“Although perennial vegetables may not become widely planted crops anytime soon, they could play a valuable role in making the food system more resilient.” Courtney Leisner, a global change plant physiologist at Auburn University says, “The goal is not to find a single “superfood” within the perennial vegetable list… we should take a more holistic view focusing on highly nutritious crops that are resilient to shifting temperatures, those able to grow on marginal lands or as part of agroforestry.”
Looking around my own garden, I see grapes, raspberries, blueberries, rhubarb, asparagus, strawberries, fruit trees, and many varieties of perennial herbs (including horseradish, rosemary, thyme, mint, sage, lovage, chives, jerusalem artichokes, groundnuts, angelica, yarrow, comfrey) and several more that self-seed to replenish their own stock. These plants require little care in that they don’t need replanted or special treatment through our mild winters… rather just fertilized, watered and occasionally divided and shared with friends!
New asparagus starts from seed!
In my raised beds and a couple of larger garden areas, the annual fruits and veggies that my family enjoys are rotated through new areas every year: summer & winter squash, tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, basil, cucumber, peas & beans, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, parsely, celery, onions, bok choi, broccoli, and several types of greens (chard, kale, lettuce, spinach and more!) Flowers are intermixed to attract pollinators and beneficial insects – I haven’t had to battle any pests (besides slugs) this season yet!
What will YOU be adding to your garden this season? Will it be a perennial plant?