Lavangsnes Wunderkammer and Bi-O is collaborating on a project where the sunchoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) will be given the opportunity to extend its cultivation area further north (or equivalently further south in the southern hemisphere).

The collaboration arose in September 2021, when Selma in Lavangsnes contacted Bi-O to buy seed tubers. Karl in Bi-O talked about the challenges the long days in the north pose for my species, and about ongoing work to develop new day-neutral varieties, first initiated by the plant enthusiast Stephen Barstow and carried out together with Paolo Gaiardelli in Italy. Bi-O joined this work from 2016 and has been responsible for propagation and test cultivation in Maridalen in Oslo for a few years now.

Then the idea arose to further develop this work with someone who actually lives and cultivates in the north so that trial cultivation can eventually actually take place in the project’s target area. Through its network, Bi-O then got in touch with Alberto Jiménez Gómez in Malaga, who is part of Ecoherencia and affiliated with the University of Malaga. He has obtained seeds during the 2022 season which are now being trial grown at Bi-O.

During the 2023 season, Bi-O has been reorganizing with regard to cultivation location and organisation, so they will only be able to carry out the trial cultivation optimally in the 2024 season. The plan is to first get as many plants as possible in Oslo, then select promising plants in terms of size and other characteristics, and then plant these in Lavangsnes in the autumn so that we can see which ones work best in 2025.

And in parallel with the fact that this is a variety development project, it is also an art project where the Wunderkammer hosts the sunchoce, i.e. residency, as artists now often travel around and live with other artists to exchange ideas and get a different framework in which to develop further. This summer, the sunchoke has been there together with Katharina Kretzschmar, who has studied it in drawing and conceptual consideration. (lanseres snart)

Sist oppdatert 2023-11-09 av Bi-O