Thanks to Alan Bergo (@foragerchef) for reminding me to try sochan tops. This is Rudbeckia laciniata (cut-leafed coneflower) which in the double form is one of the most popular garden ornamentals here in Norway over the last 100 years and a plant that has been commercialised as a farm vegetable over recent years in Korea. I’d previously only eaten the spring shoots, but I was equally impressed by the tops which I used simply cooked with onion, garlic and yellow zucchini from the garden, various fungi picked in the woods (saffron milkcap/matriske; hedgehog fungus / piggsopp and chantarelles / kantarell) and scrambled with eggs with a little chilim added (a classic way for preparing wild edibles in the Mediterranean countries. See the pictures below. See other posts on this great vegetable which was introduced to me in one of Samuel Thayer’s books: Appalachian Greens Cherokee Pizza
At last, after the warm summer the porcinis (ceps / steinsopp; Boletus edulis) are coming up in large numbers in the woods, the best year since 2005! I’d read the reports on Facebook, so now is the time to harvest and dry these amazing fungi in as large amounts as possible to last until the next time, hopefully not another 16 years! Almost all were in good condition. They are often infected with a parasitic fungi that makes them inedible! In addition, we found a large patch of yellow foot / gul trompetsopp or gul trompetkantarell (Craterellus lutescens), at a place I’d picked many some years ago. Not a fungi I find every year. There were also some chantarelles (kantarell) and a few puffballs (røyksopp). The walk home with a very heavy load was thankfully mostly downhill! Now for the biggest job of cleaning them before drying!
The forest is now full of edible fungi, witness today’s haul of mostly chantarelles, winter chantarelle, hedgehog fungi (two species) and puffballs (Norw: kantarell, traktkantarell, lys- og rødgule-piggsopp og røyksopp)
Earlier in October, we found a place with a large amount of chantarelles (kantarell); see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=23655). We noticed that there were also a lot of winter chantarelles (traktkantarell; Cantherellus tubaeformis) growing in the same place, but we decided to wait a couple of weeks as many were still small and return before the first hard frosts (forecasted in the next few days). Here is the haul:
A productive afternoon in the woods yesterday on the Malvik side of Solemsvåttan with my Swiss helper Julia Albrecht with a good haul of bilberries and the year’s first chantarelles! Yes, I think I live in paradise :)
I was surprised to find so many chantarelle and winter chantarelle in the woods this morning. It’s pretty dry here now in this unusually warm late September weather…so my hunch of going to a north facing wood payed off! I had to force myself to stop picking…these now need to be cleaned before drying!
Documentation of yet another amazing day during last week’s Perennialen III in Hardanger!! Pictures taken on a fantastic 6-7 hour round trip from Eirik Lillebøe Wiken and Hege Iren Aasdal Wiken’s house to their shieling (støl or seter in Norwegian). We took our time botanising on the way up, passing through different types of forest on the way up, from alder (or), ash (ask), planted spruce (gran), lime (lind), elm (alm), hazel (hassel), aspen (osp) and birch (bjørk) at the highest levels. Lower down, old apple trees witnessed that these steep slopes had at one time been worked for fruit production, no easy matter….
Eirik and Hege are planning to rejuvenate and replant some of this area and have planted a multispecies forest garden above and below the house, probably one of the most dramatic forest gardens in the world (more later).
Ostrich Fern (strutseving)
Ants on pine tree
Aspen (osp) and the fjord
Young blackcap (munk)
Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden