Last week was National Organic Week (Økouka), a busy week for me as I had two garden tours in my Edible Garden in Malvik (the rain stopped both days just before we started), a walk and talk in the community garden at Væres Venner and a talk at Stammen Cafe & Bar in Trondheim on “Perennial Climate-friendly Food Plants for Urban Areas” talking about 15 advantages of growing perennials! Below you can see pictures from each of the events which were all well attended. I’ve credited the various photographers below. Thanks to all that came along!
1. Garden tour on Wednesday 27th September
Making the Ø letter for Økouka (picture: Margaret Anderson)
2. Talk at Stammen
2. Garden tour on Sunday 1st October
Pictures by Markus Tacker (click on the album pictures for more information):
Pictures by Marit By (click on the album pictures for more information)::
4. Walk and talk in the Væres Venner Community Garden
Pictures by Marit By (the World Garden looking good in its autumn colours with the backdrop of the old ash trees):
40 years ago this month I came to Norway to find a place for us to live as I was to start work at Institutt for kontinentalsokkelundersøkelser (IKU; Continental Shelf Institute) in Trondheim in October 1981. The flat I found was here in Malvik kommune (Torp).
To celebrate 40 years in Malvik I made a salad with 40 different genera. The names of the genera are below the pictures!
The 40 genera:
10 years ago today I had my first celebrity visit, from the UK! On 10th April 2010 I received the following email message entitled Permaveggies:
“I am a garden writer based in Birmingham, England. I came across your work via an interview with you on a website and am very interested in learning more about your garden. I also share a love for unusual edibles that can be used in an ‘ornamental setting’. I suppose my garden has one foot in the forest garden camp and the other in a cottage garden. The greatest majority are edibles (everything from your typical vegetables to the more unusuals) with the rest being useful plants for medicine, feeding the garden or pollinators. I suppose the interesting part is that it’s a typical row terrace garden that’s about 60 ft long- cramped in is one way of looking at its design principles. I’ve written a book about it called the Edible Garden with it in conjunction with a programme on BBC2.
Anyhow I would love to talk more about your work and what you’ve discovered. I look forward to hearing from you.
The interview was the one published on my friend Telsing Andrews’ blog, The Veggie Patch Reimagined (see https://veggiepatchreimagined.blogspot.com/2010/02/stephens-edimental-oasis-interview.html).
As part of this BBC series, permaculture had just been featured on 7th April 2010. The BBC crew visited Tim and Maddy Harland’s (my publishers) garden and were bowled over by their mature forest garden full of food and wildlife.
In my reply I jokingly wrote “Stop by next time you’re in the area”!
Little did I know that she would do just that a few months later! It turned out that she was researching her book “The Thrifty Forager” and was “looking for people to interview who boldly eat what others might not think to…”!
Alys’ book The Thrifty Forager was published the year after but my book with Introduction by Alys took another 3 years!
She devotes a whole section to my garden, its plants and The Modern Monk (guess who?) :) In the foreword to my book, there’s a picture of Alys reading my old coverless copy of Cornucopia II in the garden!
Below are 4 albums of pictures taken by Alys’ cameraman Brian Wheeler!
I have fond memories of this visit during a really hot period after the coldest June since the 1960s. The first album are pictures from the garden, the second from a forage and swim in the fjord, then a trip up to a local mountain Vennafjellet , via a second swimming spot, Nevrahølet (we were finished quite quickly with the pictures and interview in the garden due to the wonderful weather) and finally some pictures from Trondheim!
Alys was also a presenter on BBC’s Gardener’s World and writes a gardening column for the Guardian!
Other blog posts about Alys!
Alys Fowler in the Edible Garden: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=276
Alys’ Pool: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=5572
1. Brian Wheeler’s photographs of The Edible Garden
2. Brian Wheeler’s photographs from a tour of the bay and beach below the house (after her swim, Alys said for the first time that I lived in paradise!)
3. Trip to Vennafjellet via Nevrahølet swimming hole in the eyes of Brian Wheeler
4. Alys Fowler in Trondheim (by Brian Wheeler)
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)
We have also purchased a couple of hardy walnuts and various hazel cultivars which will be planted along with many other fruit and berry bushes! I’m helping to design and develop the garden with a great group of enthusiasts and I hope that it will be formally adopted as one of KVANNs Vegetable Sanctuaries (KVANN=Norwegian Seed Savers)
Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasus!) has survived!
Accessions go back as far as Bishop Gunnerus in the 1760s.