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Suggestions for perennial vegetables or fruits?

 
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I try to add a least one perennial vegetable or fruit each year but I am out of ideas for what to add next year. Here is what I have so far:

Tree collards
Cosmic Lights kale
Stinging Nettle
Cardoon
Asparagus (I had to replant this year due to my previous plants dying)
Daylilies
Gladiolus (edible flowers)
Musk Mallow (I only eat the flowers)
Chickory
Bamboo
Blackberries thornless and wild Himalayan
Strawberries June bearing and everbearing
Raspberries several types
Blueberries
Yacon
Ulluco Queets
Sunchokes
Oca Bolivian Red
Oca Black
Oca Golden
Oca OE Blush
Oca Sunset
Herbs. Chives, sage, rosemary, oregano, lemon thyme, and regular thyme, Lemon balm, peppermint, chocolate mint, fennel (I only use the seeds) and horseradish.
A few wild edible weeds. Plantain both narrow and broadleaf, Dandelion, Self Heal, Lawn Daisy, Wood sorrel (don't care for it but can't kill it), Sheep sorrel, and Purple Dead Nettle.

I think that is it. I have and do eat all of these (except the Ocas and the Ulluco as they are new this year and still not able to be harvested). I don't have room for trees but anything bush or smaller would fit. I really want some more greens if I can find some perennials that like my Oregon coast climate. The only things I don't want are plants with toxic parts as I have ducks and geese roaming my garden. Most things are fenced off but I want to be as safe as possible for their sakes.

I am planning on trying to get some perennial Arugula, Turkish rocket, and also perhaps Good King Henry if I can find them. I might also try getting some Mashua but I have no idea on good-tasting varieties. If you have any suggestions for good to eat perennial greens or fruits (bush or smaller) I would really like to hear it. Varieties of plants suggested would be great if possible too.
 
Posts: 112
Location: Australia, Now zone 10a, costal, sandy, windy and temperate.
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Try this book...Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, A Gardener's Guide to Over 100 Delicious and Easy to Grow Edibles
by Eric Toensmeier

Wiki says this.....

Abelmoschus manihot, edible hibiscus
Allium ampeloprasum, perennial leek
Allium cepa aggregatum, potato onion
Allium × proliferum, tree onion or walking onion
Allium schoenprasum, chives
Aralia cordata, udo
Arracacia xanthorrhiza, arracacha
Artocarpus altilis, breadfruit
Asparagus officinalis, asparagus
Atriplex halimus, saltbush
Basella alba, Malabar spinach
Beta vulgaris maritima, sea beet
Blitum bonus-henricus, Good King Henry
Brassica oleracea acephala varieties, tree collards or tree kale
Brassica oleracea alboglabra, kai-lan
Bunias orientalis, Turkish rocket
Camassia spp., camas
Canna edulis, achira
Capparis spinosa, capers
Capsicum baccatum, aji amarillo
Capsicum pubescens, manzano chile
Carica papaya, papaya
Cicorium intybus, chicory
Cnidoscolus chayamansa, chaya
Coccinia grandis, ivy gourd or perennial cucumber
Colocasia esculenta, taro
Crambe maritima, sea kale
Cynara cardunculus, cardoon
Cynara scolymus, artichoke
Dioscorea bulbifera, air potato
Helianthus tuberosus, Jerusalem artichoke
Ipomoea batatas, sweet potato
Lablab purpureus, hyacinth bean
Manihot esculenta, cassava
Nasturtium officinale, water cress
Nelumbo nucifera, lotus
Oxalis tuberosa, oca
Phaseolus coccineus, runner bean
Plantago coronopus, minutina
Rheum rhabarbarum, rhubarb
Rumex acetosa, sorrel
Rumex scutatus, shield-leaf sorrel
Sauropus androgynus, katuk
Scorzonera hispanica, black salsify
Sium sisarum, skirret
Smallanthus sonchifolius, yacón
Stachys affinis, crosne
Suaeda pulvinata, seepweed
Toona sinensis, fragrant spring tree or xiāngchūn
Vasconcellea × heilbornii, babaco papaya
 
pollinator
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hostas.
 
pollinator
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So, its not a perennial, but it is low maintenance and comes back each year. Its just so tasty you might consider sow thistle.
 
Tivona Hager
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J Davis wrote:So, its not a perennial, but it is low maintenance and comes back each year. Its just so tasty you might consider sow thistle.



I totally forgot about sow thistle. We have some around here but my ducks and geese usually eat it up. They love it and rarely leave me any I could harvest. Good to get the reminder of it though so thanks.
 
Tivona Hager
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greg mosser wrote:hostas.

Any varieties you think are the best eating? I do have some shady areas that they should do good in.
 
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Tivona Hager wrote:

greg mosser wrote:hostas.

Any varieties you think are the best eating? I do have some shady areas that they should do good in.



oh man. I love sauteed hosta sprouts. I planted 20 of them this spring just to get myself ready for spring 2020.
 
gardener
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Artichokes.

Sweet potatoes and cherry tomatoes might as well he a perennial, the way they continue to volunteer year after year.
 
pioneer
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Not sure what climate you're in, but here's my perennial collection:


Leafy greens:
Ceylon spinach (1 green and 1 red stem variety)
Cranberry hibiscus
Warrigal greens

Vegetables:
Chilacayote (fig leaf gourd)
Choko
Scarlet runner bean
Winged bean

Fruits:
Pepino
Incaberry/cape gooseberry

Root crops:
Jerusalem artichoke
Queensland arrowroot
Ginger
Tumeric
Sweet potato

Herbs:
lemon balm
Culantro

Other:
Soapwort
 
Tivona Hager
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Love the suggestions. My main issue here is having little summer heat. Winters are wet mostly with it getting light frosts but no bitter lasting cold. So many things will grow but won’t produce much with out the summer heat.
I have ordered 4 different Mashua but would like to have a couple more things for starting next year. Any tips on hosts varieties? Do you prefer Good king Henry or sea kale?
 
pollinator
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As far as I can tell re: hostas, they're bred in the west for beauty not taste.  If you find one with a Japanese name, that might have been bred for taste.  Otherwise I've been buying for size, both to mix it up visually with my existing smallish ones, and for more bang-for-the-harvest.  (sadly you pay a premium for big, so can't say bang-for-the-buck)

I find GKH bland and sea kale interestingly bitter (but I like bitter) but neither is standing up to weed pressure in my garden.  

I do like Turkish rocket - very hard to kill, millions of seeds, spicy leaves.  I also planted some mixed wild German greens (wild arugula, salad burnet, and sorrel) in a planter so I could learn to recognize them and they are taking over the patio.  (like, growing up through the bricks, argh)  Salad burnet is really pretty and delicate, and competes with the lemon balm!

This year I also planted perennial buckwheat - https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fagopyrum+dibotrys - it is lovely and prolific.  It is also very aggressive.  It's a relative of Japanese knotweed so I vaguely worry I've loosed another monster, but it seems thus far to be penned in by grass.

I didn't notice any vines in your list.  Steven Barstow recommends Hablitzia tamnoides - https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hablitzia+tamnoides - so far all my starts have been instantly eaten by slugs, but I'll try again next year!  Also, you could try hops - the shoots are supposed to be very tasty and the hops themselves smell nice even if you don't want to brew with them.

How big of a bush would be your limit?  For example, I have two linden trees that want to be 50 feet tall, that I am keeping trimmed to about 7 feet tall.  (They could also be coppiced, but my major goal is to block out the view of an annoying neighbor.)  The young leaves are AMAZING, melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Oregon grape would be an obvious choice for you, if boring.  They're common here as an ornamental so I've been gorging myself on them from parks, and found a nice dessert recipe that isn't just "add sugar, make jam": https://www.backyardforager.com/oregon-grape-curd-recipe/

I know everyone talks about currants all the time, but they're low-care and heavy-bearing.  I had never had them before moving to Europe and red currants are so deliciously tangy!  It took me a while to warm up to the weird spice in black currants, but I have to say that standing in the middle of a bush harvesting is being surrounded by the most heavenly scent ever.  I eat lots fresh, give away, and dry them as raisin substitutes.  I've also planted a couple golden/spice currants, and they flower super early in the spring with a lovely scent.  So far no fruits to report on.
 
Morfydd St. Clair
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Rather than keep editing my reply forever, I'm replying again.

Camass would also be a logical native for you.  I just planted a few this spring and have many bulbs coming soon.  The only worry for you is that Death Camas is also native there, so you'd have to be careful to keep that out.

I've been trying to get skirret established but the slugs loooove it too much.

I've gotten most of my information from here, Permaculture magazine, and several books, including:
Steven Barstow:  Around the world in 80 plants - heavy on the alliums, but really cool plants!
Eric Toensmeier:  Perennial vegetables - practical, inspirational
Martin Crawford: How to grow perennial vegetables - practical, UK-based which is good for your climate
Anni Kelsey:  Edible perennial gardening - also UK-based, probably no new plants for you, but nice all-around intro

And I totally forgot to say:  You have so many already!  You have a really interesting, diverse mix, and congratulations for being able to nurture so many plants from all over!
 
Tivona Hager
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Morfydd St. Clair wrote:Rather than keep editing my reply forever, I'm replying again.

Camass would also be a logical native for you.  I just planted a few this spring and have many bulbs coming soon.  The only worry for you is that Death Camas is also native there, so you'd have to be careful to keep that out.

I've been trying to get skirret established but the slugs loooove it too much.

I've gotten most of my information from here, Permaculture magazine, and several books, including:
Steven Barstow:  Around the world in 80 plants - heavy on the alliums, but really cool plants!
Eric Toensmeier:  Perennial vegetables - practical, inspirational
Martin Crawford: How to grow perennial vegetables - practical, UK-based which is good for your climate
Anni Kelsey:  Edible perennial gardening - also UK-based, probably no new plants for you, but nice all-around intro

And I totally forgot to say:  You have so many already!  You have a really interesting, diverse mix, and congratulations for being able to nurture so many plants from all over!


Wow. Thanks for all of that information.

I have tried several various vines but they failed usually from the lack of heat. The Hablitzia tamnoides sounds promising though and I will add it to my list to try next year.  Slugs should not be a problem with my ducks thinking they are candy. We used to have an Oregon grape across the road a few years ago but it died with no care and probably to much crowding. Oddly I am having a hard time finding some again. I love curds though and am going to bookmark your recipe link so I can make it next time I find some.

I do have a couple of places I can fit something larger in so the linden is a nice idea. Not sure if I can find it easily but if I see it I’ll try to get it. It sounds great as long as I place it well and can trim it down a bit. I know that they do grow around here but had totally forgotten about them. It might take me a few years but I like having the plan for it.

I have been debating on the camass. My main problem is trying to find the perfect spot for them. Maybe next year I can get the spot that I think they will do well ready. I don’t want them to be crowded out or get to wet and rot. I have never seen any death camass but I have seen one of the blue edible ones in the wild about a decade ago and a state away. I have been tossing the idea around for awhile now of getting some but I did find a place that sells it so I can get some when I am ready.

The hostas I guess I will just have to try. Hopefully I get some that are good tasting.

I also like bitterness so I will try to order some sea kale seeds. Are they hard to start? I think I read that somewhere. I get some of the Turkish rocket too if I can.

I have the book Perennial vegetables by Eric Toensmeier but haven’t read the others. I see if I can check them out.

Again thank you for all the suggestions. You gave me ideas and reminded me of a few I had forgotten about.
 
Morfydd St. Clair
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Tivona Hager wrote:
Wow. Thanks for all of that information.

I have tried several various vines but they failed usually from the lack of heat. The Hablitzia tamnoides sounds promising though and I will add it to my list to try next year.  Slugs should not be a problem with my ducks thinking they are candy. We used to have an Oregon grape across the road a few years ago but it died with no care and probably to much crowding. Oddly I am having a hard time finding some again. I love curds though and am going to bookmark your recipe link so I can make it next time I find some.

I do have a couple of places I can fit something larger in so the linden is a nice idea. Not sure if I can find it easily but if I see it I’ll try to get it. It sounds great as long as I place it well and can trim it down a bit. I know that they do grow around here but had totally forgotten about them. It might take me a few years but I like having the plan for it.

I have been debating on the camass. My main problem is trying to find the perfect spot for them. Maybe next year I can get the spot that I think they will do well ready. I don’t want them to be crowded out or get to wet and rot. I have never seen any death camass but I have seen one of the blue edible ones in the wild about a decade ago and a state away. I have been tossing the idea around for awhile now of getting some but I did find a place that sells it so I can get some when I am ready.

The hostas I guess I will just have to try. Hopefully I get some that are good tasting.

I also like bitterness so I will try to order some sea kale seeds. Are they hard to start? I think I read that somewhere. I get some of the Turkish rocket too if I can.

I have the book Perennial vegetables by Eric Toensmeier but haven’t read the others. I see if I can check them out.

Again thank you for all the suggestions. You gave me ideas and reminded me of a few I had forgotten about.



I'm glad to have been helpful!

I haven't been able to get sea kale to grow from seed, but I am a very mediocre gardener.

Along those lines, I don't know if my lindens will really accept hard pruning so hard for so long.  I may just be torturing them, and have to cut them down when, I dunno, the roots lift the cottage foundation or something.  However, they are supposed to coppice well, so here's hoping.  (Aside from blocking a view, the other reason for me not just coppicing is that rabbits love eating all my trees until they're at least an inch in diameter.  I figure new shoots would be a rabbit buffet.)

I was checking www.pfaf.org to refresh my vague memories of an American linden (there is!  tilia americana, shockingly.  However, PFAF have the food value for that as only a 3, as opposed to 5 for my tilia cordata) and realized I'd forgotten to recommend their books too.  They're available from their site and from Amazon, in both paperback and ebook form.

I spend way too much time on the PFAF site, and it's really useful.  I hope it is/will be useful to you!
 
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I love perennial plants- so much easier to not be re-seeding every few weeks!

Capers
Marjoram
Asian garlic chives (essential to making north Chinese dumplings)
Scallion
Lemongrass
Chillie
Spinach (biennial)
Chard (biennial)
 
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Morfydd St. Clair wrote:
I was checking www.pfaf.org to refresh my vague memories of an American linden (there is!  tilia americana, shockingly.  However, PFAF have the food value for that as only a 3, as opposed to 5 for my tilia cordata) and realized I'd forgotten to recommend their books too.


I guess I have to do some reading on the food qualities of linden trees. Up to now I only value them for their nectar (for my bees).
Not pruning in the strict sense, but guiding the growth of a linden tree was done in the 19th century in Germany. The so called "Tanzlinden" (dance lindens) were either used as platform or as shelter for dancefloors.
Here you can see some of the fascinating trees:
https://www.google.de/search?q=tanzlinde&sxsrf=ACYBGNRpM59q3O0om2DzJnVlwrUsqVofGg:1572765694122&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH9ozkwM3lAhUKwsQBHVDcC00Q_AUIEigB&biw=1600&bih=757
 
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A shrub that I like for mild climates in Pineapple Guava. It's deer resistant, beautiful and tasty.
 
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Aronias, Ramps, and Sorrel.

Aronias:  A couple of bushes are all you need.  We have currants, and gooseberries but neither even comes close.  We also have sea buckthorn as well but they just don't taste very good and are hard to pick.  Blue Honeysuckles just don't produce much
Ramps:  Here in Zone 5 they are ready by April 1st.  They spread at a ratio of around 1 to 3 every season.
Sorrel:  Richter's out of Canada's variety Profusion won't bolt, and will produce right through the heat of the summer.  Keep splitting them and very shortly you will have more than you need.  Better pesto than basil.
 
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One I'm really looking forward to eating and working with more next year is sweet pea, a type of wild perennial pea that grows around me and I've finally started getting established on my property.  The official name is Lathyrus latifolius.  The flowers are absolutely beautiful as well.  Apparently you can eat the peas, fresh or dried, the whole pods when still young and tender, and the tender shoots which includes the growing tips of the vines throughout the year.  I usually see them growing in large masses which would provide an abundance of food with zero work beyond harvesting once established!

Editing to add in that Su Ba did raise the point in the post below that many sweet peas are considered toxic.  Some consider this type toxic as well.  I first read about the edibility of these in one of my foraging books as I noted below in another post.  Researching it a bit more online some say it's toxic others say it's edible.  We're in the situation these days where there doesn't seem to be any real authority everyone trusts.  My personal take away from what I've read is that they might be toxic if eaten in "large quantities" which seems to be considered more than 30% of your diet!  That can likely be said for spinach too, and many other common foods.  This is the site I found that seems to have the most to say directly on the matter.  https://honest-food.net/the-myth-of-the-poison-pea/

This is the first site that comes up in my search engine that says they are poisonous.  https://homeguides.sfgate.com/lathyrus-latifolius-edible-104906.html  It looks like a regional news organization whose stuff I've seen before promoting the idea that wild food is dangerous.  Personally I don't give them too much weight.

Here is the North Carolina State Extension which says they are edible, though it doesn't offer much detail.  https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/lathyrus-latifolius/

Finally here is a Plants for a Future site that lists them as edible but with a caution, noting no records of toxicity for the plant have been found but that some species in the genus contain a toxic amino acid which is what everyone seems to be concerned about.  https://pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Lathyrus+latifolius
sweetpea.JPG
[Thumbnail for sweetpea.JPG]
 
pollinator
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I was under the impression that sweet peas were mildly toxic. Some varieties are far more toxic than others. The neurological damage can be cumulative, with damage being noted months later. I think I would need to research sweet peas before I'd be planning on eating them.
 
David Huang
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I found the sweet pea I mentioned in the book "Midwest Foraging" by Lisa M. Rose published by Timber Press.  That said, just because it's in a book doesn't mean it's true either!  I've eaten some, but not large quantities yet.  I haven't noticed any issues, but then if it's cumulative who knows.  I may look into it a bit more too.
 
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I bought some perennial "thicket bean" seeds from Oikos. Vining type that bears less than commercial beans, but allegedly tolerates subfreezing cold to re-emerge each spring. I also have some alleged perennial potatoes from them as well. Not sure if they would resist blight growing in the same spot forever, but I'll try them early next year.
 
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Haskap or Honeyberry, which is a non invasive honeysuckle that grows an edible berry similar to the size (and some say taste) of a blueberry.  Haskap is the Japanese name and it basically translates to: fruit of long life and good vision  It is very high in Vit. C and Antioxidants and has other benefits as well.  Also virtually pest and disease free and hardy to zone 1.  They don't particularly like heat, so they should do okay in your climate.  
 
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I'm not sure what you already have but here are a couple more ideas:

Gogi berry (wolfberry)
Saskatoon/Serviceberry/Juneberry
hardy kiwi (vine)
highbush cranberry
nanking cherry (or other cherries)
seabuckthorn/seaberry (nitrogen fixing)
 
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Wow! You’ve got a great variety of plants.

Here are some of my favorites.

Walking or Egyptian onion. I just dug up some for my pot roast.

Swiss chard.  One overwintered one or two seasons ago, riight outside my front door. It’s pretty and feeds me breakfast, lunch or supper.

Pentland Brig Kale or tree kale.

How about artichoke? It’s a coastal plant.

I just bought al dwarf mulberry.

Not sure if Passionfruit will grow where you are,  But it’s a lovely, vigorous vine with delicious fruit. Passiflora edulis “ Frédérick” is what I have.

I’m in Northern California, bit inland but not hot Central Valley.

And thanks everyone for chiming-in. I, too, could use some new ideas.



Tivona Hager wrote:I try to add a least one perennial vegetable or fruit each year but I am out of ideas for what to add next year. Here is what I have so far:

Tree collards
Cosmic Lights kale
Stinging Nettle
Cardoon
Asparagus (I had to replant this year due to my previous plants dying)
Daylilies
Gladiolus (edible flowers)
Musk Mallow (I only eat the flowers)
Chickory
Bamboo
Blackberries thornless and wild Himalayan
Strawberries June bearing and everbearing
Raspberries several types
Blueberries
Yacon
Ulluco Queets
Sunchokes
Oca Bolivian Red
Oca Black
Oca Golden
Oca OE Blush
Oca Sunset
Herbs. Chives, sage, rosemary, oregano, lemon thyme, and regular thyme, Lemon balm, peppermint, chocolate mint, fennel (I only use the seeds) and horseradish.
A few wild edible weeds. Plantain both narrow and broadleaf, Dandelion, Self Heal, Lawn Daisy, Wood sorrel (don't care for it but can't kill it), Sheep sorrel, and Purple Dead Nettle.

I think that is it. I have and do eat all of these (except the Ocas and the Ulluco as they are new this year and still not able to be harvested). I don't have room for trees but anything bush or smaller would fit. I really want some more greens if I can find some perennials that like my Oregon coast climate. The only things I don't want are plants with toxic parts as I have ducks and geese roaming my garden. Most things are fenced off but I want to be as safe as possible for their sakes.

I am planning on trying to get some perennial Arugula, Turkish rocket, and also perhaps Good King Henry if I can find them. I might also try getting some Mashua but I have no idea on good-tasting varieties. If you have any suggestions for good to eat perennial greens or fruits (bush or smaller) I would really like to hear it. Varieties of plants suggested would be great if possible too.

 
Tivona Hager
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So many great ideas. I will be able to keep adding some for years.

I have made a couple of orders Now and have 3 more Ulluco coming, 3 different Mashua, Crosne, hog peanut, 3 bulbs of camass so I can see how they do, a red Jerusalem Artichoke.  I have an unknown variety that was given me probably, white Fuseau but I am guessing, all I know is that it isn’t Stampede as I have had them before and the one I have now is different.

Also included in the orders were Achocha Cyclanthera brachystegia and Jacob’s tears. I also have three different hardy kiwis to plant as well as 1 hosta.

Some of these were added as the cost was negligible and the shipping was fixed already by the other things I was ordering. I am still wanting to get some currants and sea kale and if I can find them for next summer.

Now all I have to do is figure out were to put all of the plants I have coming.

Thanks again everyone for all the wonderful ideas.
 
T.J. Stewart
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Where did you order from?
 
Tivona Hager
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T.J. Stewart wrote:Where did you order from?



Some from Peace Seedlings and some from Norton naturals.

I have received the Norton Natural order but am still waiting on the one from Peace Seedlings. They are still harvesting and not ready to ship yet.
The Norton’s order looked good and they included extras on the items I ordered.
 
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What a great list. You're going to have fun!

Tivona Hager wrote:
Also included in the orders were Achocha Cyclanthera brachystegia and Jacob’s tears.  



Job's tears makes good tea. As for Achocha, it will self-seed well enough if it doesn't live through the winter (I'm in 9B and it will die when it gets cold), but keep an eye on it, it will totally take over if you don't keep on top of it.
 
Tivona Hager
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Tereza Okava wrote:What a great list. You're going to have fun!

Tivona Hager wrote:
Also included in the orders were Achocha Cyclanthera brachystegia and Jacob’s tears.  



Job's tears makes good tea. As for Achocha, it will self-seed well enough if it doesn't live through the winter (I'm in 9B and it will die when it gets cold), but keep an eye on it, it will totally take over if you don't keep on top of it.



Good to know. They added a negligible amount to the cost of the order and I have been interested in getting Job’s tears for awhile.

The Achocha I had never heard of but it sounded fun. I will try to keep it slightly under control but I typically let plants go to seed then transplant seedlings as needed in the spring to wherever I want them. Knowing it can get weedy is good to know though.

It couldn’t be worse then my feverfew which my mom planted 10 years ago and is now everywhere. Or my parsley, which I typically leave my best and biggest 5 or 6 plants to let seed which give me thousands of seedlings in spring each year.  Or my mammoth dill, mustard, musk mallow, purslane, dandelion, plantain, corn salad, Siberian kale, nasturtiums or cherry tomatoes. On second thought let’s be real, the Achocha will probably be a welcome weed in my garden if I like its flavor and don’t rip it out the first year. The up sides to my crazy method is that I always have starts in spring and the extras just get scratched in to the soil and become compost. Also bad weeds, which in my definition are toxic or allelopathic or completely unusable rarely get established in my beds because they have so much competition as seedlings. Even if I am sick in spring my garden works itself until I can come weed, transplant, etc. If the Achocha can grow well and tastes good it being a bit prolific would be fine with me.
 
Tereza Okava
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Tivona, all the things that self seed for you are the things that make me nuts trying to coax along!! I wish!

You mentioned having ducks. How do ducks work in the garden? I have a serious slug problem but never considered it since I have a really small urban space, but it interests me a lot (maybe for some future space). Do you have to fence off areas so they don`t destroy things?
 
Tivona Hager
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Tereza Okava wrote:Tivona, all the things that self seed for you are the things that make me nuts trying to coax along!! I wish!

You mentioned having ducks. How do ducks work in the garden? I have a serious slug problem but never considered it since I have a really small urban space, but it interests me a lot (maybe for some future space). Do you have to fence off areas so they don`t destroy things?


When I moved here there were slugs everywhere. It was a major problem. The duck work great for me and I rarely see them any more. The birds do have a large area to graze grass elsewhere but they spend most of their time in the garden which is their favorite place. As a result my walkways which are grass remain perpetually mowed.

I have somethings unfenced such as my bamboo, blackberries, raspberries, day lilies, roses, plantain, stinging nettles and mallow. They rarely bother those or do any real damage to them. For some I have to fence the plants off for part of the year. Blueberries are like that as the birds like them when they are ripe but leave them alone for the rest of the year.

Then there are my proper garden beds. Raised beds with wire around them. I use rebar as stakes and cheap carabiners to clip rabbit wire fencing in place. It is cheap and very flexible to my needs. Easy to move and set up. In the beds I keep plants such as purslane, kale and tree collards which my ducks and geese think are candy. Also partially toxic plants such as tomatoes and potatoes with their toxic leaves are in the beds as are plants I just don’t want them munching or messing with like my shiso, pansies and zucchini. The beds lose the fences when I am done harvesting so they can eat any bugs, slugs, weeds and old roots. When they are done I dig and let them at it again then top it with compost and replant.

The only time it is a real problem is when the grass is to dry to grow in late summer. The rest of the year they have enough forage to not bother most things I care about. If they can reach a garden plant then they will eat it if the grass is dry and low regardless of what it is.

Also tricky is when I am planting. My ducks like to “help” by standing where I am digging so they can grab any worms. Many times this means on my shovel or in the hole I want to put a plant. The geese think all plants I am working with need test nibbles as what else could I be doing with plants other than be feeding them. Also the geese think of games to play. Pick up the trowel and run away and hide it, grab my gloves and put them in water, dig holes, move mulch, etc. Personally I find it all entertaining although the ducks standing on my shovel when I am digging makes me nervous because I don’t want to hurt them and they have no concept of the danger.
 
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im in zone 5 and this is my "main" list

Bush
Saltbush (Atriplex nuttalli) z5 (best edible perennial saltbush?)
Giant filbert (Corylus maxima) z5
Blue elderberry (Sambucus caerulea) z5
Staghorn sumac z5
Goumi z5
Goji z5
Sea buckthorn z5
Currant white versailles z5
Titania black currant z5
Invicta gooseberry z5
Indigo gem haskap z5

Trellis
Blackberry 'ebony king' z5
Raspberry caroline z5
Chicago fig z5
Chinese yam (Dioscorea batatas) z5
Caucasian spinach z5
Brianna grape z5
Muscadine (sterling, carlos, magnolia)
Supreme muscadine (with protection the first 3 years)
Kiwiberry vititkiwi (better than issai) z5
Akebi z5
Hops z5
Wild/water  
Sacred lotus z5
Yellow lily (Nuphar lutea) z5
Watercress z5
Pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) z5
Burnet z5
Ostrich fern z5
Udo z5
Sunchoke z5
Lovage z5
Amaranth (self seeding) z5
Wild leeks z5
Ramsons (Allium ursinum) z5

Raised beds
Stevens american cranberry z5
Perennial rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) z5
Turkish broccoli (Bunias orientalis) z5
Good king henry z5
Mitsuba z5
Walking onion z5
Yellow potato onion z5
Scallions z5
Red vein Sorrel z5
French sorrel z5
Myoga ginger z5
Rhubarb z5
Horseradish z5
Peppermint z5
Spearmint z5
Marjoram z5
Nepitella z5
Oregano z5
Sage z5
Tarragon z5
Thyme z5
Lemon balm z5
Asparagus z5
Dandelion z5
Puntarelle z5
Spadona chicory z5
Kaleidoscope kale z5
Garlic chives z5
Strawberry (matis, pineberry, mara de bois) z5
Blueberry (bluecrop, pink lemonade, Black huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata)) z5
Opuntia humifusa z5
Physalis subglabrata z5

Fruit trees
Peach (reliance, o’henry, saturn, calanda, indian blood) z5
Cherry (black tartarian, sato nishiki, bing) z5
Pawpaw susquehanna z5
American persimmon (elmo) z5
Canadian white blenheim apricot z5
Superspur aestivalis mayhaw z5
Sweet lavender mulberry z5
Jujube coco z5
Apple (komitsu, cox orange pippin, granny smith, roxbury) z5
Best golden russet pear z5
Hosui nashi z5
Pineapple quince z5
Breda medlar (Mespilus germanica) z5
Plum (Graf althans, Mirabelle) z5
American wild plum z5
Wild black cherry (Prunus serotina) z5
Florea serbian fig z5
Trifoliate orange z5

Nut/other trees
Japanese heartnut (Juglans ailantifolia) z5
Carpathian walnut z5
Beckwith butternut z5
Almond oracle (late bloom)(3) z5
Grimo hazelnut z5
Ultra northern pecan deerstand z5
Chinese pecan (Carya cathayensis) z5
Black walnut z5
Chinquapin nut (2)(nsf) z5
Pinus cembra (z5)
Pinus cembroides (mexican pine)(excellent flavor, 15mm, most proteine) z5
Pinus edulis (most commercial american species, 25mm, good cooked) z5
Pinus koreainus z5
Burton hican z5
Yellowhorn oil z5
Beech nut oil (Fagus sylvatica)(tortuosa?) z5
Japanese pepper tree (Zanthoxylum piperitum) z5
Chinese toon (Toona sinensis) z5
Sugar maple (10) z5
Japanese wisteria z5
Bracken's brown beauty magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) z5

then theres my "species of interest" list of stuff i want  to plant in an uncontrolled way to experiment with their palatability etc

Apocynum cannabinum (hemp dogbane)
Arundinaria gigantea (z5 bamboo)
Berberis aggregata
Calycanthus floridus (cinnamon alternative)(toxic)
Caragana arborescens (Siberian peashrub)
Catalpa ovata (chinese bean tree)
Cercis canadensis (redbud)
Chaenomeles japonica (japanese quince)
Cornus kousa (Kousa)
Cornus mas (Cornel)
Crataegus douglasii
Crataegus mollis ‘hearts’
Crataegus pinnatifida (Chinese hawthorn)
Crataegus schraderana
Elaeagnus x ebbingei
Eleutherococcus sieboldianus (ukogi)
Fagus americana (american beech)
Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo)
Gleditsia triacanthos ‘thornless’ (honey locust)
Hovenia dulcis (japanese raisin tree)
Ilex glabra (inkberry)(for honey)
Juniperus communis (european juniper)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera angustifolia (honeysuckle)
Maclura tricuspidata (che)(can graft on osage orange)
Malus coronaria (sweet crabapple)
Musa basjoo (hardy banana)
Myrica pensylvanica (wax myrtle)
Nyssa sylvatica (for honey)
Oxydendrum arboreum (sourwood)(for honey)
Phyllostachys aureosulcata (z5 good to eat)
Phyllostachys propinqua (zone 5 good to eat)
Prinsepia sinensis (Prinsepia)(seeds have edible cooking oil)
Prunus cerasifera (cherry plum)
Prunus consociiflora
Prunus mahaleb
Ptelea trifoliata (hop tree)
Pyronia veitchii
Quercus alba (large low tannin acorns)
Rhus aromatica
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Schisandra chinensis ‘sadova’ (magnolia vine)
Sorbopyrus auricularis (shipova)
Sorbus latifolia
Staphylea pinnata (bladder nut)
Tilia cordata (Linden)
Ulex europaeus (gorse)
Ulmus glabra (scotch elm)
Viburnum opulus (guelder-rose)(toxic, bad tasting but supposedly make amazing jam)
Viburnum trilobum (Highbush cranberry)
Yucca filamentosa
Zanthoxylum simulans (szechuan pepper)

i still need to acquire much of whats on this list but its what i think i will like based on my research
 
C. West
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and then theres edibles i might experiment with...

Allium
Daylily
Hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus)
Hollyhock
Lavender
Lupine (toxic unless soaked)
Jasmine ‘fiona sunrise’
Maidens tears
Poppies (self seeding)
Sweet violet (Viola odorata)
Tigerlily  

Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
Betony (Stachys officinalis)
Cicely
Costmary
Horehound  
Hyssop
Garlic cress (Peltaria alliacea or turkmena)
Giant hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
Lemon thyme
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
Mint (orange, chocolate, apple, ginger)
Pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium)
Rue
Saffron  
Tsi (Houittuynia)
Welsh onion
Woodruff
Dill (self seed)

Bellflower (Campanula glomerata)
Dames rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Elecampane (Inula helenium)(used as potherb by romans)
Fuki (Petasites japonicus)
Gomchi (Ligularia fischeri)
Handsome harry (Rhexia virginica)
Japanese milkweed (Metaplexis japonica)
Knotweed
Kudzu  
Masterwort (Aegopodium podagraria)
Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Nettle
Perennial lettuce (lactuca perennis)
Pink purslane (Claytonia sibirica)
Samphire (Crithmum maritimum)
Sandwort (Honckenya peploides)
Sea kale
Sea plantain (Plantago maritima)
Thicket bean (Phaseolus polystachios)
 
David Huang
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Awesome lists, C West.  As someone else who is in zone 5 I can appreciate all these.  Many I know, some I grow and eat, others I'll have to look into.  Thanks!
 
C. West
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no prob david, id be interested to know if theres any you have and like that are not on my list?
 
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I'm also in Zone 5 and hoping to get my perennial edible garden started so this is really exciting!! Thanks.
 
Anita Martin
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Today I posted an online order to a renowned herb provider, a thing I had been wanting to do for the last three years.

I agreed with husband that we order German hops, and I ordered all the other things I had on my list.

Among them are two perennials:
Sedanina (apium nodiflorum), similar to celery (as per the description)
and
Perennial cress (lepidium latifolium)

I did not order the perennial kale as it would not be a hit with the family...

But I am curious about those two.
 
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Hey all,

I have sea kale seeds, as of April, 2020, if anyone is interested. Not a high germination rate, though. Maybe 25%, so I’ll send at least 20. I have resorted to germinating them in bags with damp vermiculite, so as to not waste my time. I also have beach plum seeds, which have sprouted and gone a bit crazy in the fridge, and pawpaw seeds, which are about as difficult as the sea kale. I’d suggest direct seeding for those and then just making sure you don’t step on them. If you need any of these, I’m happy to send them along. You can contact me through the “contact” page on my website (foodforestcardgame.com).

As for perennial edibles, here are a few that haven’t been mentioned:

Beach plum (as discussed above)
Goumi
Groundnut (Apios Americana)
“Alpine” strawberries (ie: Any fragaria vesca)
Hardy pomegranate - Burnt Ridge Nursery offers the A.C. Sweet Pomegranate, which is hardy to zone 6B, I think.
Homesteader's Kaleidoscopic Perennial Kale Grex (offered through the Experimental Farm Network) – I have grown several out successfully in zone 6b

Here's a nice picture of my 5-yr-old sea kale going to seed:


Cheers!

 
master pollinator
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I recently got Sea Kale and Good King Henry seeds from J L Hudson, Seedsman. A lovely, unpretentious, seed preservation organization. They have a huge variety of vegetables and flowers.
 
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