I probably wasn’t aware, when we bought the house 40 years ago next year, how important the cold cellar under the house would be. It is largely unimproved since we moved here. It has allowed us to be self-sufficient in all our own fresh vegetables, root crops and fruit with minimal pre-processing. There are 4 full size rooms in the cellar which are kept dark (there are small windows which are kept covered) and without heating. Even though it is relatively early in the winter, it is at the moment just about as cold as it ever gets down there thanks to the freezing temperatures since the end of October. First are some pictures of the stairs and doors. Below is another album of pictures of the vegetables in storage; explanation with the pictures!
Lunch salad had the following ingredients;
From the garden:
Allium scorodoprasum / sand leek / bendelløk (shoots)
Allium cernuum / nodding onion / prærieløk (bulbs and leaves)
Hablitzia tamnoides / Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde (shoots)
From the cellar:
Brassica oleracea / perennial kale / flerårig kål (new leaves)
Cichorium intybus “Witloof” / chicory / sikori (shoots)
Taraxacum spp. /dandelion /løvetann (blanched cellar shoots)
Apium graveolens / celery / selleri (new and old leaves from stored celery plants)
Brassica rapa / turnip / nepe (roots)
Brassica rapa / turnip / nepe (leaf shoots)
Daucus carota / carrot / gulrot
From the living room:
Allium nutans (forced shoots)
Allium sativum / garlic / hvitløk (forced bulbils)
Taraxacum spp. / dandelion / løvetann (forced green leaves)
(served with feta cheese, olive oil, olives, salt and pepper)
Presenting this year’s 30 rhizosphantastic Xmas vegetables, all roasted in the oven, served as every year in the last 40 with nut roast, bedecked with the following seeds / bulbils: alpine bistort / harerug (Polygonum viviparum), Himalayan balsam / kjempefringfrø (Impatiens glandulifera), evening primrose / nattlys (Oenothera biennis) and opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). The tubers are listed below the pictures.
The 30 tubers, roots and rhizomes in the picture are:
Solanum tuberosum (potato / potet: 11 varieties)
Daucus carota (carrot / gulrot)
Oxalis tuberosa (oca: 2 varieties)
Arctium lappa (burdock)
Scorzonera hispanica (Scorzonera / scorsonnerot eller svartrot)
Tigridia pavonia (cacomitl)
Pastinaca sativa (parsnip / pastinakk)
Beta vulgaris (beetroot / rødbete)
Tropaeolum tuberosum (mashua)
Anredera cordifolia (Madeira vine)
Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem artichoke / jordskokk : 3 varieties)
Brassica rapa (turnip / nepe)
Brassica napus (swede / kålrot)
Dahlia (Dahlia / georginer)
Polymnia sonchifolia (yacon)
Sagittaria latifolia (wapato)
Allium cepa (onion)
I was going to post an album of pictures showing off all the late flowers in the garden this record-breaking mild autumn still without any frost, but as they’re all edible I made a salad instead!
There were 33 different edible flowers (see the list below the pictures) plus 30-40 greens and a whopper carrot which I decided to keep whole as a feature! It was cut up when the salad was tossed afterwards. It has a story too as it is one of the Danish accessions rematriated from Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) in the US last winter. I took a few seed before sending the rest on to Danish Seed Savers (Dansk Frøsamlerne). It’s called Kämpe which means Giant in Swedish/Danish (I call it Whopper as it’s probably the biggest/thickest carrot I¨’ve grown here). It’s not a very old variety and SSE informed that it was a cultivated variety originally from the Swedish seed company Weibulls. Anyone know more about it?
Salad flowers, all harvested from the garden
Salvia (blackcurrant sage / solbærsalvie)
Hemerocallis “Stella de Oro”
Taraxacum spp. (dandelion / løvetann)
Rubus fruticosus (blackberry / bjørnebær)
Papaver somniferum (opium poppy / opium valmue)
Campanula persicifolia (peach-leaf bellflower / fagerklokke)
Sonchus oleraceus (common sow-thistle / haredylle)
Glebionis coronaria (chopsuey greens / kronkrage) (3 varieties)
Daucus carota (carrot / gulrot) (unopened flower umbel)
Geranium sanguineum (bloody cranesbill / blodstorkenebb)
Brassica oleracea (kale / grønnkål)
Oenothera biennis (evening primrose / nattlys)
Malva moschata (musk mallow / moskuskattost) (white and pink flowered)
Malva alcea (hollyhock mallow / rosekattost)
Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot / rørhestemynte)
Monarda “Elsie Lavender”
Calendula officinalis (pot marigold / ringblomst (2 varieties)
Campanula trachelium (nettle-leaved bellflower / nesleklokke)
Calamintha nepeta (lesser calamint / liten kalamint)
Tropaeolum majus (nasturtium / vanlig blomkarse) (2 varieties)
Pisum sativum (garden pea / ert)
Origanum spp. (wild marjoram / bergmynte) (2 varieties)
Alcea rosea (hollyhock / stokkrose)
Tragopogon pratensis (Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon / geitskjegg)
Xmas dinner in Malvik has been nut roast and roasted roots every year since 1984! This year there were 27 different roots: parsnip, 15 different varieties of potato, bulb onions, Tigridia (cacomitl), wapato (Sagittaria), carrot, beetroot, oca (red and yellow), Madeira vine (Anredera cordifolia), yacon (Polymnia), garlic (Allium sativum), Dioscorea polystachya (Chinese yam) and chicory root (at the top).
The nut roast was made from ground walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds with grated carrots, onion and beetroot with garlic, golpar (Heracleum seed spice), egg, salt, pepper and chili, bedecked with buckwheat groats (home grown by a friend in Czechoslovakia), Himalayan balsam seed, caraway, dill and alpine bistort bulbils (Polygonum viviparum).
A gallery of pictures of tubers and roots which were harvested in December when I had a blog-free month!
Hablitzia as a weed!
While researching Hablitzia tamnoides for my book Around the World in 80 plants (2014) I found the following simple entry in a 19th century encyclopedia of ornamental plants:
The author was clearly not impressed…..
Further Frederik Christian Schübeler (1815-1892) who was professor of botany and manager of the Oslo botanical garden at Toyen in Oslo from 1866-92 also noted from northern Norway that
“At Maalselvdalens Vicarage (69 deg. 10 min. N), where it also grows very well, it reaches 8 feet (2.5m) and doesn’t only give mature seeds, but spreads even in the garden as a weed.”
I found this difficult to believe and thought initially that it had been confused with good king Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus) which can be very weedy in a garden. I only had one plant at the time and I struggled to get more than a couple of seeds from it. Introducing a second plant, suddenly there was a lot of seed and seedlings appeared around the mother plants.
Nowadays it appears in many parts of the cultivated parts of my garden spread by the low friction seeds blowing around on ice in the winter and through my compost. Small plants often turn up as a weed in pot plants indoors which have been fed with compost. This is a plant which germinated in a pot with a bay tree (Laurus nobilis) some years ago. When the bay died, I let the Hablitzia grow on and it now uses the bay as a climbing frame!
Nevertheless, Hablitzia seems to depend on naked earth to establish itself here and there are no reports of it escaping into nature approaching 150 years after its introduction as a garden plant here.
Yesterday, I was weeding Hablitzia from newly emerged carrot seedlings!
The salad was decorated with Begonia flowers from the living room!