list (still possibilities in Boston and New York):
22nd September: Walk and talk with the great Joe Hollis at Mountain Gardens (near Asheville, North Carolina) (see https://www.mountaingardensherbs.com and https://www.facebook.com/MountainGardensHerbs); details not available yet!
24th September: Evening talk at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, Georgia; details not available yet!
26th September:Visit and talk at Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa!
1st October: Talk organised by author of Perennial Vegetables and other great books, Eric Toensmeier in Holyoke, Western Massachusetts (details not available yet).
3rd October: Talk “Around the World in 80 Plants: New England to the Mediterranean” organised by Aaron Parker of https://www.facebook.com/pg/EdgewoodNursery in or around Portland, Maine (details not available yet). The talk continues with the rest of the world in Portsmouth the next day:
During my trip to Switzerland I had a fantastic day together with Mountain Gardener Joe Hollis in Zurich, first in the new (larger) Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich where some 7,000 plant species can be seen and later in the old botanical garden which is still maintained as a public park!
Joe is incredibly knowledgeable about useful plants and we spoke mostly latin!
Thanks to Matthias Brück and Kala Serafim for bringing us together!
More about Joe here: https://www.mountaingardensherbs.com
Happy to announce that I’ll be in Switzerland the week after Easter to attend and talk at a symposium on “The Potential of Perennials for Food Resilience” Here’s the symposium announcement: https://www.perennials-resilience.org (more later!).
Excited that I’ll get to meet Mr. Mountain Gardens himself, Joe Hollis, who is also attending. Many of you will know Joe from his youtube videos, like this one on Udo (Aralia cordata): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNzCpfSQWks
Joe has spent 25 years developing Paradise Gardens, a botanical garden of edible plants in the mountains of western N. Carolina!
I will also visit Pro Specie Rara (KVANN – Norwegian Seed Savers’ counterpart in Switzerland!) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ProSpecieRara
Thanks to Matthias Brück and Katharina Serafimova for doing most of the organising!
Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden