Bullfinch Nettle Feast

A group of seeding nettles strategically placed in view of a living room window provides a little entertainment in winter ( no, I didn’t plant them, but I deliberately didn’t cut them back). This is important food for various finches in winter including bullfinches (dompap).



2020 Potato Harvest

Here’s 24 of the 26 potato varieties I grew this year. Many are from the national potato preservation project administered by the Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN). 10 different varieties(mini-tubers) which have been cleaned for virus are offered every year. Some of the smaller ones are small as they were started from mini-tubers (used as seed potatoes next year).
The varieties are from left to right:
TOP ROW: Tysk Blå; Eggeplomme; Gjernes potet; Sverre; Rosenpotet; Lange’s potet; Ingeleivs; King Edward Troll
SECOND ROW: Ivar; Blå Kerrs Pink; Gamle Raude; Svart Valdres; Buddhisten fra Snåsa; Ringerikspotet; Svartpotet fra Vegårshei (syn. Blå Kongo); Abundance
BOTTOM ROW: Beate; Rocket; Shetland Black; Sharpe’s Express; Brage; Hroar’s Drege and Sarpo Tominia
I’m not head-banging to the potatoes….honest:

Yacon and Madeira Vine flowering outside

To my surprise, I noticed today that both yacon (Polymnia sonchifolia) and Madeira Vine (Anredera cordifolia) have managed to flower outside in the garden before I bring them inside for the winter just before the first frost. I’m surprised as the autumn has been colder than normal…maybe this is rather a consequence of the record warmth in June. 

Yacon (Polymnia sonchifolia) flowering for the first time outside in the garden…the tubers are overwintered indoors
Madeira Vine (Anredera cordifolia) flowering for the first time outside in the garden…the tubers are overwintered indoors


 

Sarpo Tominia: the 17th harvest

I’ve been growing the blight resistent potato Sarpo Tominia every year since 2004 and it’s still going strong, showing no sign of lack of vigour, continuing in full growth right up to the first heavy frosts with fantastic yields. In the UK, this variety was deemed too similar to Sarpo Mira to be continued. However, my observations are that Tominia yields a bit better than Mira here, probably because it is a bit earlier. This makes little difference in the UK, but could be significant here in Norway where growth is stopped by early frosts. 
Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN) administer a national program offering 10 virus cleaned varieties from our national list of some 80 traditonal varieties each year. Members are not allowed to pass these varieties on to others, but can save their own seed potatoes. This is to reduce the spreading of virus and other diseases. We will reoffer most varieties of interest after some years.  For the same reason we have also included other popular non-commercial varities in the program and Sarpo Mira has been included for some years now. Members are sent 3 mini-tubers of each variety and these are then used to produce seed potatoes for the following year.
We will now be including Sarpo Tominia in the programme and hope to be able to carry out comparative trials between these two varieties in a couple of years. Here is my harvest yesterday. These were grown in a very shady part of the garden with maximum 1 hour direct sunlight in summer and none when the tubers are forming!

Fieldfare migration

With Covid a long way from being over, I’m wishing I was a bird! We probably won’t be visiting family in the UK this winter and this morning there were some 50 fieldfares (gråtrost) and a few redwings and blackbirds feeding on rowan berries in the garden and above I could witness thousands of thrushes passing the house towards west. On some autumn days thrushes will stream past all day in the same direction, maybe following the fjord. The weather chart shows perfect flying conditions with light north easterly winds between Norway and the UK, so I’m thinking these are bound where I can’t go…



Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden