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Starting a "wild area" in my yard.

 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 279
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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I'm in the process of making a "wild area" in the back of my yard. It's about 25x50 feet and shaded during the afternoon. I am using hugelkultur to add mounds and character to the space. Would like to plant some edibles that would do well in this area with little upkeep. I'm open to the planting of any edibles. Any advice? Scott Stiller
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Brassica do well in your situation: I find kale and red cabbage to be especially tough.
Silverbeet, aka Swiss chard.
I've got some kind of chicory, which is great for leaves, as well as bee food.
Any umbelliferae. Not so much for human food, but it's many insect's favourite family. Coriander, parsnip and fennel especially.
All those edible weeds: dandelion, purslane, chickweed, pigweed...
Sounds like a good opportunity for rhubarb.
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 279
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Thank you Leila! I will be reading up on the plants you recommended except the weeds at the bottom of your post. I'm already well schooled on those and wonder why no one else I know is. Perennial, hardy, tasty and nutritious. People go out of their way to kill these wonderful plants instead of eating them. Currently I have purslane, dandelion, chickweed, and lambs quarter growing on my acre town lot. These other plants sound like a wonderful edition to my edible yard. Scott Stiller
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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any medicinals you can grow as well--jewelweed, plantain, etc. and root/green dual purpose crops like beets, turnips, and sweet potatoes.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Posts: 8975
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Here's a list of perennial vegetables that might grow in your location: http://perennialvegetables.org/perennial-vegetables-for-each-climate-type/cold-temperate-east-midwest-and-mountain-west/

Many flowers (not all) are edible: http://www.eattheweeds.com/edible-cultivated-flowers/
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 279
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Good stuff guys. Thanks for taking the time to help me plan this out. Once it's completed and growing I will post pics and descriptions.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Posts: 8975
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I found this very inspiring: http://permaculturenews.org/2013/02/15/gardening-with-perennial-vegetables-dvd/
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 279
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Las Canadas looks like my kind of place. Thanks for the link.
 
wayne stephen
steward
Posts: 1793
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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I know people do not like to deal with wild blackberries. However I have wild thimbleberries {rubus occidentalis } coming up in my yard. They do not seem as aggressive as blackberries. I am going to transplant some as companion to a pawpaw , black walnut , and rosa rugosa guild. Maybe a sassafras for file' and root medicine. Ginseng and goldenseal will grow in your area too.
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 279
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Thanks for the tip Mr Stephen. Never heard of thimble berries but will certainly look them up.
 
David Goodman
gardener
Posts: 496
Location: Zone 9a/8b
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Mustard and small wild cherry tomatoes may naturalize. I grew the latter in TN and had them come back the next year. I've also scattered mushrooms around the mulched/stick filled areas of my yard and had them make babies. Elderberries are a good forest edge species, as are sumacs. Rabbiteye and native blueberries sometimes do well too. Horseradish, rhubarb, echinacea... lots of options. Great idea! You might also be surprised by what the birds plant. Black cherries, for instance, are all around the fence lines here and the fruit is pretty darned good for a wild edible.

Also, since I'm on a "fruit trees from seeds" kick right now... I'll mention this: you could go to your local fruit stands and get their rotten fruit, then dump that around and see what happens. In the mountains of NC, I was on a property once that had a beautiful wild peach tree with wonderful fruit that was the likely the result of someone chucking a pit off a nearby porch. Peaches are supposed to be a bit tough to grow - but not this one. It was surrounded by wildflowers and growing in rich clay near a stream. Totally lovely accident.
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 279
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Nice ideas Mr Goodman. You have some thoughts there that haven't occurred to me.
 
wayne stephen
steward
Posts: 1793
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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The thimbleberry is wild black raspberry . Different flavor than either red raspberry or blackberry. Excellent and becoming more rare.
 
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