This morning I ate handfuls of raspberries, mulberries, strawberries and Nanking cherries on my daily walk around the garden. I also stopped to nibble a few bites of mint, some cilantro flowers, and hyssop.
A forest garden doesn’t have to be your only garden, you don’t have to give up your veggie patch. But if you’ve got a garden you’re struggling to keep up with, a patch of lawn you’re spending your precious time mowing, or a spot you want to “landscape,” then you can turn it into a beautiful, productive ecosystem that grows food in cooperation with nature.
Here’s a spire of Babington’s leek, a perennial wild leek, finally flowering in its third year, and we’re hoping its seedlings will join the dozen or so other perennial alliums in our garden.
Welsh onion is another beautiful perennial allium. Having such a variety means they are available throughout the year, as a source of healthful food, a potent source of calories and flavorful meals.
And that diversity should extend to the “architecture” of the garden, with “hetrogenous” textures and spacing being the norm, rather than “homogenous” ones. Such diversity virtually guarantees that SOMETHING will work and your garden will begin to reward your work with low-maintenance yields.
This Saturday we’ll be giving some free tours of our garden, with a discussion on the basics of Forest Gardening.
Just throw in a multi-graft paw paw, a shade tolerant and virtually maintenance free fruit tree, and possibly a few more berries, and it would be just about perfect.
(Shingiku, “chop suey greens”)
There it is above. It looks similar to asparagus, but has a delicate crispness similar to a freshly picked pea pod. This is similar to the gourmet use of garlic chive stalks, though the unifolium stalks are much larger, sweeter and, in our opinion, have a nicer flavor.
Cultivation: Easiy grown from seed, or divided from clumps in the Spring or Fall as with chives or garlic chives. Probably requires cold stratification.