• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Anne Miller
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
stewards:
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Mike Barkley
  • Shawn Klassen-Koop
  • Pearl Sutton

Perennial plant based diet

 
Posts: 517
Location: Eastern Kansas
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My family would refuse also, because few perennials grow here. And, also a diet of fruit and nuts would not be balanced.

In a mild year, here in Kansas, we sometimes get volunteer potatos. That PROBABLY means that potatos would be a perennial in your climate, and home made French fries would likely go over well with your kids. Onions? My kids LOVE home made onion rings!

Bananas might be possible where you live: where I live even the hardiest bananas die to the soil line every years, and so my bananas are only ornamental. You might be able to get fruit.

I raise and eat asparagus, but the kids do not like it.

The above would give your kids carbs and vitamins and oils, but leave them short of protein and calcium. While serving MORE perennials could be done, I do not think either of us could ONLY live off of local perennials. Malnutrition would occur.
 
gardener
Posts: 2573
158
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I grow almost all of the foods I described. Some would grow way better for you than for me, like apricots, pistachios, pecans, and pomegranates.

Some of the things I grow would probably be baked or require huge amounts of water in your Texas sun.

I eat a tremendous amount of weeds, though most arent' perennial. I highly recommend horseradish for the leaf, which I eat a lot of.

I also grow tons of leafty greens and berries. I don't grow grains because they're cheap to buy and I live in a suburban lot.

I don't worry about eating too much fruit, like the other poster said, tree-ripened whole fruit grown better than organically, chewed and eaten with the fiber. Michael Greger, MD. has a video about studies on this topic at his site, Nutrition Facts. org. Joel Fuhrman agrees.

John S
PDX OR
 
Posts: 34
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ronie Dee mentioned planting goji berries. There are several species but it seems they can all be divided into two categories: those that produce mostly foliage and those that produce a lot of berries. If you want berries make sure that the description of the plant says that it is a heavy berry producer or you will be disappointed. They also sucker heavily.


 
Posts: 106
Location: Pyrenees Mountains, South of France
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Fruit trees: apples, pears, plums, apricots, cherries, persimmons (still young), figs, peaches, crab apples, quince.

Nut trees: walnuts (loads of them), almonds(only planted last winter but growing fast), hazel, chestnuts.

Shrubs and berries: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, red and black currants, elderberries, amelanchier (Juneberries), autumn olive, artic raspberries, red and black aronia (choke berries), cornellian cherry, Chinese dogwood (cornus kouza), cranberries, Japanese quince, goji, Nanking cherries, loganberries, tayberries, honeyberries.

Climbers: kiwi, kiwai, grapes, schisandra.

Vegetables: cabbage (Daubenton), perpetual spinach, perennial leeks, artichokes (cover with heavy mulch in order to survive the winter here), cardoons, perennial broccoli (nine stars), horseradish, wild rocket, Turkish rocket, sorrel, red vein sorrel, watercress, onions, chenopodium good king Henry, siberian purslane, buckshorn plantain, rhubarb.

Herbs: rosemary, thyme, bay laurel, chives, mint, camomile, sage, savory, lovage, hyssop, wild garlic.

Weeds: nettles, dandelion, fat hen, ground elder, hairy bittercress, chickweed.

Tubers. Not perennial per se but if some tubers left in the ground they will grow again: Jerusalem artichokes, potatoes, occa, crones du Japon, yacon.

Not perennial but prolific self seeders: purslane (high in omega-3 acid), lamb's lettuce, strawberry spinash, amaranth, borage, and we've got all sorts of lettuces self seeded all over the place.

Of course in France, mushroom "hunting" is an obsession!


 
pollinator
Posts: 415
Location: Upstate SC
33
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm surprised no one has mentioned bamboo. Its a perennial crop that provides edible shoots in the spring, browse/graze for you livestock year around, can't be beat for erosion control, imports nutrients to your property in the form of the guano deposited by the 100's to 1000's of birds that roost overnight in the bamboo grove, and stores lots of carbon underground in the form of the rhizomes that it laces the soil with.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 10849
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
547
cat chicken fiber arts fish forest garden greening the desert trees wood heat
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I want to repeat my topic which is what are YOU yourself personally growing and eating? If bamboo, what kind are you growing and how often do you eat it?

 
gardener
Posts: 2378
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
403
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tyler, I concur with the other posters that wild persimmons, at least, don't cause a problem when eaten in quantity as whole fruit, dried whole or halved fruit, frozen fruit pulp, or dried fruit leather. I am harvesting as many as I can every year and eating lots of them every day while in season. I only manage to freeze enough pulp (several pounds per season) for a few festive loaves of persimmon bread, and the couple of cannisters of dried persimmons I make never last through the winter -- I eat them by the handful as a mindful-eating snack because they take some attention to eat, being hard and seedy the lazy way I dry them.

It's really the only perennial I am getting (yet) in enough quantity to consider a caloric staple.

I am a former diabetic (on a whole plant foods diet my blood sugars returned to normal without medication, hence the word "former" even though it gripes my doctor to hear me say that) who eats fruit without any restriction except that buying it is expensive. When I get persimmons, I pig out on them, and my blood sugar is unaffected.
 
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
203
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dan Boone wrote:
I am a former diabetic (on a whole plant foods diet my blood sugars returned to normal without medication, hence the word "former" even though it gripes my doctor to hear me say that) who eats fruit without any restriction except that buying it is expensive. When I get persimmons, I pig out on them, and my blood sugar is unaffected.



I just got OFF all the meds this past Friday. It was a cut to a natural diet and no more wheat or sugar (refined or corn syrup), and a massive weight drop. My doc congratulated me for the 10 weeks of (deleted). Persimmons? Going to have to put some in. Congratulations Dan Boone!

Someone else suggested Bamboo, if you can put something thick enough, hard enough and deep enough that sticks out of the ground to keep it corralled. It is a miracle plant if you remember you have to boil the shoots twice and drain them completely the first time and rinse, to get rid of the cyanide... it is very renewable and useable for all sorts of things you can make with it.

Garlic, and winter/walking/Egyptian Onions. They get the minibulbs at the top of the onion stalks. They will survive -40. Garlic likes a little more coddling than that. Of course edible flowers (violets, geraniums, nasturtiums). If you grow pumpkins or other squash, pick fresh opened flowers in the morning, batter dip and fry. Delicious.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1373
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
356
books forest garden rabbit solar tiny house woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok, I'll chime in here. Since I live is a climate where food stuff can be grown year around, I'll list what I have growing....perennial-wise, that we eat in varying amounts.

Banana, pineapple, papaya, guava, avocado, assorted citrus, apple, sapote, egg fruit, breadfruit, tree tomato, lilokoi (passion fruit), jackfruit, strawberries, cinnamon, clove, allspice, chaya, pipinola (chayote), moringa, sugar cane, Okinawan spinach, and many herbs (garlic chives, chives, multiplier onions, rosemary, stick oregano, Greek oregano, parsley). Onions, leeks can be harvested via cut-and-come-again for a couple years. Hum, does coffee and tea count? Mamaki?

I suppose one could classify the edible gourds, pumpkins, and winter squashes as perennials in that the long vines will root as they grow along, even though the older parts of the plant die off. And tomatoes are almost perennials but the overly old plants do tend to die after a year. But if one is mindful, you could get the growing tips to root and then severing them from the mother plant, thus prolonging the life of the plant. It just isn't good at doing it by itself.

I'm not sure if it's correct to say that potatoes are perennials because I harvest all the tubers and only replant some of those that resprout after several months. Same with sweet potatoes. I harvest all the tubers and replant tip cuttings for the next crop. I guess yacon is in this class too. Left to their own, they gradually die out.

Taro grows year around, but should it be called a perennial? Without harvesting and replanting the huli or ohas, taro would slowly dwindle away and die out. Indeed some taro types are perennial with no outside help, but they aren't all that good eating either. The good ones need human tending.

Kale, collards, chard, and Portuguese cabbage can be grown as perennials here. But they need tending because the plants get overly old and deteriorate over time. They can be revived via tip or shoot cuttings.

Although not directly on my homestead farm, I do harvest watercress year around. It grows unattended in a special location. Somebody years ago started it growing and it's been reproducing ever since.

There are other tree crops that are perennials here, but I don't grow them....yet. Things like starfruit, jaboticoba, breadnut, coconut, Surinam cherry, and numerous tropical fruit trees. There's a tropical yam and an "air potato" I haven't tried either. Cashews grow here but I'm not interested. And I've had no luck growing cacao, though it does grow here. And I've failed with vanilla too. There is a peach that grows on my neighbor's property but I haven't been lucky enough to find a tree yet.

I'd be really hard pressed to live on just perennials, unless sweet potatoes, potatoes, and taro count. Even so, it would be a boring diet. I like the variety my annuals give.
 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
203
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@Su Ba,

You make me envious. I grow taro but it has to be an indoor/outdoor here and is hard to overwinter. I've sacrificed a few to try eating them. Rather a bland starchy... heh.
 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 1373
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
356
books forest garden rabbit solar tiny house woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Deb, you're right. By itself, it's really bland. It's best eaten along with something stronger tasting, like salty fish, peppery sauces, hot stuff. I make small poi balls (which is really pa'i'ai) which I roll in herbs, honey, or powdered dried fish. It's a nice munching snack that way. Kinda of a nice chewy texture. I'll also use taro to "cream" a soup or sauce. Diced finely, it goes well in a coconut rice pudding. And the bun long variety makes a nice fried chip. But by itself, it's pretty bland, though some varieties taste better than others.

Once I got the idea of homesteading into my brain, I purposely looked for a location where I could grow food year around. Thus it was no mistake that I ended up in a place like I did. Besides, I had my fill of cold and damp. My body wasn't dealing well with the cold anymore.
 
pollinator
Posts: 973
Location: Longbranch, WA
100
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My perennial staple foods are apples and blackberries. This makes up 1/3 of my morning smoothie. I covered in another thread how I steam juice them together and remove the seeds and skins. I seal the juice and pulp separately or freeze it. Without any refined starch or sugar both the pulp fiber and the fructose are converted into lipids that the body uses for energy. This works well for the dried pears which I carry for emergency rations.

I do consider potatoes to be perennial in zone 8; The tops die back twice a year. They can be put in the ground during February here and will have finished blossoming and setting tubers by the time the summer drought kills the tops. Any that are not removed will sprout with the first rains and grow until the first hard frost. Each time the tops die I dig around and take out the large tubers and leave the small ones in a new spot to come up again. To simplify the planting I use the center ring from the barrels I have cut for planters. For the spring I cover the seed tubers just a few inches with soil under the south edge of my peach guild and then gradually fill the ring with chips from the prunings. Harvesting involves lifting the ring and scattering the mulch.

In the pictures below I was trying to squeeze out another harvest by doing it on the floor of the greenhouse but I lost half of one planting with the one hard freeze this winter with strong wind chill. The tubers with more than one eye were able to regrow. The ones I planted after the freeze are blooming now. So moderate success.
potato-round-after-frost.JPG
[Thumbnail for potato-round-after-frost.JPG]
planting-potato-round.JPG
[Thumbnail for planting-potato-round.JPG]
adding-soil-to-potato-round.JPG
[Thumbnail for adding-soil-to-potato-round.JPG]
 
Olga Booker
Posts: 106
Location: Pyrenees Mountains, South of France
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I used to have bamboo. Sorry Tyler, I don't know which variety, it was a cutting from a friend who did not know either. I got rid of it because it was so invasive, although if I'd had the space, I'd grow some, the donkeys loved it in the winter!

I also have reeds (Phragmite australis) but I have not tried it as a food yet. It seems like hard work when there are so many easier plants to gather all around. Still, I think I will try it as the roots are supposed to be a fairly good source of protein and delicious when young, a bit like bamboo shoots but without having to boil it twice.
 
Posts: 143
Location: Oakland, CA
11
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great post, Tyler!

I think you've hit on what is the crux of the problem and why permaculture doesn't really take off -- so much focus is spent on the establishment of perennial food sources, yet the fact that the average consumer has no idea what perennials are or how they can use them is unaddressed. I mean, it's fine for the homesteader who can experiment, but if the aim is to scale up so the whole world eats more sustainably, then it is a big fail.

I'm stuck in the city right now and there are very few perennials available, and I live in an area where farm to table is very much the focus and in vogue. So even though I have every desire to eat perennials I, too, don't have the access or exposure. The only perennials I have really eaten have been while living and traveling abroad in cultures where foraging is not such a distant memory, and even with that they have different names and connecting the dots or knowing if they grow in the local zones is a doctoral thesis. I'm especially challenged because I have to eat a low carb high fat diet for my health (blood sugar regulation and seizure prevention) and my sympathies are to be fully plant-based. Watering the trees necessary for nut oils is also a problem in my drought-plagued area. Avocados are like a perfect food that are very life-sustaining.

I do have one suggestion from my travels, though, and that is pigeon peas. They are nitrogen fixing cover crop superstars, full of protein, are quick to cook (unlike so many beans), and absorb flavors well. There are many tasty great Caribbean and African recipes featuring them and they are a great addition as a supplement to any stews or stir-frys or rice, if you eat that.


 
pollinator
Posts: 2385
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
122
forest garden solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
About 80% of the plant calorie that WE eat comes from 1)wheat seed, 2)corn seed and 3)rice seed. To me that sounds like a very bland and boring diet.
I have flip that around and I get 70% of my plant calorie from coconut/olive oil, legume(30% perennial), nuts seed (walnut, pecan, chestnut, almond, hazelnut), fruits(rose/stonefruit family, banana, orange)

My herbs, seasoning&species is 80% perennial. (Onion family, mint/thyme family, black pepper) the other 20% is from the tomato/chilli family and carrot family.

Unfortunately my vegetables are 100% annuals. (Kale, Collard, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Carrot, Pumpkin, Lettuce, Mix Vegetables). I am glad that you brought up this topic I will have to figure out my list of perennial vegetables (other than onions and asparagus). Sea Kale, Sea Beet, Garlic Mustard comes to mind, but I wonder where I could find a vendor to buy that in bulk from (I live in the city and I have to buy most of my food).

 
Posts: 39
Location: San Diego County, CA (9a) ~15-18"precip/yr
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I didn't see mesquites mentioned. Potential huge source of perennial calories in some areas from making flower out of the seed pods. Plus you get nitrogen! Also, something I learned recently, you can eat the young leaves (and I think seeds too) of Chinese elm, probably not many calories, but it all adds up. Might be other trees that provide young edible leaves.
 
master steward
Posts: 14218
Location: Left Coast Canada
3111
books chicken fiber arts cooking sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just found this book on the Plants for the Future website:



Edible Perennials: 50 Top perennials from Plants For A Future
Authored by Plants For A Future (2015)

Anyone here read this yet? Do you think it could help us discover more perennials we can add to our diet?
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 10849
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
547
cat chicken fiber arts fish forest garden greening the desert trees wood heat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Chris Meador wrote:you can eat the young leaves (and I think seeds too) of Chinese elm, probably not many calories, but it all adds up.



We've eaten the young seed pods of the native Cedar Elm, as a green vegetable. They were ok, in a green kind of way.

 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 14218
Location: Left Coast Canada
3111
books chicken fiber arts cooking sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had a nice lunch of big leaf maple blossoms and chevre today. The maple blossoms have a nice combination of sweet and bitter, depending on their age and how much sunlight the tree gets. They are very filling but are only available for a few weeks each year. I'm told they are high in minerals.
 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 973
Location: Longbranch, WA
100
chicken goat rabbit solar tiny house wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I should have tasted the maple seed sprouts I was uprooting in the leaf mulch at my mother in law's today. They might have been good but maybe not.
 
Posts: 19
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've read that Nitrogen fixing trees like Mimossa, redbud, Locust have edible (if hard) seeds. anyone tried them?
 
Posts: 431
44
bee duck fish food preservation forest garden fungi trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've seen a few people mention self seeding annuals. While they aren't perenials, I think they fill the same purpose, something that takes care of itself and we don't have to weed or plant or mess with much. Look into the weeds. Lambs quarters, purslane, chickweed, and wild amaranth (often called pig weed, although every area has different plants that go by that name) are all good. You can always introduce the weed you want into your patch, it will probably compete well.

I'm pretty sure you could easily naturalize the domesticated Grain or Leaf amaranths into a self perpetuating amaranth patch. (I haven't tried it before because it just occured to me).

Apios Americana is a perenial tuber I am wanting to grow, but haven't yet. Haven't tasted it either. It's perennial vine, nitrogen fixing, will handle some shade, supposed to taste very good and has a lot more protein than potatos. I think it requires a moist soil though. There were some attempts to domesticate it but it takes more than one year to make big enough tubers.

Depending on your climate, potatos and sweet potatos are perennials. They are tougher than I thought because I have had both come up from overlooked tubers in zone 6 (I can hear the folks in zone 3 saying "zone 6, that's the banana belt). I've had a pumpkin and squash self seed the following year from where I through a rotten one out into the garden to mulch down over the winter.

Has anyone ever just left the last pea or bean vines alone (with peas and beans in their pods) in the fall to see if they would reseed themselves? I haven't, but once again, it never occured to me. I guess I have a few experiments to try this fall.

As far as acorns go, there are huge differences in if or how much leaching they need. Years ago, I tried acorns from several places in southern California (kellog black oak, which were supposed to require a lot of leaching, if my memory is right). Without a fair amount of leaching they were simply nasty. A couple of years ago one of my daughters brought in a bunch of acorns from a tree in our neighbors yard (some kind of white oak I think). I was amazed. They were almost, but not quite, good enough to eat out of hand like nuts. So, if you run into some nasty tasting acorns, don't give up hope.
 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
203
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
[quote=Mick Fisch
Depending on your climate, potatos and sweet potatos are perennials. They are tougher than I thought because I have had both come up from overlooked tubers in zone 6 (I can hear the folks in zone 3 saying "zone 6, that's the banana belt). I've had a pumpkin and squash self seed the following year from where I through a rotten one out into the garden to mulch down over the winter.



I grew up with 2b and compared to that 5a was the banana belt (able to grow 'real' peaches), 6b where I am now is just 'not quite enough' (with altitude too) for the stuff I really want to grow but I can't stand the summer heat here, moving farther south wouldn't work.

I regularly have 8-ball zukes, spaghetti squash, and pumpkins make it season to season, some are now on their probably 6th generation this spring. (and I get lots of them in the compost, some I dig out and transplant). Potatoes will winter depending on where they are in the yard. I consider my volunteers 'reseeding annuals' and they should be showing soon if they're going to.
 
Posts: 244
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
35
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Deb Rebel wrote:[quote=Mick Fisch
Depending on your climate, potatos and sweet potatos are perennials. They are tougher than I thought because I have had both come up from overlooked tubers in zone 6 (I can hear the folks in zone 3 saying "zone 6, that's the banana belt). I've had a pumpkin and squash self seed the following year from where I through a rotten one out into the garden to mulch down over the winter.


We may get lost in the weeds a little.[Chuckles - I could not help myself]
Trees and bushes, forbes that come back year after year are perennials. We all agree on that. It is true that "depending on your climate" potatoes and sweet potatoes are perennials: They can stay in the ground and [u]forgotten daughter tubers[/u] of the one originally planted restart the following year on their own, without intervention. That is closer to being a perennial, in that zone, than all the squash and others that [u]reseed[/u]: That seed came from a mother plant that has died, so it is technically not the same plant. Rhubarb, Asparagus, peonies and the like actually regrow from the same tuber, so they would qualify as true perennials. In my cold zone 4, I have often had zukes, cukes and all the squash and cucurbit family make a new appearance from seed after a rotten plant was tossed or forgotten in the garden. But they just reseed, and once they spring to life, there may not be enough days to guarantee a crop here.
While it is important to know the difference, it is only marginally so: We need to know and understand the behavior of each plant in our garden or landscape. I would not think of beets as perennials here, but I have found that if I winter some in my refrigerator and plant them the following year, this biennial will give me seeds. It is not a perennial, but I can perpetuate it by doing it again the next year. Same with carrots, radishes and other biennials. I still have to tend to them, but I do not need to purchase seeds. They would never survive out vigorous winters, so to make a long story short, perennials are a plant that goes dormant in the winter and comes back (the same plant) the following year. Others are not perennials, but understanding their cycle in our climate may help us 1/ be in charge of our own seed production 2/ plant next year's crop in the fall rather than be overwhelmed by all the chores of the spring, grafting and pruning trees, pulling the mulch back on the strawberries PLUS planting other annuals.
 
Mike Turner
pollinator
Posts: 415
Location: Upstate SC
33
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Perennials raised and eaten on my property in upstate SC include asparagus, nettles, groundnut, Jerusalem artichoke, bamboo, smilax. The fruits blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, mulberry, grapes, persimmons, peaches, plums, pluots, apples, pears, kiwi, figs, satsuma, citrumelo, citrange, jujube. The nuts pecans, chestnuts, and black walnuts. Self seeding vegetables include chichory, corn salad, sprouting broccoli, parsnip, current tomatoes.
 
Posts: 70
Location: Coastal Southern California
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Not everyone has the same level of tasting abilities. Some of the foods listed above would be totally unpalatable to those of us who are 'super tasters'. Depending on the source, about 10 to 25% of the population simply has more taste buds per unit area than most other people. And some things one person can love is 'rip your tongue out' inedible to others.

I'm not suggesting the following foods for survival, but rather as diagnostic indicators. If you dislike coffee, beer, arugula, licorice, grapefruit, prefer milk to dark chocolate, hard liquor, spicy foods, lots of salt, Brussel sprouts, most cured olives.... You might just be a super taster. Of course not everyone will like or dislike the entire list, and you can learn to like some of them... but these are just a few of the more common 'problem' foods for us supertasters.

My guess is many super tasters would have a very difficult time adapting to the diet that is being discussed.
 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
203
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Supertasters- or become more sensitive.

It is nice to know what the majority of us have available and could otherwise add to our environment to be edible and a food source. Perennial I consider as 'regular' and 'self perpetuating' which means it reseeds itself readily and comes back every year. My rhubarb is a true perennial; the round zucchini that come up as volunteers are 'self perpetuating'. I sometimes will transplant a self perpetuator early on in the season as they may come in too thickly, but I just count on them showing up every year. (and yes I do save a few seeds during harvest just in case they don't come back).

I have trained tastebuds--my diet has been altered for medical reasons and after losing addiction to sugar and addiction to gluten, things taste a LOT different to me. Some things I eat now a lot wouldn't and couldn't stand, and that is to be expected. I am also one of the approximately half the population that can taste a certain substance (it is very bitter) and thus broccoli is something I will never eat. But. If you're a supertaster or know that you are tasting the world differently, you can adjust for what you prefer. I find this thread excellent because some things I would normally NOT eat but it's nice to know I CAN eat them and if they are there, I have a backup.
 
Olga Booker
Posts: 106
Location: Pyrenees Mountains, South of France
14
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If it helps, I'll share a few things that I've done.

For instance tonight we had nettles and wild rocket soup followed by apple an rhubarb compote (both in kilner jars from last year) topped up with last autumn walnuts dipped in honey and a dollop of home made yoghurt.

At lunch time, we had a wild garlic, early chives and parsley omelette with a salad of self seeded lettuce, rocket, young perennial spinach, water cress and siberian purslane. Some of last autumn's kiwis, gone a bit soft and wrinkly but very sweet and juicy for dessert.

Tomorrow, I'm making a stew of smoked pork (our own) with perennial Daubenton cabbage, carrots (still some in the ground) and potatoes, haven't worked out a dessert yet but the pantry is still full of cans of peaches, cherries, apple, pears and raspberries sauce. Cherry clafouti comes to mind.

Today I also made a bread with walnuts and dried Russian olive berries. I haven't tasted it yet, but I'll keep you posted! It might go well with our aronia and crab apple jelly.


 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 10849
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
547
cat chicken fiber arts fish forest garden greening the desert trees wood heat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you for those examples of how you incorporate perennial plants into your diet, Olga. I'm interested to see how people are actually eating what they grow, how they prepare it.
 
Rue Barbie
Posts: 70
Location: Coastal Southern California
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Supertasters- or become more sensitive.



Supertasters can definitely learn to like certain things somewhat better. Most people can do that. Eliminating sugar is a good example. I've done that myself and it was relatively easy. In the past, I also trained myself away from all dairy. Inconvenient at times, but doable. I did try hard to learn to like beer in college - alas that failed. My ST genes are too strong.

For supertasters this sort of training/transition does not always work. It's not just a case of preferring some foods more than others, or disliking things, which most people do. Somethings for supertasters simply are repulsive. They are 'wretch-inducing'. My three worst are arugula, horseradish, and grapefruit. (both arugula and horseradish are crucifers). I think I would literally vomit if I was forced to eat those. But I never want to test that.

Sometimes explaining what it's like being an extreme supertaster (end of the bell curve) is akin to a person who can see colors trying to explain what that's like to someone who can't.


 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
Posts: 244
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
35
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Rue Barbie wrote:Not everyone has the same level of tasting abilities. Some of the foods listed above would be totally unpalatable to those of us who are 'super tasters'. Depending on the source, about 10 to 25% of the population simply has more taste buds per unit area than most other people. And some things one person can love is 'rip your tongue out' inedible to others.

I'm not suggesting the following foods for survival, but rather as diagnostic indicators. If you dislike coffee, beer, arugula, licorice, grapefruit, prefer milk to dark chocolate, hard liquor, spicy foods, lots of salt, Brussel sprouts, most cured olives.... You might just be a super taster. Of course not everyone will like or dislike the entire list, and you can learn to like some of them... but these are just a few of the more common 'problem' foods for us supertasters.

My guess is many super tasters would have a very difficult time adapting to the diet that is being discussed.



Unless we, who delight in unusual foods are the Super Tasters, who can actually appreciate a greater variety of tastes than those who are tongue blind to these pleasures? Your premise [Not everyone has the same level of tasting abilities] is flatly stated without any explanation, and it sounds OK: We know wine connoisseurs who can differentiate which vineyard this Cabernet came from, while others will be happy with anything red and alcoholic in a bottle. I'm sure we all have our likes and dislikes, but qualifying yourself as a Super Taster" and appearing to dis folks who choose to eat from a greater culinary palette might be a tad pretentious?
For sure, those adventurous souls who eat a greater variety of foods are better survivors in a famine. (My parents during the WWII and my in-laws during the Great Depression adapted to stuff we often think of as rather unpalatable. Isn't it funny how *real* hunger makes us appreciate plain foods more?)
 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
203
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

Rue Barbie wrote:Not everyone has the same level of tasting abilities. Some of the foods listed above would be totally unpalatable to those of us who are 'super tasters'. Depending on the source, about 10 to 25% of the population simply has more taste buds per unit area than most other people. And some things one person can love is 'rip your tongue out' inedible to others. My guess is many super tasters would have a very difficult time adapting to the diet that is being discussed.



Unless we, who delight in unusual foods are the Super Tasters, who can actually appreciate a greater variety of tastes than those who are tongue blind to these pleasures? Your premise [Not everyone has the same level of tasting abilities] is flatly stated without any explanation, and it sounds OK: We know wine connoisseurs who can differentiate which vineyard this Cabernet came from, while others will be happy with anything red and alcoholic in a bottle. I'm sure we all have our likes and dislikes, but qualifying yourself as a Super Taster" and appearing to dis folks who choose to eat from a greater culinary palette might be a tad pretentious?
For sure, those adventurous souls who eat a greater variety of foods are better survivors in a famine. (My parents during the WWII and my in-laws during the Great Depression adapted to stuff we often think of as rather unpalatable. Isn't it funny how *real* hunger makes us appreciate plain foods more?)



A classmate's sister detested and would rather starve than eat anything with calcium in it. No dairy and even no calcium rich veggie. It was just totally repulsive to her. She broke her arm and spent nearly a year in a cast...

As it is, I am enjoying dandelions, lamb's quarters, purslane and miner's lettuce right now, as volunteers. (not considering them weeds). The wild mustard and wild radishes are just showing good.

I will say that during the nearly 7 years of my progressing health issues, by having to limit my diet and take an active control of what I eat, how much, and when; my tastes have radically changed and I eat a lot more things now than I used to never even want to touch. Anything with natural sugars (dairy, fruit, etc (lactose and fructose)) are exceptionally sweet tasting to me now; and actually I don't want them. I can't eat the dairy anyways, and the fruit I have to take in very small quantities and/or juice out (make jelly that someone else eats) and eat the pulp. That alone is somewhat of a blessing, as I can turn to what nature provides more, and enjoy it. That doesn't make me a super-taster, just reeducated.

My paternal grandfather was ethnic german, and during prohibition got into making his own wines and beers. You were allowed to produce 400 gallons a year for private consumption. As I grew up he was still doing this, and I inherited all his recipes. You can ferment or vint almost anything. Most of his stuff was meant to be consumed within several months if not 3-4, but. It is another way to use what was in your environment. Fermenting cider allows it to keep for several months.... (yes we did make dandelion wine, watermelon rind wine, and chokecherry wine).

I am considering adding a nice patch of chokecherries. They are bitter straight, but are in the blueberry family, and very hardy even in cold climates with short summers. They make the best thin jelly (use it as pancake syrup). My mother canned some and they fermented. Those were VERY good and VERY potent (about 30 proof).
 
Posts: 299
Location: Oklahoma
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I didn't see anyone mention scarlet runner beans, edible both like green beans and mature, dried and shelled. I also believe in your location there should be edible cactus.
 
Rue Barbie
Posts: 70
Location: Coastal Southern California
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

....but qualifying yourself as a Super Taster" and appearing to dis folks who choose to eat from a greater culinary palette might be a tad pretentious?



Sorry you took my statement personally. The term 'supertaster' is not my term, but I am one. It refers to people with greater tasting ability simply because they have more taste buds. It is genetic, and some have suggested a particular gene is responsible. It is not a matter of choice.

This in no way makes STs better than anyone else in any way. Just as taller people are not better than shorter ones. Trust me, it is a real disadvantage. I would LOVE to be able to enjoy many of the foods other people do. I regret greatly not being able to relish the full range of coffees, beers, greens etc.

As for surviving, anyone who is alive today has descended from people who survived hard times. Being able to eat a wider array of foods is only one survival mechanism.


As for the original topic, what are annuals in some areas can be perennial in areas such as here (the avocado belt in SoCal) where frost is very rare.

In the garden right now I have several varieties of kale, which can grow for years. Tomatoes, eggplants, chilies also can overwinter, though starting with seed is usually more successful. But there are ripening tomatoes now on a couple of last year's plants.

Lima beans are also perennial here - which was a major surprise when they didn't just die and produced even larger crops the next year...

Walnuts and almonds grow here, but they need a lot of water, so forget them. Lots of local housing tracts were built on old walnut groves. Such a shame.

Stone fruits such as plums, apricots and peaches do grow here, but the winter chill is so low, they often do not bloom nor leaf out that well and can't be depended on.

All manner of Citrus and avos do well. A good year with even one avo tree is grand.

There now are low chill blueberries which do quite well, but need lots of higher quality water - which we don't have without special arrangement such as acidification or collecting rainwater and storing it over the long, dry summers.

Figs and pomegranates - slam dunks. Don't need much water and bear well. Figs bear on and off thru the year as well. I've had ripe ones in January, but you have to have several varieties. Olives too, but you have to cure them. I tried that once and it was fun. Also, most (all?) local olives have larvae from the olive fly which requires treatment from bloom to picking in the fall. If you want to turn your olives into oil, there are places you can take your fruit, but it's very expensive. And in the end, it can cost less to simply buy good oil through the year.

Edit: How could I forget to mention grapes in our Mediterranean climate, lol. And wine. Easy to make at home. When I was young, Dad, mom, and us kids would glean vineyards and crush the grapes with out feet. Dad had dug out the crawl-space under the house for a small, cool wine cellar.

As for native stuff, someone mentioned acorns. Alas our most common is the live oak (Q. agrifolia) which produces great amounts in some years, but requires heavy leaching to yield only a fair product. The valley oak (an hour away) is a much better source producing a more palatable product, but they just don't grow locally. And they don't produce acorns in significant numbers every year.

There are some greens too, but with rain only in winter here, when it dries come April, there will be nothing 'wild' to forage for months. Unless you water, ...which has become a luxury these days.
 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
203
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
IF you are in 10a (a little rare frost) or 10b (no frost) or warmer, a lot of peppers are perennial bushes. (at least 5 or so years). The smaller fruited peppers do better. I take some in every year and get them to bloom and set crop in the house. (in zone 6b with altitude)
 
Olga Booker
Posts: 106
Location: Pyrenees Mountains, South of France
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tyler Ludens wrote:Thank you for those examples of how you incorporate perennial plants into your diet, Olga. I'm interested to see how people are actually eating what they grow, how they prepare it.



Thanks Tyler,

Here are a few more things that I do with perennials if you are interested:

Nasturtiums, besides eating the leaves and flowers in salad, I make a pesto with the leaves and I pickle the seeds like capers.
Day lilly tempura.
Strawberry spinach and chickpea curry. The actual "strawberry" I find quite insipid, but it makes a great jam, not much pectin, but liquidy it works well with yoghurt or rice pudding.
Swiss chard quiche and fritters.
Sorrel and potato pie.
Cream of Jerusalem artichoke soup or roasted with oca, onions and other root vegetables.
Sweet chestnut and pumpkin soup. Sweet chestnut stuffing.
Goji berries in granola, also added to soups and stews.
Kiwi and cranberry muffins.
Honeyberry clafouti or muffins or fresh in muesli.
Perennial broccoli and hazelnut pasta.
Stir fried pork and perennial kale.

I am working on eating as much of my perennials as possible and try to find different recipes all the time, experimenting with various things. Oh and by the way, the walnut and Russian olive berries bread was great and yes it went very well with the aronia and crab apple jelly!
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 10849
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
547
cat chicken fiber arts fish forest garden greening the desert trees wood heat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That is super, Olga. I'd love for more folks to post about how they use these unusual plants in their kitchens!

It's Nopales season here, when the cactus begin producing fresh young pads. I need to figure out how to use them! I'll probably put them in curry, which is how I use most things I'm not sure about...
 
Olga Booker
Posts: 106
Location: Pyrenees Mountains, South of France
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know anything about nopales, it would never grow in my climate but I have found this site, hope it helps.

http://allrecipes.com/recipes/1098/fruits-and-vegetables/vegetables/nopales/
 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
203
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nopales, beware of the fine spines. Pick with serious gloves and tongs. This is a good tutorial on how to cook them. http://patijinich.com/recipe/cleaning_cactus_paddles_or_nopales/
I use them as fake green beans and also pickle them. I like to cut them in thin strips and fry.
 
Posts: 519
Location: Wisconsin
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is my second season growing comfrey, it was a great addition to a salad last year (it has an interesting texture that might take some getting used to). Also going to try hosta shoots right now as they are coming up and I found out they are edible before they leaf out. always trying new things in the kitchen.
 
Too many men are afraid of being fools - Henry Ford. Foolish tiny ad:
5 Ways to Transform Your Garden into a Low Water Garden
https://permies.com/t/97045/Reduce-garden-watering
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!