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Shady creek food forest

 
Posts: 314
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Hello all. I have an old creek deep in the woods of NC zone 7. There are ferns all over the place back there and it got me thinking; what edibles could I grow along with those ferns? I would think their presence would signify a certain soil type that plants I wanted there would like as well.
 
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Posts: 612
Location: Equatorial tropics
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I can't think of any deep shade edibles at the moment, but native ginseng seems to like the same areas as ferns. You might also try elderberries if you get any sunny edges.
 
Posts: 57
Location: Austria, Central Europe, USDA-Zone 6b
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I live in zone 6b and so far the only edible plant that works good in shady areas for me is wild garlic (Allium ursinum)

What works great though are all kind of mushrooms
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 314
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Thanks to both of you for the replies. I think the mushroom idea is excellent! I visited Fungi Perfecti and started researching what I wanted to grow.
 
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Posts: 2347
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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hostas like shade, and those huge japanese rhubarbs with the edible stalks, they like it too, as do some currents.
 
Posts: 84
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In our shade, we grow ramps (wood leak), mayapple, ferns (of course), and stinging nettle (don't let it take over). We sometimes find Ghost Pipe, mushrooms, and arrowhead. Perhaps elderberries would work. You might be able to grow yacon too. We live in Michigan, so not all plants will be suited to your area.
 
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Lots of green leafies can grow well in the shade. They will grow more leaves in the shade and bolt less frequently. They won't produce much fruit, but that's not what your'e trying to do.
John S
PDX OR
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 314
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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More great advice I've come to expect from you guys! Ive been asking lots of questions since I've bought my homestead one month ago. As I learn more I'll be answering more questions too. Thanks again!
 
Posts: 47
Location: SE Pennsylvania, USA
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Pawpaws and Wintergreen should be fine there, they will take shade and fruit. You might be able to do Cranberry Viburnum, they prefer more sun, but it's worth a try.

I would second ginseng if you can find seeds, a pretty penny to be made if you get a good patch growing.
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 314
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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I certainly have been wanting to plant pawpaws but haven't thought about them in this shady area. Thanks for the tip Kelby!
 
Roses are red. Violets are blue. Some poems rhyme. But this is a tiny ad:

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