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Perennial Plants

 
                                  
Posts: 2
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I don't think anyone mentioned:

Oca (S. Amer., Oxalis spp.): tubers.
Yucca (C. and N. Amer., Yucca spp.): peeled stems, fruits (esp. banana yucca).
Many or most of the cacti have edible fruits, stems, pulp. Desert plants are under-represented as modern food plants, many good ones and several w/ starches that are easy for diabetics to digest. Lechugillas, agaves, yuccas, prickly-pear/chollas, also medicinal teas like mormon tea, chaparral.
Mesquite (Prosopis spp.): edible beans, high sugar content; ditto Honey Locust (Gleditsia spp?) w/ 30% mature pod sugar content.
Agave spp.: hearts (kills plant but typically are numerous side shoots, sustainable at slow rate), peeled shoots.
Salnichon spp. (native where?): seed I believe is edible by humans; halophyte; valuable forage irrigable by seawater (the Israelis have grown tomatoes sub-mulch-irrigated w/ straight seawater, ok if kept wet but die immediately if get dry).
Cattail (Typha spp.); roots, pelled stalks, root buds; outproduces potatoes in starch/unit area. Somewhat tasteless (tofu!) but highly productive.
Aquatic and semi-aquatic plants, typically extremely productive, are curiously mostly ignored in our current systems.
Wild Rice, don't know the genus name: riparian edge plant, seeds.
Bamboo (usually Bambusca spp.); root buds, peeled shoots.
Arrowroot (Saggitaria spp.); tubers; emergent aquatic/bog plant. 
Mulberry (Morus spp.) vegetative shoots edible cooked (mild halucinogen when raw); edible fruits, very productive; high-value bird plant.
Blackberry (Rubus spp.) vegetative shoots edible cooked; fruits.
Inner bark of some trees: pine, cottonwood among them; starvation food eaten boiled, powdered and made into gruel; "Adirondack" is AmIndian for 'tree-eater.'
Acorns (Quercus spp.): edible nuts, often very good (from White Oak family), 30% cooking oil by wght; good ones are much like butter-soaked chestnuts if roasted under broiler.
Zillion nut trees, fruit trees, not necessarily 'veggies' but food.

Horseradish and Sunchoke both like moist soil; sunchoke can outproduce potatoes in starch/acre. All grass seeds are edible, vary in palatability/production, crabgrass was an E. European cereal grain until the 1900's.

Oregon Exotics has an interesting selection of exotic foods from around the world, many perennials. J.L. Hudson, good list of exotics, some food. Peace Seeds, great list of improved primitive food plants, many perennial.

I very much like the perennial veg/fruit/herb wiki idea!

Jack Rowe
 
pollinator
Posts: 305
Location: North Central New York
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I have Eric's book and on page 201 he has a resource entitled "Perennial Vegetables for Each Climate Type" mentioning those that will grow in the extreme cold zone of high mountains and frozen northlands. 
I live in zone 5.  My sunchokes grow on the north side of a wood privacy fence and just grow the taller for it, I believe.  They continue to spread each year.  I will be moving some to an open meadow this/next year to see how they will do there.
I am still learning and thus I also very much like the perennial veg/fruit/herb wiki idea.  How do we do that?
 
Posts: 556
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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I have tried many of the plants in Erics book and many need warmer summers than we have here in the PacificNw or need babying.It is currently the best book specificly on that subject though.Plants for a Future and agroforestry news have been the mainstay of my research material into such areas.
 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 556
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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OK people!How about perennial edible carrot family plants that are edible right now!Anthriscus sylvestris/cow parsley or wild chervil:this plant is very agressive and easily holds its own in my garden holding its edible leaves through the winter even under snow.Looks like potentialy poison carront family relatives so good luck finding and IDing.Found some in a pasture.Illegal to sell here so trade is regulated to the black market which I know nothing about!Barring those hurdles,flavor is pretty good as far as this family goes(subjective).Bunium bulbocastanum/earth chestnut:this little one also keeps the greens on through the winter and you can steal a few of the sweet tubers over the winter.Not very invasive Im afraid so requires some weeding to reduce competition.Tastes great/sweet.A bit fiddly to get the leaves as dead ones are mixed in.lost in my garden somewhere.
 
Posts: 718
Location: Zone 5
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Mt.goat wrote:
Bunium bulbocastanum/earth chestnut:this little one also keeps the greens on through the winter and you can steal a few of the sweet tubers over the winter.Not very invasive Im afraid so requires some weeding to reduce competition.Tastes great/sweet.A bit fiddly to get the leaves as dead ones are mixed in.lost in my garden somewhere.


I would like to know more and maybe get a start of this... any help?  I could trade Luffa and walking onions.

Would it do well here in zone 5 Ozarks?
 
                          
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Location: Marrakai Northern Territory Australia
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just googled purple carrots, never knew there was so much variety, the carrot museum post was very worthwhile
thanks for the heads up Mt.goat
 
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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SZann wrote:
I've had success establishing jerusalem artichokes by going to the local Whole Foods, buying organic jerusalem artichokes, and simply planting the tubers.

Plant somewhat like iris tubers, just below the soil surface. .



I had success planting them without having to dig by placing them on top of the existing undisturbed and unweeded ground in late spring, and covering them with about 6 to 8 inches of leaf and grass clippings. They sprouted right through the mulch with ease and very little weeds came through, and those that did were easily removed. Its the same technique as I've seen Bill Mollison use with potatoes, minus the newspaper.
 
Travis Philp
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Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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vkirchner wrote:
Ivan,

I have also considered Eric's book, but the local people I have talked with believe that the book does not accurately describe colder climate plants zones 4-5.  Anything warmer than that is a perfect match for the book.




I'm glad I read your post. thanks for the warning. I just received Erics book as a belated Christmas gift. I'm in Canada in zone 5 B.
 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 718
Location: Zone 5
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vkirchner wrote:
I have also considered Eric's book, but the local people I have talked with believe that the book does not accurately describe colder climate plants zones 4-5.  Anything warmer than that is a perfect match for the book.


So who wants to or has written the book for our zone (4-5)?  Would love an share of information here.  I am going to plant out... strawberries.  Do they count?  I know they grew well for me years ago.
 
Travis Philp
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Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Jennifer Smith  "listenstohorses" wrote:
So who wants to or has written the book for our zone (4-5)?  Would love an share of information here.  I am going to plant out... strawberries.  Do they count?  I know they grew well for me years ago.



Strawberry leaves are tasty IMO, so that'd count them as a vegetable. I was actually able to market strawberry leaves to a chef who was offering a wildcrafted salad.


J. Bruce... I don't have Erics book at the house right now but when I get it back and if there are seed source references in there I will post them for you.
 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 556
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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Just noticed that the Centranthus ruber/Red valerian was still "crank`n out leaves under the eaves".While bitter during warmer seasons,its pretty tame this time of year.Sort of a perennial corn salad.And while I havnt confirmed it,Im guessing that Hesperis matronalis/dames rocket is up n at em these days.A bit fuzzy leaves but capable of some volume.In the brassica family.Might be a biennial,in which case I apologise.
 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 556
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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I sent some friends out yesterday to gather some greens and they came back with a huge pot of Sanguisorba minor/salad burnet.I cant say I really like the taste of this one too much but its one of the most reliable winter greens out there.Its pretty astringent so goes best with greasy foods where the astringincy can be nutralized.Also Smyrnium olusatrum/alexanders is up but deer ate most of mine.Its technically a biannual but like many carrot family biannuals can be coaxed to live up to 5 years by growing in partial shade in well drained soil and removing the seed heads so it doesnt exaust itself.Alexanders was a staple in europe before celery barged in on the scene
 
steward
Posts: 32467
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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sunchoke can outproduce potatoes in starch/acre.



"can"?  Do you need a particular variety?

 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 718
Location: Zone 5
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I am getting a big bunch of daylilies tomorrow free off of craigslist.  So when we get them home what might we plant with them? 

I will need to limit the horses access so they need to go in little yard where I plan an orchard/garden ...food forest?  So far I have 2 cherry trees with horseradish in the ground. 

I have a grape doing well in a pot off the back deck so will unpot it and plant in place, same with rhubarb.  My rhubarb I plan to divide when I unpot and plant seeds around them. 

I have several pots of asparagus needing a home and neighbors, will also put seeds in with them.  Should I not plant the females?
 
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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Jenn I have thousands of daylillies, and you can literally plant them anywhere other than right in water..as they would rot.

Don't plant them too cloose together as a daylilly clump will reach 3' across in 3 years if not divided, so they really spread, except the dwarf ones like Stella De Oro

some get really huge

I haven't eaten them but they are supposed to be good.

oh and for those that mentioned the jerusalem artichokes as a starch, you should know that they are less starchy than most other tubers and are good for using with diabetes as they do not raise blood sugar....mine have taken over ..
 
Jennifer Smith
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I am thinking to plant the daylillies with some of my baby trees, help keep the mower and weed whacker away.  Daylilie markers so to say.  Would they chock out or kill a tree?  Is there any particular type of tree that would or would not like to live with lilie friends?
 
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Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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paul wheaton wrote:
"can"?  Do you need a particular variety?



I once left a flat of J. artichoke back behind my fertilizer bucket until they froze, then got a shriveled and brown, then threw them out into the pature, and forgot about them... now I have a couple clumps growing there too.

An old contractor mentor swore by them for fermentation and distillation, and then swore about other things as well.
 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 718
Location: Zone 5
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Paul Cereghino wrote:
I once left a flat of J. artichoke back behind my fertilizer bucket until they froze, threw them out into the pature, and forgot about them... now I have a couple clumps growing there too.


I would LOVE some artichokes that live thru the winter here in zome 5b... can you elaborate on kind and where to get them?
 
                  
Posts: 2
Location: MN, USA . . . Zone 3
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Jennifer Smith wrote:
I would LOVE some artichokes that live thru the winter here in zome 5b... can you elaborate on kind and where to get them?



I'm in zone 3, Minnesota.
Someone gave us some Organic Jerusalem Artichokes (the label I believe called them "Sunflower Chokes" or "SunChokes")

We had about 4 to 6, 12 ounce packages, styrofoam backed with shrink wrap over all.
That's it.
Anyway, we put them into the basement (about 45 degrees f. from December until spring, planted them about May and they all seemed to come up just fine.

We now (4-5 years later) have hundreds of plants in about half a dozen diff. areas. Some by the garden, some on the edge of very, very wet areas.
Clay soil with about 6 inches of topsoil.

Our winters often get to -30 below. They have done well with a winter mulch and without one. Easy to harvest many tubers and still have them come back the next year. These things are VERY hardy. Don't know the variety but they produce just dandy. AFAIK, they are not GMO.

If anyone knows if there are GM Jerusalem Artichokes skulking around "out there" I'd be interested in knowing about it.
 
                  
Posts: 2
Location: MN, USA . . . Zone 3
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Ooops,

Left out the main point.  ops:

The SOURCE of the tubers.

The Grocery Store. The Organic Produce section..
Don

DonInMN wrote:
I'm in zone 3, Minnesota.
Someone gave us some Organic Jerusalem Artichokes (the label I believe called them "Sunflower Chokes" or "SunChokes")

We had about 4 to 6, 12 ounce packages, styrofoam backed with shrink wrap over all.
That's it.
Anyway, we put them into the basement (about 45 degrees f. from December until spring, planted them about May and they all seemed to come up just fine.

We now (4-5 years later) have hundreds of plants in about half a dozen diff. areas. Some by the garden, some on the edge of very, very wet areas.
Clay soil with about 6 inches of topsoil.

Our winters often get to -30 below. They have done well with a winter mulch and without one. Easy to harvest many tubers and still have them come back the next year. These things are VERY hardy. Don't know the variety but they produce just dandy. AFAIK, they are not GMO.

If anyone knows if there are GM Jerusalem Artichokes skulking around "out there" I'd be interested in knowing about it.

 
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