Perennials: Less Work, More Reward!
Written by: Patsy Lussier; Permaculture
“In some Native languages, the term for plants translates into ‘those who take care of us.'” ~ Robyn Wall Kimmerer
I am currently reading, for the second time, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants, by Robyn Wall Kimmerer
She has such an incredible way of telling the story of our Mother Earth, our environment, our planet through both the lenses of the indigenous wisdom and the scientific knowledge, bringing it together with the strength and gentleness of a woman’s voice.
I admire how she can bring cultures together, as we are, after all, all humans on earth.
She talks a lot about the teachings of certain plants and what we can learn from them. Her third chapter is actually the gifts of strawberries, as she reminisces laying in a wild strawberry patch as a child witnessing its abundance.
In permaculture we talk a lot about Food forests. Mimicking our food systems from the natural world. And as we get further into design, we start to build guilds, aggregations of plants that support one another.
My dream, and really my retirement plan, is to have a food forest. But as I am still in a rental situation and move quite often, I don’t yet have the land permanence for this commitment. However, I can still start playing with the idea!
And really it is less work for more reward…
This week I would like to bring these ideas, in simplicity, to our garden patch.
My belief is always to simply start! As we get more knowledge therefor ease, and more success therefor excitement and motivation, it will organically propel us to deepen our practice.
Let’s not get overwhelmed right off the bat, let’s keep it light and fun.
Nothing says spring has sprung like that first meal with asparagus does! Being perennials, they sprout and are even ready for harvest before we can even think about planting our annual gardens.
Here are my top 5 favorites perennials:
Chives – They are so easy, come in very early and are an amazing flavour addition to any dish.
Rhubarb – A natural water harvester, a great mulch provider and pie filler.
Strawberries – Self propagates, delicious fruit and beneficial leaf tea.
Mint – Great ground cover, attracts beneficial insects and repels less desired ones, delicious and nutritious as a tea or in smoothies.
Sorrel – Prefers cool weather so comes in early, adds a unique lemony tart taste to early season (dandelion and spinach) salads.
Instead of a tip of the week I offer a challenge: what are one or two perennials you could add to your edible landscape?
What are your favourites?
Go-go Green Thumbs!