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Perennial Plants

j. bruce


Joined: Apr 05, 2005
Posts: 18
Location: York, PA
I'm aware that there are 40 perennial vegetables that are growable in my area. Among them are perennial lettuce, nine star broccoli, jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke), asparagus, kale, etc. My problem is that (short of the asparagus) I can't find seeds for these online or locally. Is there anyone who knows of an online retailer of these perennial seeds/seedlings?


York, PA, United States
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6 (6a-7a)
Annual Rainfall = 62"
January Temp Avg = 33
July Temp Avg = 76
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15108
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I just bought jerusalem artichoke from a few different sources. Rottinger's. Gurney's. And something I found on-line, but cannot remember.

Tell us about these others - this is the first I've heard about most of them.


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j. bruce


Joined: Apr 05, 2005
Posts: 18
Location: York, PA
That's the mystery!

Perennial Lettuce: PFAF lactuca perennis {link}

Nine Star Broccoli: Seed source with picture {link}

Those are the two i'm after, mostly. The mystery is that there are apparantly 40 varieties of perennial vegetables that are growable in a temporate climate... but nobody ever lists what they are past the list of 5-6 which includes dandelion, perennial lettuce, nine star broccoli, kale, rhubarb, jerusalem artichoke, and a few random others. I would like to be able to buy seeds/tubers to plant these interesting species (especially the lettuce) but both the complete list and a good seed source for them seems not to present itself.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
I don't think this place has exactly what you're looking for, but there's
a little-known seed producer in Oregon that has some perennial grain, herb and vegetable seeds; there migth be something of interest here:
http://www.pioneer-net.com/psr/

Lisa in Ashland Oregon
j. bruce


Joined: Apr 05, 2005
Posts: 18
Location: York, PA
I liked that. Thank you very much.

Has anyone used perennial grains here? I've heard very little about grains (never even considered using them myself, i eat paleo mostly) so is there something i should know about planting perennial wheat or rye?

Also, has anyone here had any experience with some of the more obscure perennial vegetables such as the Nine Star Broccoli or the Perennial Lettuce or (you most likely have) Jerusalem Artichoke?
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15108
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I wonder what zone those perennial grains will survive in ....
j. bruce


Joined: Apr 05, 2005
Posts: 18
Location: York, PA
Hey, where civilization has extended itself, it's brought one of three crops along with it: Corn, Wheat, or Rice. That is a hard fact. I'm sure hartiness isn't an issue! For safety sake, i'd guess maybe Zone 4.

Anyone care to check?
Marilyn Queiroz
steward

Joined: Apr 03, 2005
Posts: 60
I've heard that asparagus grows wild along the Columbia River.

I like kale. I'm surprised that you can't find seeds for it.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
I started a list of the perennial vegetables. It gets hard, I think, since
you have to define what's a vegetable and what's a herb... what have I
missed?

I've certainly seen multiple online sources for the first 12 of them, if you
need hints let me know.

rhubarb
jerusalem artichoke
aspargus
artichoke
cardoon
good king henry
purslane
seakale (crambe)
dandelion
French sorrel
walking onions
daylilies
perennial sunflower - maximillian?
perennial lettuce
perennial broccoli
perennial kale
perennial chard
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
I've had success establishing jerusalem artichokes by going to the local Whole Foods, buying organic jerusalem artichokes, and simply planting the tubers.

Plant somewhat like iris tubers, just below the soil surface. I believe the Rodale Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening has some instructions. They grow about 5-6 feet tall, bear yellow sunflowers which are wonderful viewed from above, tubers can be dug anytime, but especially in fall after tops die. I thin mine out in fall, eat some of the thinned out tubers or replant. No insect or disease problems. May topple in high winds, so like corn, consider hilling up around the stems after they emerge in spring.

I'm in Zone 7a, Durham, NC.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
Daylillies are edible?!?
            


Joined: Apr 29, 2005
Posts: 1
Location: Oregon
Daylily flowers are edible, at least the normal type of daylilies are (best
use caution with strange daylilies), so are the unopened buds though I
haven't eaten them myself. The tubers are not edible, dunno about
the leaves.

I've also planted jerusalem artichokes from the grocery store, it was
super easy. They are right when they say plant them in a permanent
place, though, I was sure I got all the tubers, but they are popping up
all over the place. Question: how do you eat them? Peeling is too
much work for me, is the skin edible?
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
"Lisa A" wrote:Daylily flowers are edible, at least the normal type of daylilies are (best
use caution with strange daylilies), so are the unopened buds though I
haven't eaten them myself. The tubers are not edible, dunno about
the leaves.

I've also planted jerusalem artichokes from the grocery store, it was
super easy. They are right when they say plant them in a permanent
place, though, I was sure I got all the tubers, but they are popping up
all over the place. Question: how do you eat them? Peeling is too
much work for me, is the skin edible?
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
You all should check out The Land Institute in Kansas,
They are working on improving perrenial grains,
They are using Intermediate Wheatgrass (Wild Triga)
They are also crossing with domestic wheat with varied sucess.
They are working with Maximilians Sunflower.
They are working with Rosinweed for oil production.

University of Wisconsin is also separately pursuing Intermediate Wheatgrass crosses and domestication.

Univeristy of Minnesota is working with domestication of perrenial flax.

The previously mentioned 'perrenial' stock if derived from work done out of the Rodale Institute. They are all hardy to zone 3 USDA. Drought tolorant up to about 12" rain/year.

Adding to the list of 'vegetables' that are perrenial

Salad (minor) Burnet- zone 4a (possibly 3)
Chicory (Belgium endive and some leaf varities) Zone 4

This list of 40 came for an early wild edibles source,
possibly Gibbons Stalking the Wild Asparagas.

Many on this list are undomesticated edibles.
Examples: Violets (recommended), Milkweed (needs processing, not rec)
Pokeweed (needs processing, not rec), water lilies (tubers and seeds), Indian breadroot, ground cherry (tomato relative), camass (use extreme caution), soapweed yucca (flowers recommended) , stinging nettles, etc.

Many herbs are zone 5 hardy, and some 3/4
The ones I"m going to give a try. The only herbs I/ve had luck with from seed are Basil and Chives. Rosemary roots well semi-hard cutting in water

French Tarragon (listed as zone 4/5) (Minneapolis MN hardy)
Oregano (varies, but some up to zone 3)
Thyme (varies but some up to zone 4)
Majoram (varies some listed 5)
Rosemary is perrenial and overwinters on my south window (zone 8?)

Chives are zone 2
Bunching onions (one of them not sure, Japonese?) zone 3

Some interesting Bienniels
are Yellow and White Sweet clover (use as lentils)
and Burdock (looks like rhubarb first year) the roots are a Japanese delicacy (listed as gobo)


Skin is edible on Jeresulum Artichoke I just wash 'em and microwave.

If you have any questions or comments email me:
shultonus@hotmail.com
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
Perrenial Lettuce is a weed/wild edible btw.

You'll never find it in a catalogue, it looks exactly like
prickly lettuce but it doesn't have the spines.
Beware the sap though, that stuff sucks, icky.
                    


Joined: Sep 11, 2006
Posts: 4
Soloman's Seal is another edible perrenial.  The tubers are used like potatoes. 
The emerging sprouts of Cattail are edible, and I beleive the roots can be ground into flour.
Dave Boehnlein


Joined: Jun 10, 2007
Posts: 291
Location: Orcas Island, WA
    
    2
I haven't had a chance to check it out, but I'm excited to get my hands on the new 'Perennial Vegetables' book that just came out. Check it out at: http://www.chelseagreen.com/2007/items/perennialvegetables. There is a link to the table of contents so you can see which perennial veggies are discussed.

Good luck!


Principal - Terra Phoenix Design
http://TerraPhoenixDesign.com
                                


Joined: Jun 20, 2007
Posts: 44
Location: Middle Georgia
seeds of change (all organic)
johnnys select I only buy the non GM and organic from them
And Bakers heirloom
and also Peaceful Valley (all organic)
They all carry a varaiety of perrinials that you could grow in your area along with the jerusalem artichoke and others mentioned.
                      


Joined: Jul 31, 2007
Posts: 1
Don't know about american hardineszone's but:
perennial chard= seabeet (Beta maritima).
potato onion is a yearly harvested onion-type wich divides its self in multible bulbs.
Apios americana, need i too say more(?).
Crosne / Stachys affinis : small"worm"like underground embranchement .
Chicorus intybus "belgium endevie" ""witloof"" is also a perennial but cultivated as a annual.
Levisticum officinalis: cellery replacer.

good source for plants: Steve Facciola's CORNUCOPIA, an american standard concerning edible plants

I live in Belgium, Europe and grow many of these plants in  a temperate seaclimate.
Marisha Auerbach


Joined: Sep 04, 2007
Posts: 31
Location: Portland, OR
i have starts of jerusalem artichokes available.  I have both the red and the white varieties. 
if you are interested, they are in 1 gallon pots and i am located in olympia, wa
(360) 943-5262
You can eat the young shoots of daylilys, eat them like young leeks


"...the greatest change we need to make is from consumption to
production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of
us do this, there is enough for everyone.

Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on
the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food
and shelter." - Bill Mollison
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15108
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Sunchokes are big fave of Sepp's. 

I like the idea of just getting a few from the store ....

Dave Boehnlein


Joined: Jun 10, 2007
Posts: 291
Location: Orcas Island, WA
    
    2
paul wheaton wrote:
Sunchokes are big fave of Sepp's. 

I like the idea of just getting a few from the store ....


It might be worth placing a one time order to get a few different varieties of sunchokes. That way you can figure out which ones you like best and which ones do the best where you are. Of course, the store bought ones can be one of the varieties you test. A couple good sunchoke sources:


  • [li]Oikos Tree Crops - http://www.oikostreecrops.com[/li]
    [li]Moose Tubers (Fedco) - http://www.fedcoseeds.com/moose/MooseList.php?listname=Sunchokes[/li]


  • Dave
    Brenda Groth
    volunteer

    Joined: Feb 01, 2009
    Posts: 4433
    Location: North Central Michigan
        
        8
    another perennial green is corn salad..that i didn't see mentioned..unless i missed it..i'm always looking for perennials that are edible..my yard and gardens are full of them..there are a lot of wild perennial edibles..and also there is horseradish..basically a perennial condiment.

    if you look through a wild edibles book you'll find that a lot of the weeds you pull up and toss are edibles.


    Brenda

    Bloom where you are planted.
    http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
    Leah Sattler


    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2603
    I have grown kale. I dont' seem to remember it being hard to find and I found several kale plants that reseeded themselves. it overwintered very well in my garden. 

    i second the seeds of change catalog also, lots of good stuff in there.

    you don't have to peel sunchokes it won't hurt you or anything to eat the peel. I really need to get some sunchokes going here at the new place. you guys can buy them at the grocery store!!! I'm jealous!


    [img]http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/havlik1/permie%20pics2/permiepotrait3pdd.jpg[/img]

    "One cannot help an involuntary process. The point is not to disturb it. - Dr. Michel Odent
    Brenda Groth
    volunteer

    Joined: Feb 01, 2009
    Posts: 4433
    Location: North Central Michigan
        
        8
    speaking of perennial vegetables..my sunchokes just popped through the soil from those i planted a few weeks ago..my multiplying onions are just peeking through and i have a great crop of corn salad..where son tilled last fall he moved around the horseradish so it is doing great..not such great luck with the asparagus..it has been cold and dry here..hopefully it will take off with the rain and the soaker hose i got in..rhubarb is at picking stage..and herbs are all growing well and some are near harvest stage..in Michigan
                  


    Joined: Nov 08, 2008
    Posts: 133
    Location: West Iowa
    Stinging nettles and Basswood leaves have been a couple good ones I've been eating every day for the past month. 
                                  


    Joined: May 03, 2009
    Posts: 461
    Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
    I got Sunchokes from Johnny's last year.  I don't think they are really suited to my climate though as only a few up them managed to come up last year and none of the ones I left in the ground seem to be comming up this year, perhaps they don't get a good enough dormant period here or the wet season is wrong for them or something.

    I'm in zone 9 Florida.

    I think regular artichokes are supposed to be perennial at least in warmer zones, mine actually have produced some finally and are certainly nice to have around since I can't really grow asparagus here.  Sweet potatoes are another warm climate perennial where both the tubers and young leaves/vine tips are edible.

    As for the daylilys, I understand that there are little tubers in among their roots that are supposed to be edible as well as the flower petals and buds.  Do be careful with the tubers though since if the daylilys are planted mixed with iris or other poison plants, you might not want to risk confusion.

    Some types of Bamboo can provide nice edible shoots.


    TCLynx
    [url]http://www.tclynx.com/[/url]
    [img]http://www.permies.com/permaculture-images/2692_740/Avitar.jpg[/img]
    Leah Sattler


    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2603
    I never thought of sweet potatoes as a perrenial! i don't remember seeing any vounteers but I very well could have extracted all of the tubers and not given them a chance. I am impatiently waiting for these slips to get long enough to stick in the ground! I was given a white variety that i wanted to plant but it is taking forever! I really need it out there to shade out weeds and give me some living mulch. before I was always given extra slips. next year I will know to put a little more effort into forcing them sooner in the year and I will try to let the perrenialize!
                                  


    Joined: May 03, 2009
    Posts: 461
    Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
    I'm actually happy that we didn't manage to get all the sweet potato roots out of the beds from last year since most of the slips I planted in another location have been eaten off by bunnies.  I guess I'll need to fence them out or something till the plants get really established since it seems that any sweet potatoes planted in that part of the side yard gets eaten away.  They must be coming in from the brushy area in the corner of the property.
    Leah Sattler


    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2603
    so the tubers from last year survived the winter?
                                  


    Joined: May 03, 2009
    Posts: 461
    Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
    Leah Sattler wrote:
    so the tubers from last year survived the winter?


    They do here but we don't get all that cold for very long here in central FL.  Up where you are might be too cold for them in the winter to survive.  If you are not seeing any volunteers from least year comming up, then it probably is too cold for them without mulching really really deep for the winter.
    Leah Sattler


    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2603
    oh you floridians! always giving us other folks false hope! I have moved a bit farther south so I will have to experiment.
    Leah Sattler


    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2603
    so what is everyones experience with the different varieties of suchokes? I want to plant them between the drive and the fence all the way from the road to the house. it gets high noon and western sun. the neighbors pine trees that border their property are to the east . I remember them growing in shade (as a weed) in my mothers garden. they just didn't get as large as the ones in the full sun so I figure they ought to do ok there.
    Brenda Groth
    volunteer

    Joined: Feb 01, 2009
    Posts: 4433
    Location: North Central Michigan
        
        8
    i put 4 tubers in ..that came this spring, and they were slow but are up..and growing well now..we'll see how they do..my multiplier onions are growing,

    of the berries I planted 4 kinds of raspberries only 2 kinds are growing and the blueberries aren't growing yet..maybe still too cold here.

    i moved a bunch of my blackberries and they are doing well..horseradish is up from last years tilling..all over of couse..and the asparagus and garlic are doing good..rhubarb is in the freezer...herbs are all growing..so things are doing well considering the hard freeze last thursday
    Leah Sattler


    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2603
    brenda- I have never grown horseradish. it sounds like it is pretty tough if it came up after tilling. did you just plant a horseradish root from the grocery store? I love a bit of horsradish sauce with pork. yum
    Brenda Groth
    volunteer

    Joined: Feb 01, 2009
    Posts: 4433
    Location: North Central Michigan
        
        8
    horseradish is one of those things that grows from the tiniest bit of root in the ground..you till..you chop..you plant !!
    paul wheaton
    steward

    Joined: Apr 01, 2005
    Posts: 15108
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
        ∞
    This might be one of the best threads to distill into a page for the new wiki.
                                  


    Joined: Oct 21, 2009
    Posts: 28
    It appears the link for Peterson Seed has changed, the new link is below.

    http://www.psrseed.com/
    Ivan Weiss


    Joined: Dec 19, 2009
    Posts: 157
    Location: Vashon WA, near Seattle and Tacoma
    Let me second the recommendation above for Perennial Vegetables, by Eric Toensmeier, Chelsea Green Press.

    http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9781931498401-0

    I checked this book out of the library and read it cover to cover, and when I can afford it I will buy it. It has vegetables in there I never heard of, for all climates and all hardiness zones. The pictures are terrific and the information therein is very detailed.

    I am brand new to these forums (since yesterday), so this might be information that everyone has already, but fdr even more valuable information, the Plants for a Future Web site:

    http://www.pfaf.org/index.php

    has proven invaluable to me.

    I planted a lot of Jerusalem artichokes in my pastures last winter but didn't see any. I'll be trying again. I'm also planting as much comfrey as I can get in the ground, and doing my best to spread my nettle patch throughout my pastures.

    Pastured poultry, pork, and beef on Vashon Island, WA.
                                  


    Joined: Oct 21, 2009
    Posts: 28
    Ivan,

    I have also considered Eric's book, but the local people I have talked with believe that the book does not accurately describe colder climate plants zones 4-5.  Anything warmer than that is a perfect match for the book.

     
     
    subject: Perennial Plants
     
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