Category: Food Plants – Perennial

Nitrogen Fixing Species for Agroforestry Systems


I am currently working on a Regenerative Landscape Design for a site in Todorovo, Bulgaria. The plan is to establish an Agroforestry system known as Alley Cropping wherein rows of mixed species edible trees and shrubs are planted at intervals with spaces for herbs, forage and/or grain crops to be grown in between. It’s a dynamic system which is inherently diverse, providing multiple yields and excellent habitat for wildlife while at the same time being relatively resilient to a changing climate.

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The Importance of Food from a Different Source: Eating Perennials

Pigeon Pea (Courtesy of Forest and Kim Starr)

Permaculture and perennial plants seem to be inextricably linked, and such is the case by design, of course. When building a permanent ecosystem, food-based or otherwise, it makes little sense to do so with annual plants. They die; thus, they require cultivation again and again, as well as an abundance of minerals and nutrients to support such fast growth cycles. While some edible annuals may readily self-seed, the quick turnover […]

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Many and Varied Reasons for Putting Sweet Potatoes in Your Garden

Courtesy of Jnzl's Public Domain Photos

Most of us, or at least those of us would think about such things, consider sweet potatoes to be hot weather crop. After all, they do come from tropical roots (Yes, that is gardening word play), and they aren’t the biggest fans of cold weather. But, this isn’t to say that they can’t be grown elsewhere and add another stomach-stuffing staple to the mix. I’ll never understand why sweet potatoes […]

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10 Edible Perennial Vines for Vertical Gardening

Courtesy of Deborah Austin

Vertical gardening is a concept that is well promoted these days, especially when considering urban and suburban gardens in confined spaces. A quick search on any server will reveal a great collection of reused plastic bottles or PVC pipes suspended alongside walls and fences, little bunches of salad greens poking up periodically. Everything from old pants pockets to upcycled dressers to old pallets are used to grow food beyond just […]

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Perennial Vegetables and The Other Reasons You Should Consider Them for Your Garden

Turkish Rocket (Courtesy of Eric Toensmeier)

Luckily for me, my mother was the sort who insisted that I taste something before deciding I didn’t like it. The habit has served me well in later life. As a traveler, I’ve been able to shift my palate from one country’s cuisine to the next, enjoying whatever ingredients seem common to the local fare. As a vegan, those versatile taste buds have kept the doors open to many more […]

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Growing Queensland Arrowroot- Canna Edulis

Canna edulis is a perennial root crop also known as Achira or here in Australia as Queensland Arrowroot. I’m not sure where the Queensland bit came from because they originated from South America. They are quite stunning plants popular with ornamental growers, although the ornamental varieties produce smaller crops with flashier flowers. They can grow up to 2 meters plus in full sun or part shade in damp soils and […]

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Varieties, Additives and Sourcing: What’s Happening with your food?

Photography by Ingrid Pullen Eating: one of the most simple and basic human activities. Yet as our food systems become increasingly more mechanised and complicated, this simple act begins to carry with it a whole spectrum of messages. When you lift that juicy apple to your lips, do you think about which chemicals were used to make it so perfectly red? How many miles has it been traveling in order […]

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Permaculture in Paradise


34 Years ago Dano Gorsich asked his old permaculture teacher, Bill Mollison, what he should do with his land on the island of Molokai in Hawaii? Bill explained how he should design his tropical house, how it should face to capture the sea breezes, the sun angles, slope and orientation. Bill also suggested that Dano could earn a living by growing fruit and vegetables and then selling them to his […]

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Seed Saving, Part 2: Practical Ways to Save Seed

Saving wildflower seeds can be a great way to spread biodiversity – like this selection harvested by Josie Jeffrey Having learned some background knowledge on why you would want to save seeds in the first place (see Part I), you may now be wondering how to go about doing it. There are many ways to do this, and though it can be as simple as keeping a few leftover tomato […]

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Ameenah Gurib-Fakim: Humble Plants that Hide Surprising Secrets (TED video)

In this intriguing talk, biologist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim introduces us to rare plant species from isolated islands and regions of Africa. Meet the shape-shifting benjoin; the baume de l’ile plate, which might offer a new treatment for asthma; and the iconic baobab tree, which could hold the key to the future of food. Plus: monkey apples.

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Permaculture for Profit – the STUN System (Sheer Total Utter Neglect)

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Miracle Farms on TV (Canada) Duration 11 minutes. English subtitles available. This is a feature on Miracle Farms on a French Canadian TV show called La Semaine Verte.

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