On Saturday we visited Ommuurde Tuin, the walled organic garden on the outskirts of Wageningen which dates back to 1881 and the time of William III of Orange. The garden is set out to make the most of the path of the sun and the micro-climate created by the walls. The various plots radiate out, compass-like, from the central area where the herbs are grown.
Re-popularising the root vegetable is one of their missions. There are many kinds of root vegetables and all kinds of roots. There are true roots (tubers and taproots) and the not-true roots (like rhizomes and bulbs). But however they’re classed we used to eat far more different kinds of them than we do these days, according to Taco who runs the Ommuurde Tuin.
They are growing varieties of nasturtium (Tropoleum tuberosum), Oxalis (Oxalis tuberosum), chervil (knol kervel in Dutch) and Chinese artichoke (Stachys affinis) that all produce edible below-ground parts.
This was an interesting visit, not only to see an organic garden in commercial action but to get a glimpse of the history of a garden through the last century and how it has been shaped by royal politics, gardening trends and consumer demands.
For more information about the Ommuurde tuin you can visit their website http://www.ommuurdetuin.nl/