Perennials: Less work for Great Results.
Perennial, less work for great food
Our diets are mainly based around annual crops but i really think we should balance it out with a few more perennials. Why? I believe it is far more sustainable on so many different levels. Let me back up for a second, what is the difference? Annual crop are those that you have to plant annually and typically get one harvest a few months later. Perennial systems are ones you establish once and they keep on coming year after year.
3 Benefits of Perennials
These plants are hardy and used to our climate. They will start to grow as soon as weather permits. Not to show off here but i was eating honey berries this morning as i was planting my annual garden patch
This one may not sounds as exciting but it is an important one. With the weather and the climate changing world wide lets be ahead of the game here. Annual system and bare soil need an incredible amount of water. A perennial system will for the first 2, 3 years as it gets establish and than can typically sustain itself on rain water alone – especially if you create water catchment in your landscape, but this topic is for another day 😉
Both from a soil perspective and human perspective. In a forest, a very well establish perennial system, there is no garden gnome that water, till, fertilize nor weed. The system, over time, sustain itself. Yes i am telling you you can still grow food and yet not work that hard.
To start with perennials you don’t need to go too far outside your comfort zone either, try with these few classic one to see how easy it can be.
While waiting for your onions to be ready use chives as a substitute. You can cut it back and it keeps on coming. Very early season crop as well.
Who doesn’t love strawberries! Buy a few plants this year, they will grow shoots and self propagate over the years. There are different varieties too. I am familiar with Everbearing which lives up to it’s name and will produce small berries all summer, or June Bearing that will produce large juicy berries once. Why not get a mix of both!
This one is so hardy, simply find a friend or neighbor with a plant, dig up part of the root and plant it in your space. It is delicious and the leaves are great for water catchment and mulch.
I work with food forests and perennial systems quite a bit and i absolutely love them. In the following weeks i will be taking more about different species that grow well in our climate, guilds, layers and all that fun stuff 🙂
Happy growing, make it easier for yourself and think long term, you are worth it 🙂