Thanks to KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers) colleague Andrew McMillion for coming up to Trondheim to give his seed saving course for local KVANN and Væres Venner Community Garden members!
…and there was time for a Malvik visit, a seed saving and breeding chat, a tour of my seed boxes and a little salad with Witloof chicory and dandelion pizza.
Salad ingredients: Celery, three chicory varieties, dandelion (including one flower), carrot, Japanese yams, Allium cernuum and Hablitzia (from the garden), Hristo’s onion (Allium flavescens x nutans?), oca (2 varieties), apple (Aroma), horseradish shoots, garlic, chives, wild buckwheat shoots and turnip “Målselvnepe”
Welcome to my new seed trade list for 2023-24 21, 22, 23 indicate the harvesting year for the seed. Concerning seed quantity: as I don’t have many plants of each species, seed quantity is limited in most cases. Therefore, for some species you may only get a few seeds. Many species are harvested in my garden. Others are surplus from trade and purchase. OUT: Means out of stock. NB! Cultivars do not always come true (EX signifies that the seed were collected from that cultivar, but you won’t necessarilly get that). I offer them anyway, but no guarantees to what you will get! NOTE: I don’t sell seed and I won’t be doing many trades this winter due to a busy schedule. However, I offer all plus many more to members of Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN). To become a member go to http.//kvann.no and click on “Bli med”. It costs kr. 300 / year plus postage and packing. For trades, I am mainly interested in uncommon hardy perennials, but I may also be interested in annuals. NB! Not all plants in this list are edible, although almost all are!
The garden pea / ert (now Lathyrus oleraceus, was Pisum sativum) is an important source of vegetable protein and can be grown over most of Norway with many heirloom varieties which have been rescued and are maintained across Scandinavia by seed saver organisations such as our own KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers; kvann.no). Over the years, I’ve grown over 90 different varieties and usually some 20 varieties every year, a mix of Scandinavian and UK heirlooms and modern varieities. There are some favourite varieties such as Golden Sweet, Purple Podded, Salmon Flowered, Sugar Snap and Hurst Green Shaft which I grow each year, whilst others are grown less frequently on a roughly 3 year rotation, so that I am maintaining some 40-50 varieties at any one time! I share a few with members of KVANN each year. The pea harvest and processing for 2023 was completed yesterday: dried first on window sills, then sorted, saving the best peas for seed for the next grow-out and for sharing. I use the remainder mainly for pea soup, pea fritters/felafel and for sprouting for pea shoots. Here’s this year’s pea diversity shown in the pictures: Outer ring: Rättviksärt, Mammoth Melting, Big Jumps / Karina, Sugar Magnolia, PI203064 Finsk (gift, rematriated from Seed Savers Exchange), Jærert, Lollandske Rosiner, Herald/Herault, (Middle): Alma, Salmon Flowered, Purple Podded, Golden Sweet, Slikkert fra Våler, Store Holgers Kämpeart, Sugar Snap and Magnum Bonum (Not shown: Brunært fra Nakskov and Svartbjörsbyn).
Last week was National Organic Week (Økouka), a busy week for me as I had two garden tours in my Edible Garden in Malvik (the rain stopped both days just before we started), a walk and talk in the community garden at Væres Venner and a talk at Stammen Cafe & Bar in Trondheim on “Perennial Climate-friendly Food Plants for Urban Areas” talking about 15 advantages of growing perennials! Below you can see pictures from each of the events which were all well attended. I’ve credited the various photographers below. Thanks to all that came along!
1. Garden tour on Wednesday 27th September
Making the Ø letter for Økouka (picture: Margaret Anderson)
2. Talk at Stammen
2. Garden tour on Sunday 1st October
Pictures by Markus Tacker (click on the album pictures for more information):
Pictures by Marit By (click on the album pictures for more information)::
4. Walk and talk in the Væres Venner Community Garden Pictures by Marit By (the World Garden looking good in its autumn colours with the backdrop of the old ash trees):
Fantastic day at Ringve Botaniske Hagen’s 50th anniversary garden party for the city. The theme for the day was Biodiversity and Sustainability! KVANN had a stand with a focus on perennial food plants that double as ornamental plants, insect-friendly or bird-friendly. We brought with us a number of such edi-ento-mentals and edi-avi-mentals (insect- or bird-friendly, edible ornamental plants) and many toom home plants or seeds! Eventually, all the flowers attracted biodiversity in the form of two admirals and a number of hoverflies! Thanks to all KVANN members and others who visited and helped us, and especially Jurgen Wegter who helped and brought flower meadow seeds from Fagerli Naturgård! Thanks also to Vibekke Vange and my colleagues at Ringve! Pictures by Jurgen Wegter, Stephen Barstow and Meg Anderson!
The long delayed (by COVID) opening of the Onion Garden Chicago took place at the Ringve Botanical Gardens in Trondheim on Friday. Here we grow over 400 different Alliums including over 100 botanical species and some 60 old (with a history from 60-980 years; yes the oldest history goes back to 1040!) Norwegian onions. To officially open the garden, Elise Moltzau Wanderås from the Norwegian Agricultural Authority (LDir) was given Felco garden shears to clip Allium pskemense flowering stems and our new sign was simultaneously revealed (received the day before)!
Thanks to all that donated onions to the collection in my project (2008-2016) funded by the Norwegian Genetic Resource Centre and LDir, to Vibekke Vange and the staff at Ringve who gave me the chance and support to create this garden and make a dream come true, to volunteer Kim Wallace, daughter Hazel and Meg Anderson for help maintaining the garden! Thanks also to KVANN (kvann.no) for support for purchasing seed and bulbs for the garden and support for sending plant material from the garden to members each autumn!
Notice that we used an Alliophone (Allium microphone) under the event (patented by Søren Holt of Danish Seed Savers some years ago!):
This weekend was my big annual seed pack for members of Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN, kvann.no). I’m offering some 360 varieties this year and I received orders from 60 members within the time limit, totalling 580 packets. I share my seed nowadays exclusively with KVANN apart from a few trades. Two complete days of packing and I was worn out without leaving my chair apart from a short burst of snow clearing outside. Having done this for over 20 years now, the picture shows I can pack seed without taking my eyes off yesterday’s femmila (50 km cross-country ski race in the world cup). If you get the wrong seed, you now know why ;) Now time for a ski today!
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) Fuchsia magellanica Hemerocallis “Stella de Oro” Taraxacum spp. (dandelion / løvetann) Rubus fruticosus (blackberry / bjørnebær) Papaver somniferum (opium poppy / opium valmue) Viola altaicum 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) Begonia 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) Campanula lactiflora Alcea rosea (hollyhock / stokkrose) Tragopogon pratensis (Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon / geitskjegg)
I’d sent a few bulbs of twisted-leaf garlic (Allium obliquum) to members of Norwegian Seed Savers’ (KVANN) guild for Alliums and had a few left overover, so I fried them up for lunch and ate them with cheese on toast. A delicious sweetish taste after heating in olive oil. The onions are also a good size! This was one of the 80 in my book Around the World in 80 plants!
It was grown in a cold room in the house all year as previous experience had shown that outside plants managed to survive our winter but that the plants started sprouting very late (June) and hardly grew during the summer. I suspect that although they are relatively hardy they need much warmer summer temperatures than we can offer in this part of Norway. I decided to repot my plant today and also divide so that I can offer to a few members of Norwegian Seed Savers (KVANN) to try mainly in the warmer parts of Norway.
While transplanting I accidentally knocked off a couple of shoots, so I had a little taste at lunch with an olive oil / soy sauce dressing. Crunchy and mild tasting!
Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden