When we think of vegetables it calls to mind annually tilled fields and garden beds “put to bed” for winter after all the crops have been harvested. But there is an entire category of “perennial” vegetables – edible plants that don’t need to be planted and cultivated each year – that constitute a very under-appreciated opportunity for gardeners.
Eric Toensmeier, author of the book “Perennial Vegetables” will be presenting a talk and slide show on this important topic on Saturday, June 6th at 6:30 pm at Broadturn Farm in Cape Elizabeth sponsored by Portland Maine Permaculture.
“Beyond asparagus and rhubarb, there are dozens of edible perennial species that will grow well in Maine gardens such as sea kale, good king henry, Turkish rocket, ramps and others,” says local permaculture gardener Lisa Fernandes of Cape Elizabeth.
Perennial vegetables can provide years of harvests with very little care.
Maine gardeners can grow many of the world’s best species.
These crops have excellent potential for small-scale agriculture projects around the world and their use can mitigate many of the negative impacts inherent in annual cropping of similar species.
"Eric Toensmeier has comprehensively filled a huge gap in the sustainable landscape. Perennial Vegetables lets you put away your tiller, and covers everything you need to grow, harvest, and eat vegetables and greens that will keep coming back year after year." —Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia's Garden.
Eric Toensmeier is the author of Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to ‘Zuiki’ Taro, a Gardener’s Guide to Over 100 Delicious, Easy-to-Grow Edibles. He is also co-author of Edible Forest Gardens with Dave Jacke. In addition to being a famous “plant geek,” Eric runs Nuestras Raices Farm, an immigrant farming project in urban Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Portland Maine Permaculture, founded in 2005 as a positive response to growing concerns about peak oil and climate change, focuses on skill-building, community-building and relocalization. With over 450 members it offers a full slate of monthly potluck meetings, workshops, courses and other learning events around southern Maine.
Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. It offers positive solutions to the problems facing the world by using ecology as the basis of organizing systems of food production, housing, technology, economics and community.