• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Best perennial permaculture plants for zone 8 in middle georgia?

 
Benton Lewis
Posts: 107
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Best perennial permaculture plants for zone 8 in middle georgia?


 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1341
Location: northern California
42
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm in CA now, but lived and homesteaded on 3 different sites in GA for 25 years. A few loose ideas:
- Pecans, if you can afford the wait. Look for smaller varieties like Elliot, which tend to be more resistant to pests and diseases than the huge ones common in commercial orchards.
- Chinese and hybrid chestnuts. These could be a starchy staple, but you will need to gather them and process them somehow, since they do not keep long in the shell like other nuts. Cut in half (say with a stout pair of hand pruners) and taken out of their shells, they can be dried rock hard and stored that way, and then ground into flour at need, like grain. I do this with acorns too.....
-Among the fruits, some varieties of pears and apples, figs, oriental and native persimmons, mulberries, blueberries, and early plums like Methley are the most reliable. Peaches and many plums get worms......if you must have them find early varieties, put chickens under them, and try "Surround"....an organic spray made from kaolin.
-Asparagus does okay, though it seems to occupy a lot of space for the yield. The summer plants are tall and itchy to work around, hindering the opportunity to intercrop it with something else.....
 
Jay Grace
Posts: 229
Location: Nauvoo, AL
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm in nauvoo, al in the upper 1/3 of the state. 7b-8a or so.

Luckily in the south we have very abundant native edibles.

1. Pawpaw
2. Acorns
3. Black walnut (might not be native but have naturalized)
4. Muscadines
5. Mushrooms. Get to know your mushrooms Chantrelles, chicken of the woods, lions mane, and the many many Boletes
6. Chinquapin nuts. Not the chinquapin acorns but these look like little chestnuts. Southeast is it's native range but like the pawpaw they are somewhat rare and the groves that there are are kept a secret.
7. cattails
8. Kudzu
9. Native persimmons
10. hickory nuts. IMO taste 100times better than pecans
11. Poke salad. one of my favorite cooking greens
12. Lambs quarters ( not sure if it's perennial or just reseeds very well)

 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1341
Location: northern California
42
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The apples that worked well for me were "Ein Shemer", an early ripening yellow apple needing processing, and "Granny Smith", a very late storage apple (assuming you have cold storage). Many old-homestead pear trees long outlive the buildings and all else, and produce what are called "sandy" or "gritty" pears. These can often be redeemed with cold treatment. Pick the pears as soon as the stem swells a bit at the point where it will later drop off....they will be still hard at this point. Put them in the refrigerator for about two weeks, or longer....they can sit in there for months. After they have been in there at least that long, start pulling them out and let ripen on the table for a few days.....quite often they will yellow, soften, and be completely buttery like a store Bartlett with no grit!
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1341
Location: northern California
42
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Among the persimmons, non-astringent varieties like "Suruga", "Izu", and "Ichi-ki-kei-jiro" were my favorites. You can eat them as soon as they turn orange, and then they are crispy almost like an apple.....or you can leave them longer till they turn soft and mushy like the astringents. Picked firm and kept cool, they will store for quite a long time.
 
Jay Grace
Posts: 229
Location: Nauvoo, AL
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For something a bit more exotic try pineapple guava, loquats, pomegranates, and hardy kiwi.

I could be a bit to far north for the range of all but the hardy kiwis.

I have yet to get fruit from any of my poms, ( half of which died back a good bit during that warm up and then bitter cold snap we had last year. The one that frost bit everyones figs nearly to the ground.
( my grandpa said it was the first time he had ever seen that happen around here.)

Same goes with the pineapple guavas and loquats. Had a few flowers but no fruit 2 years back.

The hardy kiwis take 4-7 years to set fruit. 5 years on mine but no fruit as of yet. But I know people that have fruiting vines and auburn university actually has a named variety from their breeding program.

hazel nuts/ filberts are supposed to be the next big thing.
I like Chinese chestnuts also. easy to grow. Come mostly true from seed. and produce a ton of nuts.

I've got a ton of sunchokes blooming right now and hopefully in another year or three of planting and replanting the tubers I'll have a literal ton of sunchokes.
 
Tyler Newton
Posts: 27
Location: Birmingham Alabama
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There are a few native plums. Not sure if that was mentioned. Also prickly pear grow out in birmingham. Also capsicum annuum and Jerusalem artichoke.
 
Benton Lewis
Posts: 107
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have this great book called "A Georgia Food Forest 180 Perennial Edible Plants and Design Guide for the Zone 8 Home Grower". Bought it off Ebay. The native wild edibles I forage so far out of my yard (still learning what I can eat) are smilax tips (they are like asparagus and taste excellent cooked), winged sumac, pine needles (tea and chewing the needles), deer berry, sparkle berry, dwarf paw paw, sassafras, muscadine, prickly pear, acorns, pipsissewa, dandelion, winged elm leaves, elderberry, hopefully persimmons will produce but have my doubts, there's possibly a tupelo tree out there but not sure yet, scared of pokeweed haha, etc. If you are interested, eat the weeds dot com has great articles on all those wild edibles. Get spurge nettle, crab apples and maypops from relatives yards.

I am starting my first garden this year and will be using the back to eden garden method. Besides the back to eden video that can be viewed free on vimeo, L2survive has lots of videos on youtube about the method. I also will set up huglekulture beds.

Bought tree collards and walking stick kale. Plan on trying all the ones mentioned above. Will try cassava root, perennial spinach, Malabar spinach, hibiscus, rose of sharon, etc.

Going to learn the art of saving seed now. Anyone know any good books or have any advice?
 
Jay Grace
Posts: 229
Location: Nauvoo, AL
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is nothing bad about poke salad. Only use the new growth leaves. Nothing longer than your finger and boil them in two changes of water. Some people say three but I just do two and I'm still here.

Maypops are awesome.
Ive never got any fruit from the dwarf pawpaws. I'll see some before they're ripe but critters always get to it first.


 
Benton Lewis
Posts: 107
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love Maypops. Agree about the pokeweed but did not grow up around people who ate them and have not seen anyone eat them. They are very prolific in my area and mature at different times for a steady harvest (in the wild) so pretty sure they could be a key permaculture crop using succession planting. I've read the root can kill at least if eaten raw and maybe even the other parts of the plant if not processed correctly. From what I read poke berriy juice was the "ink" the constitution was drafted on, that and hemp paper. Have to give myself some time to get used to the idea and maybe get an expert to prepare it for me before I begin myself. I have great respect for such a prolific native plant.
 
Jay Grace
Posts: 229
Location: Nauvoo, AL
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is no need to even do a succession planting of poke salad. Half way through the summer do a chop and drop and new plants will come up from the root ball.

Locate some good plants now and as soon as the first couple frosts come in the plants die back to the ground and you can dig the root ball up and transplant it in your location. I've seen some pretty big root balls nearly the size of a football.

Just pick the new choice leaves. Even if you could eat the bigger mature leaves no one would want to because they would be to tough.

Honestly the new leaves cooked won't kill you. ( They didn't me). At one change of water the leaves gave me some mild stomach cramps and my lips tingle.
*This is just my personal experience though.

I do two changes of water with zero effects. But I boil it for 20 to 30 minutes or more and drain off ALL the water after the final boil.

Three changes are what is recommended.


 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2355
78
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Benton Lewis wrote: hopefully persimmons will produce but have my doubts


Persimmons produce -- except for that damn late frost this year. Grrr, I'm going to have to wait until next year to get some nice persimmons.

Smilax, I never bother with it; it's just too much work for a few tips. I think salsify is much better if you want an ersatz-asparagus. It's becoming naturalized on my property, and unlike smilax, it doesn't have thorns and tendrils.

Rose of sharon -- I have one that doesn't thrive, but just survives. I'm not going to rip it out, but I don't plan on planting more.

Other plants to try: 1) Upland cress (Barbarea verna) Tastes like turnip greens, only better. Prolifically reseeds and I have it coming up all over the place.
2) Taro (Colocasia esculenta) Poisonous when uncooked, but when cooked a long time like collards or turnip greens, it can be a summer standby. Dies back after the first frost, but comes back strong in the spring.
3) Chicory If it is in a lawn or an area where it gets mowed or grazed on, you will have some unimpressive rosettes, but plant it in a bed or on a hugelkultur and it can get huge. Of course, when it gets that big it is bitter, but it is one thing that does well in a middle Georgia winter, even better than collards.
4) Turmeric Like taro, it will die back in the winter (even before the first frost), but I have had it come back strong the last two (fairly severe) winters. You don't have to grow it just for the corms, you can shred the leaves to add a nice flavor to dishes.
5) Egyptian Walking onions They are so prolific in this climate. Once they are established, you can keep harvesting them on and on and on.
6) Mulukhiyah This is my first year growing this, but it sure is a strong plant. Grows about as fast and as big as pokeweed. If you wanted to eradicate your pokeweed in favor of an edible, this would be it. This is going to be my winter experiment, scatter some pokeweed berries and some mulukhiyah seed pods and see which one wins the wrestling contest next summer.
 
Jay Grace
Posts: 229
Location: Nauvoo, AL
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
poke salad is an edible. Ask anyone from the southeast who are in their 40's+ and raised out in the country.

I wouldn't suggest to eradicate poke salad, a native perennial. To replace it with, a non native annual, such as mulukihiyah.

Better to grow them both and make use of them both.
Plus I believe poke salad could out grow pretty much anything you throw at it short of kudzu.
 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2355
78
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jay Grace wrote:poke salad is an edible.

That's an opinion. In my opinion, anything that has to be boiled in several changes of water resulting in an unsightly green glop doesn't want to be food. I'll feed any berries (that the wild birds leave) to the chickens, but I'd have to get awful hungry to come down to picking and preparing pokeweed.

Plus I believe poke salad could out grow pretty much anything you throw at it short of kudzu.


Now there's another import with far more food value than pokeweed!
 
Jay Grace
Posts: 229
Location: Nauvoo, AL
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lol John it sounds like you don't eat your greens.
It's ok if you disagree. But.

There are plenty of things that could make you sick or even kill you without proper preparation.

Taro, acorns, olives, and rhubarb are just a few things I have eaten recently off the top of my head that could make you sick or worse if not prepared properly.
 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2355
78
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jay Grace wrote:
Taro, acorns, olives, and rhubarb are just a few things I have eaten recently off the top of my head that could make you sick or worse if not prepared properly.


Was this locally grown rhubarb? I've passed up rhubarb starts at the local home stores because I figured they wouldn't do well without a real cold winter. I would be interested if there was a variety that can grow in GA.
 
Jay Grace
Posts: 229
Location: Nauvoo, AL
4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I traded a guy for about a pound of seeds. A few years back and a few i babied made it.
Simmons plant farm out of GA grows and sells it there. So I always assumed it grew here just was really unknown to southerners.
 
Benton Lewis
Posts: 107
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Never heard of Mulukhiyah but sure am interested. How does taro taste and do you eat the root and leaves?
 
Kempy Dupree
Posts: 21
Location: South East Texas
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank so much for asking this question. I'm in Texas in zone 8 and I was wondering the same thing. This has helped me tremendously!

Happy Growing!
 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2355
78
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Benton Lewis wrote:Never heard of Mulukhiyah but sure am interested. How does taro taste and do you eat the root and leaves?


Mulukhiya is an Egyptian plant that they boil up with chicken and then serve over rice, often pureeing it in the process. It has a unique flavor, but fairly mild, which would give way to any other stronger flavored herbs you added. You could easily use it as a spinach substitute in recipes for spinach quiche, spinach noodles, spanakopita, etc.

Taro root is what poi is made from, and to me, it doesn't have much taste, just another starchy root to use to make a variation on mashed potatoes. I suppose instead of garlic mashed potatoes, you could make garlic mashed taro root and other than one being a little purple, you couldn't tell the difference. In Pacific island cultures, taro leaves are cooked for a long time in coconut milk, after which they have a gooey consistency and the coconut gives the main flavor.

 
Benton Lewis
Posts: 107
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anyone know a good grape species for the area that can grow organically without "babying" it besides muscadines and fox grapes (tell if you know a particularly good type of foxgrape!)?
 
Tell me how it all turns out. Here is a tiny ad:
2017 Homesteaders PDC (permaculture design course) & ATC (appropriate technology course) in Montana
https://permies.com/wiki/61764/Homesteaders-PDC-permaculture-design-ATC
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!