Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Perennial Edibles in Alaska

There are a number of annual vegetables that do well in Alaska, but did you know that there are several perennial vegetables, herbs, and fruits that thrive here also? In my quest to make my property a major source of nutrition for my family, I have focused on bringing in only trees that will produce edible fruit (there's always the exception, of course!), and I am working on plans to create a perennial wing in my vegetable garden.

Here's a list of the Perennial Edibles that currently grow on my property:
Crab Apple
Choke Cherry
Black Currant
Red Currant
High Bush Cranberry
Low Bush Cranberry
French Tarragon
Sheep's Sorrel
Mint (Chocolate and Apple)

Here are a few I would like to add to my property:
Grafted Apple (Norland and Parkland)
Indoor Citrus
Jerusalem Artichokes

Making space for perennials in your garden is an important part of any good permaculture plan. It is imperative that you plan for the long term when selecting a location and creating a space for the roots to thrive. Pay attention to not only the soil you nourish them with, but also the amount of sunlight they will receive, the space they will require when they are fully mature, and the amount of shade they will cast onto the surrounding areas. Just about anything can benefit from a fork full of compost at the bottom of the hole before planting, and plenty of loose soil beyond the edge of the root ball will give your plant room to wiggle its toes and settle happily into its new home. If you pay special attention to watering and pampering your plant for the first season or two, they will happily produce for you for years to come, with no more investment needed!

What types of perennial edibles do you have on your property? Do you have plans to integrate more in your garden?

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