All posts by Stephen Barstow

BBCRadio Solent

The distributor who has worked to arrange interviews this week while I’m in the UK didn’t mention I’m a local Hampshire lad. Nevertheless BBC Radio Solent in Southampton and Hilliers Arboretum near Romsey, both within 10 miles of where I grew up,  both picked up on it (the latter will be in May).  Interviewed today about the book on BBC Radio Solent….lots more I wanted to say, but with only 20 minutes available, its not easy… at 1:11:00ish

World Record Salad Invite

Sunday 24th August 2003, I earned my title Extreme Salad Man :) when I made a salad comprising 538 varieties of edible plant. I’m still looking for the recipe I made, and in the process I found the attached invitation to the garden open day when I made that salad, shown below:









For English speakers, here’s what it says:

“”Open organic herb garden
Bergstua organic garden, Malvikvn. 418, Malvik
Sunday August 24th from kl. 1200

Co-organizer: Malvik Gardening Club

Other Activities: Plant sale and plant swap

(Bring plants for swopping)

World Record Salad attempt (500 varieties of edible plants in a salad)

Garden tour (over 1500 varieties)

 Focaccia, herbal tea, coffee, poppy cake

 Fungi control (bring fungi to be checked)

Plant Sales and plant swap
Preliminary sales list (NB there are few plants of each cultivar and many are small plants from seed this year).
(There follows a list of 219 plants I had for sale that day!!)””

Download (PDF, 199KB)

Alys Fowler in the Edible Garden

I was really happy that Alys Fowler agreed to write the book’s foreword. She visited me for 3 days in 2010 when she was writing the book the Thrifty Forager and she devotes a whole section to  my garden, its plants and The Modern Monk (guess who) :) In the foreword to my book, there’s a picture of Alys reading my old copy coverless copy of Cornucopia II in the garden!








A Modern Monk in his garden with Lilium martagon in full flower!


8 years later…

The first time I gave my talk “Around the world in 80 plants” was 8 (eight) years ago on 6th November 2006 for the local group of the Norwegian Botanical Society (NBF-TLA) under the Norwegian title “Verden rundt med 80 arter – som smaker”.  After the meeting, the leader of the group, Arne Odland told me I should write a book. The thought had occurred to me, but this was the spark I needed….but that it would take 8 years is surprising, but there was still a lot of testing of plants, trying of many recipes, a full time job, a large garden to look after and some rewriting……….
I was invited back to the Botanical Society to give a quick 10 minute introduction to the book. Then this afternoon I had a panicky call whether I could make a longer talk as the main lecturer had to cancel…..NBF_RTW_2014
I used the same picture from my 2006 lecture and just changed the date, here it is :)

Review in the Ian Young Bulb Log

The first review apart from the Permaculture Magazine one came from a completely unexpected place, the Scottish Rock Garden Club’s Ian Young’s weekly Bulb Log and a really good review it is too!!…/2014Nov261417007041BULB_LOG_4814.p…(see pages 11 to 15)

I had thought and hoped that the book might also appeal to ornamental gardeners and maybe we were right……

Ian’s bulb log is a labour of love and goes right back to 2003, you can see all of them here (I’ve followed this over the years and picked up a lot of valuable information!

The book is now shipping…and at a special price from Permanent Publications!

around-the-world-front-coverAround The World in 80 Plants : An Edible Perennial Vegetable Adventure For Temperate Climates, by Stephen Barstow

What has underground gardening in Tokyo, the origin of garlic and an English bishop got in common? They are all stories from the original, groundbreaking book, Around The World In 80 Plants. Perennial gardening will never be the same again, nor will be your kitchen repertoire!

Around The World In 80 Plants takes us on an inspiring edible adventure across the continents, introducing us to the author’s top 80 perennial vegetables, with inspiration along the way from local foraging traditions and small scale domestication. Each plant has its own ethnobotanical story to tell; introducing Sherpa vegetables of the Himalayas; forest gardened and foraged vegetables of the Sámi people of Arctic Scandinavia; a super-vegetable of the Maori of New Zealand; an onion with a 1,000 year history linking the author’s home and Iceland ; a plant which earned the name ‘supermarket of the swamps’; the traditional veggie roof gardens of Norway; clifftop perennial vegetables of Dorset’s Jurassic coast; the Hampshire perennial vegetable triangle; Scandinavias best kept secret, a long-lived spinach that climbs; Prince Charles’ Forest Garden, and inspiring multi-species dishes of the Mediterranean countries.

A thorough description is given of each vegetable, its propagation, cultivation and uses, and also how to source seed and plants. As many of the author’s selections are what he calls ‘edimentals’ – edible and ornamental –Around the World in 80 Plants will be of interest to traditional ornamental gardeners as well as anyone interested in permaculture, forest gardening, foraging, slow-food, gourmet cooking, traditional preservation techniques and ethnobotany.

Stephen has devoted over 30 years trialling the world’s perennial vegetables. He grows more than 2,000 edible plants in his garden close to the Arctic Circle in Norway, and in 2003 earned the title ‘Extreme Salad Man’ after creating a salad using 537 varieties, inspired by multi-species Mediterranean dishes! Sprinkled with recipes inspired by local traditional gastronomy, this is a fascinating book, an entertaining adventure and a real milestone in climate-friendly vegetable growing from a pioneering expert on the subject.

 Foreword by Alys Fowler.

Continue reading The book is now shipping…and at a special price from Permanent Publications!

Holma Forest Garden / Holma skogsträdgård June 2014

P1040555In mid-June I visited Esbjörn Wandt for a few days. He is one of the driving forces behind one of the first (the first?) and best forest gardens in Sweden – Holma skogsträdgård (about 10 years old I believe)…a fantastic few days, thanks to all!  Esbjörn has an impressive team of helpers at Holma and at other splinter gardens which are cropping up here and there in this area. First, I’ve collected an album of pictures from the forest garden, from my evening talk nearby and from preparing a new part of the forest garden which will exclusively contain plants from my book (it will be known as Barstows lund or Barstow’s copse…. :) )

Link to the pictures of Holma!

A group of us also visited Lund Botanical Garden nearby and had fun finding unusual edible plants in the collections :) Here is an album from that day:

Link to the Lund Botanical Gardens album