Tag Archives: Nodding onion

The perennial bed onions

A little video showing various Alliums about to burst into flower on a bed I’ve always called the Perennial Bed as it was the first bed devoted to perennials. It’s in the shade most of the day.
0-11 secs: Various forms of Allium cernuum (Chicago onion, nodding onion / prærieløk) and broad-leaved Allium wallichii (Sherpa onion)
11-20: Allium cernuum, Hemerocallis (daylily/daglilje) and Clinopodium vulgare (wild basil)
31: Norrland Onion / Norrlandsløk
(all of the onions above are in my book)
38: Allium cyathophorum v. farreri (Farrer’s onion)

Noxious pizza

I’m still alive and well after last night’s noxious pizza. I’ll explain. I used pea shoots from the living room, onion, Allium cernuum shoots harvested from the garden (I forgot to include Hablitzia shoots), garlic and chili…on top of the pizza, I added seed of Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera), one of the “worst” noxious (invasive) species…

 

Burdock flower stalk curry

This album was first published on FB in June 2012, now “regurgitated” here:
“What for dinner? “Burdock flower stalk, nettle and the onion that nods curry” sounds interesting, so why not. So it was to be… I had completely missed this amazing vegetable and this experiment was prompted by foraging author Leda Meredith waxing eloquent about it a few days ago, so thanks to her. How did I miss it? Well, Cornucopia II doesn’t mention this part being eaten, just the leaf stalks – I’d tried them and they were fiddly to peel and bitter. The flower stalks were easy to prepare and once peeled had an excellent sweet crunchy taste with no bitterness.”
(https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151007155680860.476401.655215859&type=1&l=b287a87f09)

Tor Smaaland’s “Your Dream Garden” from 2004

The first time my garden was featured in a book was in former Norwegian TV gardener and gardener for the King, Tor Smaaland’s 2004 book “Din drømmehage”. The book was based on Tor’s travels around Norway visiting gardens and their owners. I remember his visit well as he was like a whirlwind almost running around the garden and talking at full throttle…he told me that he was a landscape architect and new little about plants and then he was gone again…so quick was he that I didn’t get a single picture of his visit! Most of the text about the plants was written by me (see pdf at the bottom of this page!).
I loved his amusing description of me and my garden (first in Norwegian below and then translated):
«Hage til å spise opp: Som Norges kanskje eneste moderne ikke-munk har engelskmannen Stephen Barstow brukt de siste tiåra på å anlegge et slags fri klosterhage ved Malvik utenfor Trondheim med noe mellom 1500-3000 planter, avhengig av hvordan vinteren har fart over hagen. Her er 30 av hans favoritter – og ganske uventet bruk av dem» ;)
(Garden to be eaten up: As perhaps Norway’s only modern non-monk, Englishman SB has over the last 10 years created a kind of free style monastery garden in Malvik outside of Trondheim with somewhere between 1,500 and 3,000 plants, dependent on the ravages of the winter. Here are 30 of his favourites and their rather unexpected uses)

You will notice quite a few of the plants that finally ended up in my book and many of which I now call Edimentals; for example: variegated ground elder (variegert skvallerkål), nodding onion (prærieløk), seiersløk (Allium victorialis), udo (Aralia cordata), giant bellflower (storklokke), daylilies (dagliljer), Hosta, golden hops (gulhumle), Malva (kattost), ostrich fern (strutseving), Bath asparagus (Ornithogalum pyrenaicum), bistort (ormrot), rubber dandelion (gummiløvetann), bulrush (dunkjevle) and nettles (nesle).

Download (PDF, 10.2MB)


Sulfur containing winter greens

The most hardy winter greens in my garden are mostly rich in sulfur compounds including various onions (Allium) and onion-tasting brassica, Garlic mustard (løkurt), Alliaria petiolata or is it just coincidence that Alliums and Alliaris are both very hardy. 
Does the sulfur play a role in giving these plants hardiness? The only other plant that I can harvest a little of in midwinter is Hablitzia tamnoides (although it turns red in the coldest weather). 
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Allium carinatum sprouts in autumn and the shoots stand through the winter
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Allium cernuum also stays green through the winter and can be harvested even in the coldest weather!
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Garlic mustard (løkurt), Alliaria petiolata is a short-lived annual / biannual that germinates in the autumn here and the leaves often make it through the winter and can be eaten in midwinter!

Indoor edible shoots: my living room is alive!!

A collection of pictures of greens now available in my house (15th February 2016), mainly shoots of perennial vegetables!

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Garlic bulbil (hvitløk-toppløk) shoots – I eat garlic bulbil shoots for most of the winter, Bulbils (topsets) form instead of flowers on hardneck garlic and are ideal for winter forcing indoors. I’m clipping them every day now to go with my lunch. The sprouts in the bucket on the left have been clipped down twice already and will try one more time before giving up. The bulbils were planted in the bucket on the right about two weeks ago.
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Seed sprouts from an oriental brassica that produced masses of seed…
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Madeira vine, Anredera cordifolia, is mainly known as a marginal root crop that’s not to everybody’s taste. It’s in the Basellaceae, related to both Basella (Ceylon spinach) and Ulluco (Ullucus tuberosus). All have edible shoots and greens. I had lots of small tubers last autumn, so why not use them for winter sprouts!
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Madeira vine, Anredera cordifolia

 

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This is Japanese chives (japan-gressløk), received as Allium schoenoprasum var yezomonticola years ago, now apparently a synonym of Allium maximowiczii
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This is Japanese chives (japan-gressløk), received as Allium schoenoprasum var yezomonticola years ago, now apparently a synonym of Allium maximowiczii, which is closely related to chives. It’s a more robust and productive plant than most chives. I replanted my oldest clump this autumn and had lots left over, so why not force them inside for winter onions! I’ll use this one again!
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This is Japanese chives (japan-gressløk), received as Allium schoenoprasum var yezomonticola years ago, now apparently a synonym of Allium maximowiczii, which is closely related to chives. It’s a more robust and productive plant than most chives. I replanted my oldest clump this autumn and had lots left over, so why not force them inside for winter onions! I’ll use this one again!
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Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) can also be winter forced for the greens!

 

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Allium cernuum (Nodding onion / prærieløk) dug in the autumn and now providing winter onions from the living room….
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Egyptian/ walkabout /topset onion (luftløk) aerial onions can be sprouted indoors for winter greens