A great evening at the Resilience Hub in Portland, Maine after a tour of Aaron Parker’s Edgewood Nursery where I’m staying! Possibly the best stocked edible perennial nursery that I’ve visited! More on this when I return!
Aaron was one of the first I sent seed of Hablitzia to in North America early in 2009, after Jonathan Bates (Eric Toensmeier’s partner at Holyoke). Hablitzia is now a best seller at the nursery and Aaron told me is also grown commercially in Maine, particularly valuable due to the early spring harvest! Another person I sent seed to in 2009, Greg Martin was also there last night!
Thanks also to Aaron for setting up my tour of New England!
It was a great evening last night in Holyoke, Massachusetts last night with a great group of knowledgeable permaculture folk! I was also on a tour of Eric’s place Paradise Lot…..WOW!! Much more of that when I’m home!
The first picture shows the great Eric Toensmeier introducing me :)
Afterwards we went to the legendary Tripple Brook Farm nursery run by Steve Briar, the big permaculture inspirer in this area and a thoroughly nice guy too (more on all the plants we saw here later too!)
Grand Opening of The Edible Garden Permaculture LAND Centre
(Thanks to Berit Børte, Kjell Hødnebø, Lone Dybdal, Elin Mar, Bell Batta Torheim, Inger Line Skurdal Ødegård and Margaret M. Anderson for the pictures )
Sunday 5th May was a cold showery day here in Malvik and the 3rd day of KVANN’s (Norwegian Seed Savers) annual meeting weekend in Trondheim and Malvik. This was also the day of the official opening of my garden as a Permaculture LAND centre, which was celebrated by a primula ribbon cutting ceremony and the LAND multi-species salad (how many ingredients? See below!). Meg had decorated the gate for the occasion, now a permanent feature:
25 participants from all over Norway met in the garden at 10:30. Due to the weather, we moved inside where I gave an introduction to how the garden had developed into a permaculture Forest Garden despite the fact that I knew nothing of permaculture principles! The rain eased off, so we moved outside for a walk and talk around the garden with focus on the plants. The album below shows some of the plants we talked about:
I had got up at 6 am to pick the ingredients for the multi-species salad we made for lunch (all 146 ingredients) to celebrate the garden’s LAND status!
LAND: Learning And Network Demonstration network – a network of permaculture sites. Sites are set up to show permaculture in practice to visitors and volunteers in a safe, accessible and inspiring way. There are a number of requirements to receive LAND certification, one of which was that I had to have a PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate) which I took in 2017, sharing the teaching with Jan Bang (yes, I taught myself the plants part of the course!)
On Sunday 5th May we’ll be having an official opening of the garden as a Permaculture LAND centre
(see https://www.permaculture.org.uk/land-centres and http://www.permakultur.no/land)!
This is part of a full weekend programme for KVANN’s (Norwegian Seed Savers) annual meeting (årsmøte) weekend (the whole program in Norwegian is at the bottom)! Membership: kvann.org!
The full program will follow!
Hope many folks will join us for our celebratory LAND multi-species spring salad and much more!
Continuing my tour of Wicklow gardens which Orlaith Murphy had arranged for me! After a great lunch at Wendy Nairn’s house I was unprepared for the amazing garden that awaited me next: Kim and Angus Tyner’s Honeyoak garden! WOW! Kim is a wonderful plantswoman and Angus is equally passionate about wildlife, in particular the incredible diversity of moths in Wicklow and won an award for his work on registering wildlife diversity (http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/record-biodiversity/distinguished-recorders/distinguished-recorder-2013). He also runs his own local weather station! Observation!
I arrived 20 years after Kim and Angus took over the land! They had their priorities right right from the start and they started their vegetable patch before building the house! Today, the couple are almost sufficient in vegetables and fruit and there are two polytunnels in addition to the large wild looking diverse veggie garden which integrates a number of perennials and herbs. For me, the garden could have been inspired by permaculture as many of its techniques have been employed. Kim hand digs, uses mulches, saves seed, the house is powered by solar panels and a wood-fired range, and as much as possible is sourced locally. They also have hens, bees and a cow, so no longer totally vegetarian as they were for 20 years (doing it yourself is clearly very important here!). The garden is still evolving with new beds being planted, nut trees and many edimentals in the ornamental beds. There is diversity everywhere, this is clearly a fantastic oasis for wildlife and the large pond they created has even been visited by an otter. It was a dull wet day, so I hope my pictures do justice to this inspirational garden! Oh and I was very “habby” to see one of my babies in the garden, the Caucasian spinach (Hablitzia tamnoides) :)
See more at
Finally, a post from my 3 days non-stop tour of Wicklow gardens, thanks to Orlaith Murphy. The first stop was Suzie Cahn’s Carraig Dulra Permaculture Farm. The abundance developing here on this hillside site which most would probably be categorized as marginal land reminded me of Mandy Barber‘s Incredible Edible site on previous sheep pasture in Devon!
It’s been a hard year due to the very unusual drought since April until recently. Nevertheless, the deep rooting collection of heirloom apples had produced well! We were there on a blustery day after Storm Ali had battered Ireland that night!
It’s only taken me two years to blog about the garden at Teeny Weeny Farm, a permaculture inspired market garden in the teeny village of Dyke in Morayshire in North East Scotland, not far from Findhorn!
Today FB told me my visit was already two years ago…so I decided to do something about it. The garden was relatively young when I visited but packed with interesting plants intermingled with plants being grown by Kirsty Reid for her cut flower business (many are edimentals!). I was told that her partner permaculturist Chris Johnstone was in charge of the fruit trees and berry bushes!
I received my PDC after completing the course mainly taught by Jan Bang at my house in Malvik during 3 long weekends in 2017. My project report was about how I designed my own garden using permaculture design principles (without having read about them). The report can be downloaded below:
Back in Nesodden (family visit) after two great days celebrating økouka (national organic week) in Porsgrunn! Thanks to Gunn Marit and Anne Sofie for inviting me and for all the great folks that attended, several of which were members of KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers). On Wednesday evening I gave a 90min + talk about KVANN and perennial veggies, followed by the official opening of Porsgrunn Seed Library (with my Hablitzia – stjernemelde) seed being the first donation. Then, on Thursday morning, I gave a course on perennial veggies to a group in the newly restored Eidanger vicarage in which the Eidanger CSA (moved here this year from another site) has a room, including half an hour looking at wild and garden plants in the old rectory garden! A great mix of folks, it was particularly pleasing that two young students had travelled down from Bø i Telemark to learn more about perennial vegetables! It was also good to see the leader of the Århus CSA scheme Tove and the new gardener Katrine in attendance! I’d met Tove on that memorable life-changing visit to Århus 5 years ago (http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=13690). There are lots of exciting sustainable developments and initiatives in Porsgrunn and I also talked to a guy with plans of converting an old farm to a forest garden. Great also to meet a newly arrived American wwoofer who had travelled south from Engeløya (Steigen) where she’d been working for my friend Eva Bakkeslett (see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=1720 about my 2015 visit to Engeløya). For this reason, the course was in English!! Eidanger is destined to become a centre of vegetable diversity in the future with such a great group of visionary folk and a lot of land to work with!
See also this aerial view of the Porsgrunn CSA at the Eidanger Prestegård: https://scontent-arn2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/20863217_10214875018217539_4042211065793829304_o.jpg?oh=014f038146772c9a50993319a5a1c027&oe=5A546BFA
Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden