Perennial Vegetables

As I’ve said before, my goal in gardening is less horticulture and more intensive foraging. I want none of my plants to be dependent on me to live, so theoretically if you plant a garden Ryup fashion you should be able to come back years later with no tending and it’s still going.

I still grow some plants I’d want not to like flint corn, beans, and potatoes, so I’m not there yet. But I keep pushing it every year. Here’s a bunch of what’s coming up already.

Nettles Spring 2015
Nettles. I’ve planted this every year I’ve been here, and this is the first time it’s come back. It’s also the first year I’ve seen stinging nettles all over the woods everywhere I’m foraging. Usually I find mostly wood nettles instead, and not very often at that.

In the top right is comfrey, bottom right is mallow, and bottom left is woad. This is my first time growing woad and I’m pretty amazed at how vigorous it is.

Poulet gras. I can’t speak highly enough of this plant, and I intend on making a post specifically about it. The only grain I’ve had success with reseeding itself. While I’ve been able to get buckwheat and wild rice to get a few sprouts the next year, they’ve never come back more than once wherever I plant them, and I’m pretty sure the predators have been getting all the wheat and amaranth seed before it even gets a chance to try and survive the winter. And jerusalem artichokes and daylilies just aren’t something I could base my whole diet on, as hardy as they are. This is awfully thick, but I’m not too eager to thin it because that’s how thickly it reseeds itself on its own.


Salad Burnet. This is the first time I’ve tried this, never eaten it before. Not much sprouted, although it looks like all of them that sprouted last year came back.

Siberian kale. I’ve grown allot of kale, and it usually does pretty well, but always dies off in the winter. I may have been planting it in too wet of a spot though I don’t know. In any case, I’m pretty pleased with this variety. Apparently, Siberian kale is from Brassica napes, while reguliar kale is Brassica oleracea. In any case I can report it’s hardy to atleast -40.

Since I took these pictures I also have giant mustard, lovage, caraway, parsnips (both some saved seeds from a neighbor and some seeds from a wild patch), orpine, daylilies, ground nuts, jerusalem artichoke, some sort of unusual mint, and chives coming back up. I planted a variety of trees last year, but all of them got eaten by the moose since I wasn’t on my property last winter to keep them away. One of my projects is to get a squash to reseed itself. I’ve done it before both on purpose and on accident, just not on this piece of land yet.