October 24, 2016

Permaculture Vegetables for Cold Climates

Ann's top four successful perennial type vegetables to grow in your garden. 

If you want to homestead on the weekends or part-time, it really helps to have some vegetables that either sow themselves or are easy to gather seeds from.  Being efficient in the garden is essential in permaculture.  I've been surprised about how easily ground cherries sow themselves and how prolific the jerusalem artichokes are.  Green beans are definitely a must for the homestead vegetable garden, they are so easy to collect seeds from and save a few dollars with not needing to buy seed packets in the spring.
Ground Cherries


Ground Cherries

These ground cherry plants grow bushy and produce lots of cherry tomato sized fruit wrapped in delicate paper husks.  The flavor is different that anything else, sort of citrus like and the texture of a firm cherry tomato.  These ground cherries make a nice snack as you tour around the garden each day. Ground cherries continue fruiting until the first frost and as perennials by self-sowing seeds from last year's dropped fruit.  I've dropped a few older fruits around my fruit trees.  I'm hoping these will be a useful part of a fruit tree guild.  Guilds are also essential in permaculture gardens.

Purple Top Turnip 

Purple Top Turnips

You get many seeds in a package of purple top turnip seeds and they have excellent germination even in compacted clay soil. I planted these seeds later in summer and I still had loads of turnips in late summer. These turnips also act as self-sowing perennial if you let some plants go to seed.Purple top turnips preserve very well with blanching before freezing.

Green Beans

Green beans are super easy to grow when planted directly from seed into your vegetable garden. Green bean leaves and the beans themselves are very bug resistant. The beans freeze well after blanching, making these easy preserves for winter eating. Green beans are sustainable because you can save seeds easily from dried pods for next season's garden.  I've saved more than enough seeds that I don't have to order seeds for next spring.  Very sustainable and an excellent addition to any permaculture garden.

Jerusalem Artichoke Plant


Jerusalem Artichokes 

 You plant these like potatoes.  Cut up a piece with an eye on it and bury in the ground.  These plants are super abundant and produce many tubers.  Jerusalem Artichoke is perennial vegetable that will grow every year with little work.  These were ready to harvest when the soil started lifting around the stems from all the tubers pushing up.  With this one row I've filled four large freezer bags of tubers.  These plants have two purposes, one an abundant food crop and two they make an excellent privacy screen.