19th June 2020: Video update from the Allium (Chicago) garden at the NTNU Ringve Botanical Gardens in Trondheim. The heat wave has brought many species into flower and the garden’s looking great! The official opening of the garden, planned for August, has been postponed to 2021. We are working on plant signs which will hopefully be added later in the summer. The garden currently contains some 300 accessions including around 100 Allium species and many old Norwegian onions collected over several years from all over the country and funded by Norsk Genressurssenteret and Landbruksdirektoratet. The signs for the garden are in part funded through a gift from Skjærgaarden (https://www.skjaergaarden.no) to KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers) who have decided to use the gift at Ringve (see https://www.facebook.com/skjaergaarden.no/videos/2972781459487864)
English: This is the course for you who want to learn more about perennial vegetables and forest gardening in a course held in and around Norway’s world-renowned Edible Garden, now one (of 4) Permaculture Land Centres in Norway, led by author and head of KVANN / Norwegian Seed Savers, Stephen Barstow. There will be lectures on Allium, an extended garden walk, making lunch and dinner with spring harvested produce, foraging on the shoreline and the ostrich fern tour along the Homla river canyon. Full program, pictures and link to pictures in the pdf at the bottom
It is also possible to extend your stay to Monday when we will work together in KVANN’s gardens at Væres Venner in Ranheim on Monday 11th May.
Course fee and registration: You must either be a member of KVANN or the Norwegian Permaculture Association. NOK 1600 (for the whole weekend) for KVANN members (membership costs NOK 250), NOK 1800 for members of the Norwegian Permaculture Association. Kr. 900 for students and unemployed. There is a binding registration when paying the course fee. VIPPS to 91529516 (private). Bank account: 82306086762. This course has been fully subscribed all the times it has been arranged in the past with a waiting list. If you sign up but are later prevented attending, there are good chances of finding someone take over your place and we will help advertising that!
Sign up to email@example.com with your name, address, email, phone and year of birth (we need this information because we are seeking support from Studieforbund Natur og Miljø)
Norsk: Dette er kurset for deg som vil lære mer om flerårige grønnsaker og skogshaging i og rundt Norges verdenskjent Spiselig Hage, nå et (av 4) Permakultur Land Sentre i Norge, ledet av forfatter og leder av KVANN, Stephen Barstow. Det blir foredrag om Allium, utvidet hagevandring og felles matlaging, sanketur i fjæra og strutsevingetur langs Homla. Fullt program, bilder og lenk til bilder fra de 3 tidligere kurs kan man laste ned nederst på denne siden.
Det er også mulighet å være med på dugnad i KVANNs hager hos Væres Venner mandag 11. mai. Kursavgift og påmelding: Man må enten være medlem av KVANN eller Norsk Permakultur Forening. Kr. 1600 (for hele helgen) for medlemmer av KVANN (medlemskap koster kr. 250), kr. 1800 for medlemmer av Norsk Permakultur Forening. Kr. 900 for studerende og arbeidsledige. Det er bindende påmelding ved betaling av kursavgifta. VIPPS til 91529516 (privat). Bankkonto: 82306086762. Dette kurset har blitt fulltegnet alle ganger tidligere med venteliste. Om man tegner seg på, men senere blir forhindret er det gode sjanser for å få noen til å ta over plassen din og det skal vi hjelpe til med!
Påmelding til firstname.lastname@example.org med ditt navn, adresse, epost, telefon og fødselsår (dette trenger vi fordi vi søker støtte fra Studieforbund Natur og Miljø).
Back in the 2000s most of the interesting amateur plant breeding work was discussed on the Homegrown Goodness forum. That was the first time I heard about work on developing perennial grains through crossing modern day varieties of rye and wheat with perennial relatives. In particular, there was Tim Peters’ Perennial Grain Project in Oregon and one of the first releases was his Mountaineer Perennial Rye developed through crossing perennial wild mountain rye Secale montanum with modern rye Secale cereale.
Although I had no ambitions to work on breeding grains, but along with perennial vegetables, it opened new possibilities for climate-friendly grain production with plants that could potentially produce over several successive seasons, requiring much less energy input, and with their extensive root systems requiring both less fertiliser and irrigation and hence more robust to climate extremes with less erosion.
Reports were that although lower yielding, they were shatter resistant, easily threshed and good for poor soils: it was reported that it tends to live longer on poorer soils (2-4 years on rich soils, 7 to 8 on poorer soils).
I was keen to try Mountaineer in my climate with significantly colder winters than in Oregon and where it had been tested in France and the Netherlands in Europe. I finally got hold of seed in 2013, but didn’t get round to sowing the seed until spring 2015 (in retrospect, I could have autumn sown) and planted 7 plants in June 2015. The plants proved hardy enough and overwintered twice, flowered well but all the plants seemed to be sterile. They died winter 2017-2018. I decided to try again and about 10 new plants were planted in May 2018. Now this autumn I finally got a small yield (pictures). I will offer a few seeds to members of Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN) through our yearbook in February and plant a larger number of plants in KVANN’s Vegetable Sanctuary at Væres Venner next autumn!
I don’t know what the status is today with Tim Peters’ grain breeding work. He was also working with wheat and sorghum. Let me know if you know!
KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers) have established a guild for perennial vegetables and food forest vegetables (free for members of KVANN, go to kvann.no and click on “Bli med i KVANN” to join)
Norw: Nå er KVANNs laug for Flerårige og Skogshage Grønnsaker formelt etablert og vi har en FB gruppe som venter for dere som er interessert å være med (gratis og kun for medlemmer av KVANN). Det blir en del godbiter kun for laugmedlemmene i løpet av vinteren og et permagrønnsaks-kurs i Malvik til våren primært for medlemmene! Gå til https://www.facebook.com/groups/818621048572751 og svarer på spørsmålene for å melde deg inn!
This is the second year we’ve grown the ten (new) virus-cleaned mini-seed potato varieties made available every year through the national Norwegian program, managed by Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN), to conserve our potato heritage. These have been grown in KVANNs vegetable sanctuary at Væres Venner Community garden. These will be used as seed potatoes for next year! In order to try to restrict the spread of disease, those receiving the mini-tubers are not allowed to pass them on or swap them!
In the picture below, the following varieties are seen:
Top row: Truls, Shetland Black, Tysk Blå, Hroars Drege, Gjernes Potet
Bottom row: Røde fra Skjåk, Beate, Ivar, Kerrs Pink Blå, Brage
Last year’s potatoes are seen in the following link:
I enjoyed my visit to Jøssåsen Landsby (Camphill Village) here in Malvik in the inland higher part of Malvik kommune. It’s too long since I visited! Inger Line Ødegård, who is also KVANN’s (Norwegian Seed Savers) events secretary, had invited me up to do a walk and talk about the edible wild and cultivated plants. Inger Line is working at Jøssåsen as part of her biodynamic BINGN education.
We found both planted Hosta, Daylilies and Hops around the houses. We also found many wild edibles, notably burdock (Arctium tomentosum), alpine bistort (harerug), caraway (karve) and sorrel (engsyre). We talked about the huge potential of growing perennial vegetables in higher areas like Jøssåsen and KVANN’s Sansai group which are trialling perennials in mountain areas.
After the walk, Inger Line showed me the vegetable gardens and greenhouse which she has responsibility for.
On Sunday 16th June 2019, KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers) had a stand at the open day at the Ringve Botanical Garden in Trondheim! There were record crowds and good weather and many edimentals passed on to new owners! We sold about 30 different plants! We went plastic free which went very well! Plants were dug up the same morning and the almost bare-root plants were kept moist in glass jars and packed for customers in newspaper, writing the name of each plant on newspaper. We had a full grown flowering Angelica (KVANN) plant on display and both Bordalen and Markusteigen lines of Voss Angelica (see my book) / Vossakvann seedlings were sold. Many people thought the Angelica plant was a Tromsøpalme (similar to Giant Hogweed) and were amazed to see the difference in size between the seedlings and (2 years older), the full grown plant.
Thanks for Meg and Elizabeth for helping out on the stand!
We could have doubled the number of ramsons (ramsløk) plants which sold out quickly!
Thanks also to all the members who came along! Plants were half price for members!
Jeg har nå utvidet KVANNs hage på Væres Venner Felleshagen (Trondheim) og igår plantet opp følgende:
1) Årets virusrensete miniknoller av norske potet: Tysk Blå, Hroar’s Dege, Shetland Black, Gjernes Potet, Kerr’s Pink Blå, Beate, Truls, Ivar, Raude fra Skjåk og Brage
2) Frøplanter av Carolus poteten (true seed); resistent sort
3) Potet under halm (delvis mot kveke): 15 sorter inkl. fjorårets miniknoller
4) Et nytt bed (snudd opp ned for hånd mot kveke) med diverse flerårige kales (flatbladet grønnkål) fra frø: Daubenton x Pentland Brig / Nero di Toscana grex; Pentland Brig (OP), Asturian Tree Kale, Cottager’s Kale (OP) og Daubenton x late purple flowering broccoli (min krysning, OP)
Here are a few pictures from our Sunday afternoon visit to the Community Garden at Væres Venner where KVANN are establishing both a so-called Vegetable Sanctuary for old and new vegetables, nut trees, fruit and various other useful plants. We are also developing a so-called World Garden (Verdenshagen). It was a work day in the garden for the members and our group where given the background to the garden by Sølvi Kvam and Marina Görtz who is developing a biodiversity garden for the bees and much more and featuring a garden of old Norwegian garden perennials.
KVANN’s Fruktlaug (Fruit group) brought a selection of old apple trees to be planted in the garden and Eirik Lillebøe Wiken is seen in some of the pictures informing about the different trees and grafting techniques!
Thanks to Sølvi for some of the pictures.
During the first weekend in May 2019, about 30 members of KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers) assembled in Trondheim for our Annual meeting weekend!
Thanks to Kjell Hødnebø, Bell Batta Torheim, Lone Dybdal, Berit Børte, Ane Mari Aakernes and Anders Nordrum for providing pictures!
On the Friday evening, we showed the film Seed: The Untold Story, a thought provoking film about the importance of diversity, the tragedy of industrial agriculture and multinational seed companies and hope! The picture on the screen shows one of the most important seed savers in the history of Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) in the US, Will Bonsall! In my 2003 SSE Year Book, he offers a staggering 2,133 different grains and vegetables including 80 Jerusalem Artichokes, 503 potatoes, 76 radishes, 55 barley and 279 beans! This is Mr. Diversity (see below for his full listings in 2003)!
Saturday morning was KVANN’s Annual Meeting, again in the meeting room of the Administration building at the Ringve Botanical Garden (Trondheim) where I have an office:
After lunch, we had a series of talks, first from Vibekke Vange, leader of the Botanical Garden, a general introduction to the garden and work done on conservation of plant genetic resources.
After a great veggie lunch delivered by Persilleriet,
Bell Batta Torheim from Landbruks- og matdepartementet (Ministry of Agriculture and Food) gave an informative talk about international work in FAO with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture:
Next up was Anders Nordrum of datsja.no, who gave an engaging talk about the almost total lack of food preparedness in Norway and what each of us can do about this. To learn more about Anders who lives in the Norwegian mountains in Valdres, I’ve written about his Preparedness garden here (in Norwegian): http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=22065
Anders is one of two leaders in KVANN’s group (laug) working on garlic and has also just started testing how well a selection of perennial vegetables grow at his mountain summer farm at over 900m above sea level (he has successfully grown garlic here).
The final talk was by Morten Rasmussen of the Norwegian Genetic Resource Centre who KVANN collaborate closely with…in fact it was they that founded the movement back in 2005 (Planteklubbene; a series of plant clubs dedicated to saving old traditional varieties of useful plants). He gave an update on national work on plant genetic resources.
After the talks, Vibekke guided us around the botanical garden with focus on their work on plant genetic resources including the collection of old ornamentals and herbs from mid-Norway, the Renaissance Garden, containing only plants mentioned in Norway’s first gardening book Horticultura from the 1690s and the new Allium garden which I have the responsibility for and gave an introduction to in just about the worst weather our area can provide at this time of year, see https://www.facebook.com/beritboslo/videos/10219078174126065/
After the walk, the Annual meeting dinner was also provided by Persilleriet and for many of us the “short” presentations made by each of the participants after dinner was the highlight of the day! What was planned to be a quick half an hour around the table presentation turned into two hours, illustrating what an amazing diverse group of people that were present!