Category Archives: Salad

The year’s first extreme salad

Half an hour “foraging” in the garden and half an hour in the kitchen and I can present the year’s first multi-species salad….54 different plants! Notable additions were dark-leaved sea kale (strandkål) and Hydrophyllum virginianum (at the bottom), moss-leaved dandelion and Hablitzia tamnoides (centre). Edible flowers included two begonias and Oxalis triangularis (grown inside) and the first oxlips and hybrids (hagenøkleblom)

Buzz Buttons

Serving a side-salad of leaves of Acmella (Spilanthes) oleracea is guaranteed to get the juices flowing and lead to a lively discussion at dinner… Widely known as the Toothache plant as chewing the leaves/flowers has an analgesic (numbing) effect: “Eating a whole flower bud results in a grassy taste, followed by an extremely strong tingling or numbing sensation and often excessive saliva production and a cooling sensation in the throat”. Hence also the alternative name Buzz Balls (the flower buds). I would describe the initial taste explosion as citrousy. It’s not true that you start frothing excessively from the mouth on chewing some leaves. 
:) The effect is due to the presence of spilanthol… 

I usually have a pot or two of this plant in my garden to give a bit of excitement to unsuspecting guests – they usually think I’ve poisoned them…. This is also a prime annual edimental as you can see in the picture from the Lund Botanical Garden in Sweden. However, it is unfortunate that slugs are mad on this plant and will quickly defoliate your plants if you turn your back! I therefore grow mine in pots so that I can keep them out of the reach of the slugs… This is a native of Brazil where it is commonly used in salads and it is also used as a green vegetable (cooking destroys the toothache effect). This album was stimulated by a post by Stine Syvertsen on the Planteklubben group when I first posted it on FB back in 2012. Stine wrote about this herb also being used in Madagascar where it is known as Anamalao. 

It grows well and sets seed most years with me…It is also used medicinally and is for example a traditional remedy to stammering! – it certainly stimulates the vocal chords is my experience! Another interesting use is that if you have a guest for dinner who doesn’t like chili, you don’t need to make a separate chili-free version of whatever you’re cooking, just give your guest a few Acmella leaves to chew first! 

The winter’s first salad shoot salad

The first winter shoots were harvested from the cellar today. It is almost totally dark in the cellar and currently about +6C. The blanched shoots in the picture are (from L to R) dandelions (løvetann), perennial kales (flerårige kål) and catalogna chicory (sikkori). Otherwise you can see Korean celery (Dystaenia takesimana), perennial celery / fool’s watercress (Apium nodiflorum), turnip (nepe) , carrot (gulrot)  and lemon balm (sitronmelisse).
The salad was decorated with Begonia flowers from the living room!

BINGN Student Visit to the Edible Garden

It was a busy weekend. On Sunday, a group of 6 third year BINGN students, a three year biodynamic apprenticeship program in the Nordic countries were here for 5 hours. This was part of a one-week seminar close to Trondheim. Part of the education is to visit and learn from many farms and gardens around the Nordic countries. The education is in English and there were students from Hungary, Belgium, Finland, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Sweden! There were many questions and lots of discussion underway. We also provided lunch which, of course, included a salad! I knew a couple of them before as they’d been at the KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers) Annual Meeting in April!

The Edible Garden Land Centre Opening

During KVANN’s (Norwegian Seed Savers) annual meeting weekend in Trondheim we had an official opening ceremony for my garden, The Edible Garden (Den Spiselige Hagen), as a Permaculture LAND Centre, the 3rd in Norway. The official opening was fun and can be seen in the second video. Owner of Norway’s first LAND centre, Eirik Lillebøe Wiken performs the official opening from ca. 18.00 in the second video!
The videos are mostly in Norwegian!

Del 1:
Del 2:

See also my earlier post with more pictures and a video:

Saskatoons and salad

At the weekend at the Permalin Farm summer festival I met an English-German couple Johnny and Anna who were on a long campervan holiday in Norway, doing some wwoofing along the way. They had heard about the festival when they were in Balestrand (Sognefjord) and were recommended that they should try to visit me. They found my web site and discovered I was giving a course at the weekend and signed up!
They asked on Sunday if they could come and see my garden yesterday and said they were happy to help a bit too. We were planning to pick berries, so after the garden tour, we picked saskatoons / søtmispel (Amelanchier spp.).
The berries are now being dried!
For lunch we made an multispecies salad with Linbakst bread (100% linseed bread from the farm where we had the course). More pictures at the bottom.

…and the salad

Happy trails, guys!