Category Archives: Onions

Still green after the freeze

Since New Year, only one day had been slightly above zero with temperatures regularly below -15C, but then a big shift in the weather happened a few days ago and it’s now 25C warmer than it was a week ago!
It’s interesting to see how hardy some Alliums are, even when not insulated by snow and here are 3 of the most hardy: Allium carinatum (keeled garlic / rosenløk), Allium flavum (small yellow onion / doggløk)  and Allium cernuum (nodding onion /prærieløk) can all be harvested even though the soil is frozen solid. Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde) shoots are also developing nicely and I’ll have a few for lunch today along with the onions.

Keeled garlic, a useful winter Allium and edimental in summer

There are Allium species that can be harvested year round in the garden, notably nodding onion / Norw:prærieløk (Allium cernuum) which I’ve blogged about before. In autumn, new shoots of Allium carinatum subsp. pulchellum (keeled garlic / Norw: rosenløk) appear and with the mild weather we’ve been experiencing they’ve already reached about 20 cm high. They are hardy and can survive to at least -20C. It’s now in the autumn that this edimental Allium is most useful. I use the shoots in a similar way to chives (Allium schoenoprasum), which died back some time ago and won’t reappear until spring (unless I force them indoors), in salads, cut and sprinkled on sandwiches, in scrambled egg, quiches etc. I use them from October to April.

8. mars: Pizza greens, all harvested outside after most of the snow disappeared during the day. From the top and clockwise; Ficaria verna (lesser celandine / vårkål), Allium cernuum (nodding onion / prærieløk), Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde), Allium carinatum, Allium senescens (or hybrid), Primula veris (cowslip / marianøkleblom), Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard / løkurt) and Taraxacum spp. (dandelion / løvetann)

There are two colour forms, pink and white which are particularly valuable as they last such a long time and are popular with pollinators:

There are also forms with bulbils which can be a bit invasive:

You’ll see the flowers used as a tasty decoration in my multi-species salads (bottom right in the picture):

Allium carinatum is also popular with pollinators:



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!

Allium atroviolaceum: Caucasian Turkish garlic

Allium atroviolaceum is sometimes cultivated as an ornamental. I’ve been growing it for some 15 years now and it is admittedly not very productive as an edimental under my conditions, but it’s nevertheless a beauty and it is currently coming into flower both in my own garden and the Allium garden at the Ringve Botanical Garden in Trondheim, where the pictures below were taken.  Its wild distribution is in the Crimea, Caucasus, Middle Asia (Mountainous Turkmenistan, Syr-Darya foothill areas) and Iran.

 

In the Armenian Highlands in Eastern Turkey, there are several ethnobotanical studies documenting its use in local food, presumably wild collected, although there are indications that it might also be cultivated for food including:
1) In otlu peyniri, a herbed cheese made out of sheep’s or cow’s milk. it is used as a flavouring along with many other species (from Wikipedia):
Ranunculus polyanthemos L.(Ranunculaceae)
Nasturtium officinale R. Br. (Brassicaceae)
Gypsophila L. spp. (Caryophyllaceae)
Silene vulgaris (Maench) Garcke var. vulgaris (Caryophyllaceae)
Anthriscus nemorosa (Bieb.) Sprengel (Apiaceae)
Carum carvi L. (Apiaceae)
Anethum graveolens L. (Apiaceae)
Prangos pabularia Lindl. (Apiaceae)
Prangos ferulacea (L.) Lind. (Apiaceae)
Ferula L. sp. (Apiaceae)
Ferula orientalis L. (Apiaceae)
Ferula rigidula DC. (Apiaceae)
Thymus kotschyanus Boiss. et Hohen. var. glabrescens Boiss. (Lamiaceae)
Thymus migricus Klokov et Des. – Shoct. (Lamiaceae)
Mentha spicata L. subsp. spicata (Lamiaceae)
Ziziphora clinopodioides Lam. (Lamiaceae)
Ocimum basilicum L. (Lamiaceae)
Eremurus spectabilis Bieb. (Liliaceae)
Allium schoenoprasum L. (Liliaceae)
Allium fuscoviolaceum Fomin (Liliaceae)
Allium scorodoprasum L.subsp. rotundum(L.)Stearn (Liliaceae)
Allium aucheri Boiss. (Liliaceae)
Allium paniculatum L. subsp. paniculatum (Liliaceae)
Allium akaka S. G. Gmelin (Liliaceae)
Allium cf. cardiostemon Fisch. et Mey. (Liliaceae)
2) In another study, the young shoots are used in various dishes and as a flavouring with yoghurt. It us used both boiled and raw. The bulbs are used to replace garlic in food.
Local names in Turkey include sirmo, körmen, and yabani sarimsak.




The Allium garden at Ringve

19th June 2020: Video update from the Allium (Chicago) garden at the NTNU Ringve Botanical Gardens in Trondheim. The heat wave has brought many species into flower and the garden’s looking great! 
The official opening of the garden, planned for August, has been postponed to 2021. We are working on plant signs which will hopefully be added later in the summer.
The garden currently contains some 300 accessions including around 100 Allium species and many old Norwegian onions collected over several years from all over the country and funded by Norsk Genressurssenteret and Landbruksdirektoratet.
The signs for the garden are in part funded through a gift from Skjærgaarden (https://www.skjaergaarden.no) to KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers) who have decided to use the gift at Ringve (see https://www.facebook.com/skjaergaarden.no/videos/2972781459487864)

SO/TR Pizza

I have a feeling that no one else had this pizza last night! SO/TR? Sherpa Onion/Turkish Rocket of course, better known (to the botanist) as AW/BO or Allium wallichii/Bunias orientalis two of my June perennial vegetables, the young shoots of the onion (one of the latest Alliums to show it’s still alive in the spring) and the delicious broccolis of Turkish rocket. We turned it into pizza as we were making Danish sourdough rye bread (using the 24 hour bake at 70C method) and had made extra dough.




Garden wild green soup

Last night we made a green pea soup and apart from the Hablitzia (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde), I used perennial vegetables growing in a wild part of the garden. With little or no help from me there’s a bounty of wild edibles in this area under wild hazels (Corylus avellana) and this made for a delicious pea soup with masses of greens. 
Campanula latifolia is documented as used in spring soups in the 16th century in my area in Norway and Heracleum shoots are also a tradional soup ingredient, in particular Russian borsch now thought of as a beetroot soup was originally made with hogweed shoots. 

A 65 Veggie Pakora at 65

To celebrate my 65th we made indian pakora with 65 (or so) different perennial vegetables. Going for a new title, this time EPM (Extreme Pakora Man)! Any better? The whole list is under the pictures!
Just wish I’d had broad / fava bean (bondebønner) flour available for the pakoras rather than gram flour (chick peas)…next time I hope :)

Begonia heracleifolia var nigricans (leaf petiole)
Cilantro / Bladkoriander
Dill
Oxalis triangularis (two varieties)
Gynostemma  pentaphyllum (sweet tea vine)
Crithmum maritimum (rock samphire / sanktpeterskjerm)
Parsley / persille
Garlic / Hvitløk “Valdres”
Garlic / Hvitløk “Lochiel”
Garlic / Hvitløk (sprouts)
Chenopodium ambrosioides (epazote / sitronmelde)
Chrysanthemum coronarium “Chopsuey  Greens”
Perennial kale / flerærige kål “Heligoland”
Perennial kale / flerærige kål “Daubenton Variegated”
Urtica dioica (nettle / nesle)
Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde)
Allium ursinum (ramsons / ramsløk)
Hydrophyllum virginianum (Virginia waterleaf, Indian salad)
Primula elatior (oxlip / hagenøkleblom)
Primula “Sunset shades”
Rhubarb / rabarbra “Victoria”
Rhubarb / rabarbra “Træna”
Allium fistulosum (Welsh onion / pipeløk)
Allium cernuum (Chicago onion, nodding onion / prærieløk)
Myrrhis odorata (sweet cicely / Spansk kjørvel)
Sium sisarum (skirret / sukkerrot)
Heracleum sphondylium (common hogweed / kystbjørnekjeks)
Allium scorodoprasum (sand leek / bendelløk, skogløk)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion / løvetann) (leaves, roots and flowers)
Matteuccia struthiopteris (ostrich fern / strutseving)
Houttuynia cordata “Chinese Market”
Allium carolinianum
Allium schoenoprasum (chives / gressløk)
Rheum palmatum var tanguticum (Turkey rhubarb/  prydrabarbra)
Bistorta officinalis (bistort / ormerot)
Allium x proliferum (walking onion / luftløk) “Amish Topset”
Campanula latifolia (giant bellflower / storklokke)
Aegopodium podograria (ground elder / skvallerkål)
Carum carvi (caraway / karve) (leaves)
Aralia cordata (udo) (short blanched shoot)
Crambe maritima (sea kale / strandkål)
Allium douglasii (Douglas’ onion / Douglas-løk)
Allium nutans (Siberian nodding onion / sibirsk nikkeløk)
Hemerocallis spp. (day lily / daglilje)
Allium victorialis (victory onion / seiersløk) “Lofoten”
Rumex acetosa (sorrel / engsyre)
Levisticum officinale (lovage / løpstikke) (blanched)
Smilacina racemosa ( false spikenard / toppkonvall) “Emily Moody” (blanched)
Hosta “Frances Williams”
Tragopogon pratensis (Jack-go-to-bed-by-noon / geitskjegg)
Barbarea vulgaris ssp arcuata (winter yellowcress / vinterkarse)
Barbarea vulgaris ssp vulgaris (winter yellowcress / vinterkarse)
Allium paradoxum var normale (few-flowered leek)
Angelica archangelica ssp archangelica v. Majorum  (Angelica / kvann) “Vossakvann”
Dystaenia takesimana (Ulleung giant celery)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard / løkurt)
Rudbeckia lacinata (Cherokee greens)
Armoracia rusticana (horseradish / pepperrot) (blanched greens)
Rumex patientia (patience dock / hagesyre)
Allium pskemense
Taraxacum sublaciniosum “Delikatess” (dandelion / løvetann) “Moss-leaved dandelion”
Taraxacum albidum
Phyteuma nigra (black rampion / svartvadderot) (greens)
(Golpar was in the pakora batter along with chili, ajwain and black onion seed, Nigella)










 

Victory falafels

Falafels can be home grown over most of Norway and if we are serious about climate change should become standar fare in kitchens, restaurants and supermarkets throughout the country.  Dig for VICTORY against climate change!
The ingredients:
Broad beans / fava beans (bondebønner); grown in Malvik and stored dried
Victory onion (seiersløk) grows particularly well in the arctic (or replace with garlic or ramsons)
Golpar (spice from ground seed of any member of the Heracleum genus, including invasive Tromsøpalme, Heracleum persicum)
Barley flour (bygg) – I used100% whole grain
Eggs to bind
Fry in oil (sorry, I used imported olive oil)
(Optional: house grown chilis)
Decoration: Oxalis triangularis