Tag Archives: Allium cernuum

Snow onions


Various Allium species are the hardiest of edible plants either staying green all winter (e.g., Allium cernuum and Allium carinatum) or sprouting very early and able to withstand some frost. With a minimum forecast of -6C tomorrow after a very mild March, it will be interesting to see whether any of these early shooters are damaged. Here are a selection of pictures of Alliums and other early spring shoots in this weeks snow.

March soba greens

Today it reached an unusually warm 16C here which encouraged the first bumble bees and honey bees out! The picture shows the greens (and whites) used in tonight’s soba (buckwheat noodle) stir-fry:
Hogweed (Heracleum spp.) shoots (far left, from the cellar); top row: Dystaenia takesimana (outside), chicons (chicory shoots; cellar), horseradish shoots (cellar), garlic and Allium scorodoprasum shoots (outside), Allium cernuum shoots (outside); Below from L to R: Dandelion (Taraxacum) shoots from the cellar, ground elder (Aegopodium podograria) shoots (outside), lesser celandine (Ficaria verna), wild buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum) seed sprouts (living room), nettle shoots (Urtica dioica), hedge mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and (bottom right) Hablitzia tamnoides shoots. 

Harvesting midwinter nodding onions

Allium cernuum (nodding onion / prærieløk) is hardy more or less anywhere people live and stays green all winter here. It’s been mild with snow coming and going for several weeks and there’s no frost in the soil. I dug up a clump yesterday to use in the kitchen and replanted a few. Some were used in a salad and others will be used in any dishes with onion in the next couple of weeks (Indian, Chinese, Mediterranean pasta with green sauce….anything really).

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.

Harvesting winter vegetables before the freeze

I’ve been self-sufficient in fresh vegetables year round and have blogged and lectured about how I can do this even in winter without a greenhouse, without a freezer and without using additional energy apart from my own manual labour :) The most important factor allowing me to do this is the cold cellar under the house where I can store vegetables cold and frost free. None of the common winter leafy green vegetables further south in Europe – kales (grønnkål), chards (mangold) and leek (purre) – can be reliably overwintered outside here, although winters are getting milder. For example, swiss chard is killed by the first hard frosts which due to our northern location last all day (little direct solar warming at this time of year). Usually I’m taken by surprise by hard frosts in early November and there’s a panic digging up vegetables and I often have to use an iron bar to get through the ice layer. Not so this year. Thanks to corona and a very mild first part of November, I’ve had more time for the harvest. Last week I lifted the swedes and turnips and yesterday the parsnips, jerusalem artichokes and carrots. Today, I moved all the swiss chards, celery and chicories (sikkori) to large buckets, planted in soil, ready to move quickly inside later in the week if necessary as colder weather is forecast. In the past I’ve stored these winter vegetables in hand made wooden crates filled with soil. However, after 20 or so winters, they’re no longer usable and I hadn’t got round to making new ones, so I will store in these large plastic buckets, which had been purchased to plant the Allium collection, now with a permanent home at the Ringve botanical garden. 
I’ve also been digging up perennial vegetables for winter forcing. This includes various onions – Allium senescensAllium flavescens, Allium angulosum and Allium cernuum.  In addition, I’ve dug a udo (Aralia cordata) root and also a few ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) and Hosta “Frances Williams” (sieboldiana). Finally,  I’ve been digging large amounts of my most important winter vegetable, dandelion! (see my 2018 harvest here: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=20124)
19th November: the next morning it snowed (see the video at the bottom)!

Harvested swiss chards including the Lucullus type and perpetual spinach (all Beta vulgaris var cicla):

Chards with celeries at the beginning:



Cherokee Pizza

AROUND THE WORLD IN THE EDIBLE GARDEN; Part 1 – The Cherokee lands of Eastern North America
The first in a series of dinners from Malvik’s Edible Garden where we “forage” from different parts of the world!

Cherokee Pizza is of course better known as Cherokizza…go on, look it up :). This is the classic Native American Italian dish and it was made in Norway today!   All you need is a good selection of Cherokee wild vegetables:
Appalachian greens / kyss-meg-over-gjerde (Rudbeckia laciniata); see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=22018
Nodding onion / prærieløk (Allium cernuum)
Stinging nettle / brennesle (Urtica dioica)
Virginia waterleaf / Indian salad (Hydrophyllum virginianum)
Dandelion / løvetann (Taraxacum spp.) (a giant individual, as you will see from the pictures, growing on seaweed on the sea kale bed)
Cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum)

I used a thick 100% whole grain rye sourdough base for the pizza, so a bit of Denmark in there too!




27th March Veggies from the garden

Tonight we made a quiche (eggepai) with these vegetables:
Allium nutans (Siberian nodding onion)
Allium cernuum
(nodding onion / prærieløk)
Dystaenia takesimana (Giant Ulleung Celery)
Brassica oleracea (Perennial kale / flerårige kål)
Allium paradoxum
Allium oleraceum
Alliaria petiolata
(hedge garlic / løkurt)
Angelica archangelica (Voss Angelica / Vossakvann)
Myrrhis odorata (Sweet cicely / spansk kjørvel)
Tragopogon pratensis shoots ( Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon / geitskjegg)
Carum carvi (caraway / karve)
Aegopodium podograria (ground elder / skvallerkål)
Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion / løvetann)
Rumex acetosa (sorrel / engsyre)
Smyrnium olusatrum (Alexanders / sorte løpstikke)

25th March Veggies

These delicious fresh perennial vegetables were added tonight’s dal towards the end
Aegopodium podograria (ground elder; skvallerkål)
Allium cernuum (nodding onion; prærieløk)
Brassica oleracea (perennial kale; flerårige kål)
Ficaria verna (lesser celandine; vårkål)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard; løkurt)
Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach; stjernemelde)
Taraxacum officinale ( dandelion; løvetann)  Forced and blanched in the cellar with flower buds now forming
Myrrhis odorata (sweet cicely; spansk kjørvel)

Self-produce from the garden

Here’s yesterday’s fresh produce* from the garden….the joy of perennial vegetables! However, snow overnight will make harvest more difficult the next few days!  Here’s today’s list:
Aegopodium podograria (ground elder / skvallerkål)
Allium hymennorhizum
Allium sativum (garlic / hvitløk)
Allium cernuum (noddding onion/ prærieløk)
Allium victorialis (victory onion / seiersløk)
Rumex acetosa “Arkhangelsk” (sorrel / engsyre)
Hemerocallis middendorfii (day lily / daglije)
Brassica oleracea (various perennial kales / flerårige kål)
Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde)
Myrrhis odorata (sweet cicely / spansk kjørvel)
Ficaria verna (lesser celandine / vårkål)
Taraxacum officinale ” Moss-leaved” (dandelion / løvetann)
Angelica archangelica “Vossakvann Markusteigen” (kvann)
Used in a green pasta sauce.
* “Produce” they aren’t as most produce themselves without little input from me: Self-produce is a better word! 


More from the garden

We seem to be at least a month ahead of normal this year. I don’t normally see new shoots of ground elder (Aegopodium) until the middle of April but this year they are popping up all over the place.
Today’s veggies are a bit different from yesterday as it depends which part of the garden I harvest from. They are:
Hablitzia tamnoides (Caucasian spinach; stjernemelde)
Aegopodium podograria (ground elder; skvallerkål)
Rumex acetosa (non-flowering) (sorrel; engsyre)
Rumex patientia (patience dock; hagesyre)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion; løvetann)
Allium fistulosum (welsh onion; pipeløk)
Allium paradoxum
Allium x proliferum (Egyptian onion; luftløk)
Myrrhis odorata (sweet cicely; spansk kjørvel)
Allium cernuum (nodding onion; prærieløk)
Hemerocallis (day lily shoots; daglilje)
These were used in a delicious vegetable pea soup!