Saturday was a great day with the garden full of Austrians and to make them feel at home I took them to the steepest parts of my garden 😊. Two years ago, I toured Austria giving talks for the seed saver organisation Arche Noah and the highlight was my visit hosted by Thomas Strubreiter and his wife Michi who have built an amazing ecodwelling / earthship with turf roof. A series is currently airing on Austrian television showing its construction and a short program “Das-hobbithaus in Salzburg” can be seen here: https://www.servus.com/tv/videos/aa-1vr7rebsw1w12/
It is located high in the mountains above Salzburg surrounded by alpine meadows and beautiful Lake Seewald. I gave a talk in the mountain restaurant Auerhütte, owned by the family and located nearby http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=11483. Thomas and family have dedicated themselves to preserving rare breeds of farm animals, their connection to Arche Noah who also work with rare breeds! See also http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=11499
We talked about them visiting Malvik at some time, but it still came as a surprise to get a FB message from a very good friend of theirs, Birgit, who was living in Jämtland in Sweden, a 4 hour drive from here that Thomas and Michi were visiting and wondered if they could visit! They were here for a few hours on Saturday, a powerful meeting with a lot of laughter! Their turf roof will now have Norwegian roof onions from Gudbrandsdalen!
I made a presentation about my visit to Austria and Arche Noah in June at the “Seed for the future” seminar in Oslo last week! The presentation can be downloaded below. The seminar was organized by the Network for Plant diversity (Nettverk for Plantemangfold) which comprises the following organisations Oikos – Økologisk Norge, Biologisk-Dynamisk Forening, Solhatt Økologisk Hagebruk, Norsk Senter for Økologisk Landbruk (NORSØK), KVANN / Norwegian Seed Savers, Århus Andelsgård and Økologisk Spesialkorn og Sogn Jord- og Hagebruksskole (SJH). The seminar was supported by Landbruksdirektoratet (The Norwegian Agriculture Agency)
A summary of the seminar and all the presentations can be found here http://www.oikos.no/aktuelt/fro-for-framtida
The genus Hosta is just about my favourite vegetable as you can read in my book Around the World in 80 plants, productive, tasty and perfect for a forest garden as it doesn’t mind deep shade! I did a walk and talk at the Botanischer Garten der Universität Wien as part of my tour organised by Arche Noah in mid-June 2017. To my great surprise, there was a Hosta installation in the garden and a large collection of species Hosta! It turns out that the genus Hosta was named after Austrian botanist Nikolaus Host (1761-1834) and he managed a garden on the site of the botanical garden until his death!
From the garden’s web site: “On the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Nikolaus Thomas Host (1761-1834). A group of students of the class for landscape design, under the supervision of the British artist and landscape designer Tony Heywood, is working on a “horticultural installation” for the Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna.”
Here’s a series of pictures from the installation “Hosta Superstar” and a long bed of species Hosta!
All Hostas are edible.
This was the highlight of my guided tour of the garden which ended at the Hosta installation.
It was unknown to the garden that Hosta are edible and the director was excited of this new dimension to the garden…perhaps there will be a Hosta tasting next spring!
Mission accomplished! I arrived here in Austria over a week ago! 3 garden tours and two seminars on and I’m now sitting with some porcini pasta and some Austrian beer in Saltzburg before my train back to Vienna and home tomorrow. After 7 hours in Saltzburg, I still haven’t heard any Mozart or The Sound of Music! Thanks to Arche Noah for inviting me
My last gig in Austria was a tour in the young botanical garden in Saltzburg. Despite its youth (from 1986), it had one of the best collection of unusual edibles I’ve seen in a dedicated garden to the world’s cultural plants! Of course the ornamental beds also had a lot of food…
A few pictures from my first three days in Schiltern and Austrian Seed Savers organisation Arche Noah’s amazing show gardens. The main show gardens are in the village of Schiltern in Langenlois, an important wine growing area, with warm, dry summers and relatively mild winters.
I’m doing a series of talks and garden guided tours this week starting here in Schiltern, then Vienna and finally in the Alps near Salzburg!
…and I got to try one of these broadforks! This one had been handmade for Arche Noah!
I’m really looking forward to doing 5 events in Austria for seed saver organisation Arche Noah from 11th -17th June! Their latest April magazine contains the following good looking article with, I’m assuming some good words too ;)