I harvested the last potatoes yesterday. This variety is Sharpe’s Express, an English variety from 1900 developed by a Mr. Sharpe in Lincolnshire. Although an early variety, I planted them late in June just before I left for my Dad’s funeral. He had told me that he grew this variety during the war and having a few seed left it felt right to plant them <3 Historically, this is a variety commonly grown in Norway and rated by many as the best tasting of all varieties. Surprisingly, they didn’t get blight. I got these as virus-cleaned mini tubers as part of KVANN’s (Norwegian Seed Savers) potato project.
I think that we ate Hablitzia (fondly known as habby) shoots every day this March as the mild winter and largely unfrozen soil brought them on about a month earlier than normal, even the plants in the shadiest parts of the garden, where frozen soil normally lingers longer, have been harvested regularly this year. They’ve been used in all sorts of dishes from pizza to quiche to salads to a soba dish, stir fry in green pasta sauce, in curry, in vegetable patties and baccalao. Tasty, adaptable and nutritious! We’ve had 3 or 4 heavy snow falls which have melted again in a few days but the Caucasian spinach (stjernemelde or star orach in Norwegian) is hardly affected. HABBY EASTER TO ALL MY FOLLOWERS :)
Painted Lady (tistelsommerfugl) numbers have gradually increased over the last few days and I counted 15 today with two Red Admirals. A week ago the situation was reversed with 15 Admirals and 2 Ladies!
Long-tongued Bombus consobrinus (lushatthumle) which almost exclusively feeds on Aconitum has turned up in the garden over the last few days on Himalayan balsam / kjempespringfrø (Impatiens glandulifera).
Thanks to Tor Bollingmo for the ID (he tells me, he’s not seen this species on Impatiens before).
Lovely visit and the year’s first picnic last night from Permalin Farm, currently being established in Agdenes Kommune, just south of Lensvik (see permalin.no). Dominika Bučková and Håkon Nilsen estabished a student company producing delicious 100% flax flour bread in Telemark (Linbakst; see the following video in Norwegian: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkGsbhMlZrI) using a method to remove cyanide from the flour, so that authority regulations to limit consumption of flax seed can be safely circumnavigated. They are now moving the business to their permaculture inspired farm in Trøndelag. I’ll be doing a workshop at the farm during their Farming in Harmony with Nature Summer Festival on 27th-28th July. See you there :)
With 40-50cm of snow in the farm fields, grain-eating birds are desperate for food. Today, some 30 yellowhammers (gulspurv) and many hooded crows (kråke) and jackdaws (kaie) were at the bird feeder where I’d put out some grain this morning!