Tag Archives: Væres Venner Felleshage

Henry’s Quinoa Harvest

At the Væres Venner community garden, I’ve planted 6 or 7 different Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus; stolt henrik) plants from different sources. In my book you can read how this plant which is closely related to annual quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), is probably the most promising perennial grain. Even in my cold climate, it can give two yields per season and the first yield is far ahead of annual grains here! I’m hoping that one of the varieties may have slightly larger seeds (the seeds are smaller than quinoa). The only drawbacks are that the seed are difficult to clean by hand. I winnow the seed and then do the final clean. Two of my 6-7 plants were harvested here. I’m dreaming of perennial grains being grown on a large scale in the future, even in my climate…there are many benefits including less energy needed for ploughing, less fertiliser and irrigation requirements and higher carbon sequestration than annual grains. However, we do urgently need breeding programs to try to produce improved larger seed varieties.

 

Red-tailed bumblebee: new species for the garden

Yesterday, I registered red-tailed bee / steinhumle (Bombus lapidarius) for the first time at the community garden (Væres Venner), the first time in this part of Trondheim. This is a common species in the city and is probably the commonest bumblebee in the Allium garden at the botanical gardens. Today, I saw this species for the first time in my own garden, the first record in this area.  It was on Allium pskemense, probably the most popular plant in my garden for bumblebees. In the second video you can see both the white-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lucorum; lys jordhumle) and tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum; trehumle). Please correct me if I’m wrong!

Fascinating fasciated dandelions

I was working at Væres Venner Community Garden yesterday and noticed a deformed (fasciated) dandelion flower. This can be caused by a range of factors including  random genetic mutation, virus and bacterial infections. Damage to the plant’s growing tip and exposure to cold and frost can also cause fasciation and with the very cold weather after a mild start to spring is probably the cause in this case (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasciation). 
Searching around I discovered two other fasciated dandelions! This phenomenon is rare, but I have seen it before a few times. However, I’ve never seen more than one plant affected within a small area before! I photographed each of the plants below and fantasising about making fascinating fasciated dandinoodles* or rather dandi-lasagne as the flower stems are flattened :)
Unfortunately, this mutation doesn’t seem to return in the following year in dandelions..

*Dandinoodles (løvenudler) are made from quickly boiling the flower stems perferably before the flowers open and just mixing with butter or olive oil:



Fasciated Plant #1 had twin or siamese flowers:

Fasciated Plant #2 had 6 flowers on the one stem and a twisted flower stem! Note that the fasciated stem is shorter than the normal flower stems:

Fasciated Plant #3 was different again, this time a single distorted flower (cresting):




 

Walnut harvest

My first ripe walnut from Væres Venner Community Garden in Trondheim…the same year as I planted it! I should have removed it to allow the tree to gather strength. I didn’t notice the flowers, so was surprised to discover the walnut in the summer! It is one of the Loiko varieties developed by Dr. Loiko in Belarus…reckoned to be one of the world’s hardiest walnuts. The tree is only about 1m tall! Good to get confirmation in the first year that walnuts will ripen in our cold summers! I’ve had ripe Juglans mandschurica in my garden for almost 10 years, but previous attempts with Juglans regia have ended in failure (hardiness issues with young plants?)
The plantings at Væres Venner have been supported by KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers), the first of a network of gardens being developed across Norway both to take care of the genetics of old varieties of Norwegian useful plants, but also, as is the case here, to show what food we could be growing locally! The possibility of growing nuts locally makes it more realistic to eat a locally grown mostly vegetarian climate-friendly diet. I have a dream of walnut and hazel plantations in my area replacing the ubiquitous grain fields.
http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=23507

This year’s Norwegian heritage potatoes

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:

Potato harvest at Væres Venner

American chestnut at Ringve in Trondheim

There’s a great little American chestnut tree (Castanea dentata) just outside the office building at Ringve Botanical Garden in Trondheim where I work. This one has bloomed almost all summer.

The tree has separate male and female flowers, but there has to be at least two trees for pollination ….

I have 5 one-year-old trees from a northern provenance, Jefferson County in Washington State (via Chris Homanics in Oregon) and hope that Ringve would like to plant more eventually….I would love to see if the nuts would ripen here… and also help to preserve a tree species that is threatened with extinction by an imported fungal disease where it grows wild in eastern North America. In its homeland, this is one of the quickest to produce nuts from seed (as early as 5 years!)

Chris, one of my food diversity / preparedness heroes, wrote in 2016:

“Last month was spent collecting many distinct types of chestnuts from about 30 separate sites throughout Western Washington and Oregon. Some were even from old naturalized forests full of chestnut trees. Amassed it represents a diverse foundation stock for planting up, far and wide. In the face of growing droughts and the woes of climate change, I believe this plant will play a significant role in feeding people in the future as it has gone far back into the deep past. My hope is to help foster a revival of interest with the chestnut as a viable sustainable food source by offering a diverse collection of these nuts to the public to select and adapt to their local environment. ”

My other plants I’d like to plant in KVANN’s garden at Væres Venner Felleshage!

 

KVANN på Væres Venner 28. mai 2019

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)

KVANN’s Annual Meeting Weekend: Day 3 visit to Væres Venner

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.

Væres Venner status

Jeg holdte vedlagt presentasjon denne uken om status med KVANNs første hagene hos Væres Venner like utenfor Trondheim (Ranheim).
Vi trenger flere som har lyst å hjelpe til…ta gjerne kontakt isåfall!
Vi besøker hagen under KVANNs årsmøte helg 5. mai! Alle er velkommen!

English: This is a presentation of the first year’s work and status of KVANN’s (Norwegian Seed Savers) new gardens at the Væres Venner Community Garden in Trondheim. Pictures of both the World Garden and Vegetable Sanctuary are shown.

Download (PDF, 8.03MB)

Broad bean diversity 2018

Broad (fava) bean diversity 2018! This was the first harvest at Væres Venner community garden in Trondheim! This is the only (and original) bean for making falafel and hummus! We should be growing large areas of this bean here in Norway for food security and climate friendly vegan food. It annoys me how little self-sufficient Norway is in particular in vegetarian food when it doesn’t need to be that way!