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! Hardiness Zone 2 Food Forests

Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 693
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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So in my research I've come across a great number of plants that do [or might, given some seed selection] 'work' for hardiness zone 2 as part of a food forest [or a garden used as phase one of establishing a food forest. The below is copy/pasted from a notepad file including potential genetic material resources.

If any of you in this zone have any experience to share [or anyone else has any other research results to share] that would be amazing. Zone 1 sort of seems like no-man's land, but zone 2 seems feasible for supporting humans without immense importation.

In full disclosure, I'm vaguely interested in inexpensive land in the alaskan interior/canadian plains, that's primarily what this list is for [though I could possibly see some microclimates on the north side of a particularly cold part of the lower 48 possibly falling into zone 2 [such as the north side of a mountain in northern montana or something.]

Possible material resources:

Nitrogen Fixers

[Fruit] Russian olive

Siberian Pea Shrub [Beans (becomes inedible to humans without grinding as the seed matures, but great for poultry)]

Alder [Select Species]

Sea Buckthorn? [Perhaps try seedlings]

Annual Beans/Peas/Things as a covercrop during establishment or- particularly short season varieties- as a garden crop

Fruiting Trees



Apple [Select Varieties]

Plum [Select Varieties]

Cherry [Select Varieties, 'Romance Series']

Nanking Cherry [get hardy seedlings and expect some losses]

Highbush Cranberry [Viburnum Trilobum]

Nuts: (some may require genetics selected to the particularly cold/short season conditions.)

Korean Pine

Siberian Stone Pine

Beaked Hazel


Fruiting Shrubs or Groundcovers


Strawberry [Alpine?]

Gooseberry [Captivator]

Red Currant [Red Lake]

Black Currant [Crandal]

Raspberry [Boyne Red]



Fruiting Vine?

Arctic Kiwi (Arguta Kolomikta) - grow by seed, expect failures.
Grape? [This page provides a large number of grapes hardy to zone 3. It stands to reason seeds collected from these could be selected down to zone 2.]

This paper claims the Valiant grape is viable in Hardiness Zone 2

Perennial Vegetables!

Linden Tree [Leaves]
Asparagus [Shoots]
Rhubarb [Stalks]
Watercress [All]
Day Lillies [Flowers, buds, seed pods, and roots]
Hops [shoots, buds for beer]
Mike Haych
Posts: 225
Location: Eastern Canada, Zone 5a
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See Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers Association.

Growing Tree and Bush Fruits in Alaska from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service lists specific cultivars for apples, cherries, pears, plums. etc.  Some are zone 3 but might be doable with protection.

I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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