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What permiculture edibles work in Portland?

Brian Smith


Joined: Oct 02, 2011
Posts: 8
I am permifying my 1/2 acre in Portland. If anyone has anything that works especially good for you here, please let me know, even just your most favorite one or two items. My 'works good' means that I will not have to work much once the plant is established, and it regularly produces acceptably tasty edibles; but your 'works good' can be defined as you please. As time is limited, I need a productive backbone in the yard and fewer items that may be more time consuming to care for, harvest, and prepare.

Hard to tell by reading if some things will produce in Portland. If anyone knows about any in this first list, and if any additional tidbits on taste or whatever, let me know about these especially:
-Pineapple-guava
-Pomegranite
-Any citrus edible from the tree - kumquat? owari satsuma mandarin?
-Loquat
-Paw Paw (hand pollinate?)
-Chilean guava
-Chilean wintergreen
-gaulnettya
-lingonberry
-japanese yam
-cinnamon vine
-maypop
-Tasmania vine
-avocado


Also preparing to plant the following, which through reading these seem will grow and produce well:
-Stella dwarf cherry tree
-Asian persimmon
-hazel nuts or almonds
-jujube
-strawberry tree (though I hear they taste so-so, but I like the looks of the evergreen tree, so I figure I can mix with other berries in recipes)
-bamboo, for edible shoots (any recommendations?)
-Sunchokes
-hardy kiwi
-table grapes
-strawberries
-numerous perennial veggies (sorrel, artichoke, etc..have the seeds, ready to plant!)
-numerous perennial (and annual) flowers and leaves for tea
-green tea shrub
-yacon
-various berries


Already have:
-apples (though have to get the ecosystem better to prevent worms, bugs, etc)
-figs
-asparagus
-neighbors plums hanging over the fence
-raised beds for annual veggies


Any tidbits of info or experience always appreciated! I'm pretty new at all this, but devoted!
Brian
Shawn Harper


Joined: Mar 01, 2012
Posts: 221
Location: Portlandia, Oregon
    
    1
Avocado will work if you keep it potted and move it in for the first 2-3 winters. After that it should be fine. Ones I like are strawberries, ferns (licorice or ostrich), and spring onions. Though with the right care just about anything non tropical will grow great here.


She changes everything She touches, and everything She touches changes.
John Saltveit
volunteer

Joined: May 09, 2010
Posts: 671
    
  19
Shawn, are you really growing avocados that have produced for years in Portland? From what I've read, they are only hardy to like 20 degrees, which we go under most years (not this winter though). Maybe with global warming we'll be able to. That will be awesome.

Brian,
if you want lots of food you've got to have fruit trees. Most productive for me by far and for many is a quince tree. They grow slowly, like most fruit trees, and are strongly flavored. Mine gets rust, which I take care of with fungal compost tea. You can also use a commercial product whose name currently escapes me but it's something like Sensurround. Asian pears are extremely productive and grow well, as are European pears. Both Japanese and Euro pears produce a lot, but only the euros are good for canning, drying, preserving, etc. Persimmons are productive as well, both the american and Asian. Buy an early American variety or an early Asian variety. Izu is early but a very small tree.

Paw paws are astonishingly productive if you hand pollinate. You need two genetically different individuals.

Kiwi are hard to get started but trouble free and continually productive once started.
John S
PDX OR
gani et se


Joined: Apr 24, 2011
Posts: 213
Location: Douglas County OR
    
    1
John S,
I must be doing something wrong. My dried asian pears are delicious


Intermountain (Cascades and Coast range) oak savannah, 550 - 600 ft elevation. USDA zone 7a. Arid summers, soggy winters
John Saltveit
volunteer

Joined: May 09, 2010
Posts: 671
    
  19
Gani,
Sorry. I mistyped. I meant to say that Japanese and Euro PLUMS produce a lot, but only the Euros are good for canning, drying , preserving, etc. I actually prefer the Asian plums for fresh eating.

Thanks for catching that.
John S
PDX OR
gani et se


Joined: Apr 24, 2011
Posts: 213
Location: Douglas County OR
    
    1
I see. Haven't worked with asian plums, I'll keep it in mind.
Shawn Harper


Joined: Mar 01, 2012
Posts: 221
Location: Portlandia, Oregon
    
    1
John - as a child at my parents old place we had avocado, unfortunately I'm am still in the process of starting new ones. I don't remember all the details of where it was placed as I was young then, I suspect a micro climate was involved. But I digress, if Sepp can grow Citrus in the alps, we can grow avocado. Again it requires babying a bit longer than most trees, but haven't you seen the palm trees popping up around town?
Kevin MacBearach


Joined: May 04, 2012
Posts: 159
Location: Beavercreek, Oregon
    
    2
First time posting here. I live close to Portland and was wondering if anyone could recommend a good nursery that carries many of these trees and shrubs, or any that carry edible plants native to the area?


Highland Creamery, micro-dairy & family farm.

https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/highlandcreamery
Shawn Harper


Joined: Mar 01, 2012
Posts: 221
Location: Portlandia, Oregon
    
    1
Kevin MacBearach wrote:First time posting here. I live close to Portland and was wondering if anyone could recommend a good nursery that carries many of these trees and shrubs, or any that carry edible plants native to the area?


I usually hit up the 7 dees chains
Kevin MacBearach


Joined: May 04, 2012
Posts: 159
Location: Beavercreek, Oregon
    
    2
Thanks, I'll check them out.

Casey Halone


Joined: Feb 09, 2011
Posts: 192
    
    1
Kevin MacBearach wrote:First time posting here. I live close to Portland and was wondering if anyone could recommend a good nursery that carries many of these trees and shrubs, or any that carry edible plants native to the area?


burnt ridge isnt too far, I get their catalog and they have soooo many food plants/trees.


bradley mazen


Joined: May 11, 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Portland Oregon
Brian and All,

I've been growing Pineapple-guava and Chilean wintergreen for the past several years on my property in SE Portland. We've been enjoying a good sized crop of Pineapple-guava every year. (One plant doesn't produce as heavily as the other, so it gets threatened with being cut down every year.) We have several Chilean wintergreen plants (they really like lots of humus), but consider them mostly decorative. I have 2 Paw Paws, but they are not old enough to produce yet. I have a neighbour with two older trees which produce without hand pollenisation, although the crops sizes seem to be rather variable and the fruit small.

I have the usual apples, pears (european and asian), a cherry. I'd like to say don't underestimate the value of aronia, currents (black, golden, & red), gooseberry (and relatives), and of course all member of the Rubus family in the Portland garden. No Portland edible garden is complete, in my opinion, without Salal!

I've considered many of the other plants on your list, but they didn't find a place in my garden. Good Luck and keep us posted!
John Saltveit
volunteer

Joined: May 09, 2010
Posts: 671
    
  19
Good nurseries close to Portland for unusual fruit: Portland nursery, Farmington Gardens, One Green World, Burnt Ridge Nursery, Raintree of MOrton, WA>

Chinese Windmill Palms are way hardier than avocadoes.

Avocadoes, citrus, and loquat are tough on your list, although I am growing the latter two.

I would advise you to go to One Green World's harvest days where you can taste the fruit before buying the tree.

Also The Home Orchard Society's All About Fruit Show has usually the largest exposition of fruit in N. America. Taste it, grow it, graft it, eat it every year.
JOhn S
PDX OR
 
 
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