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Emperor has no clothes
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Discussion Starter #1
Like similar ones, the topic of this thread is to compile information allowing one to create a list of nutritionally viable edible plants suitable for their own situation.

Recognizing not all plants share the same optimal growing conditions, this thread is specific to cool, temperate areas that endure minimum extreme temperatures down to negative 20 °F / negative 29 °C, which correspond to zone 5 and zone 6 in the US and Canada.

Let's focus on plants that successfully over-winter to regrow year after year.

Including the scientific name, such as Cercis canadensis or Chenopodium album, helps ensure we are talking about the same plant.

Let's also try to include details like which parts are edible, preferred sun / moisture conditions and if there are certain important aspects such as toxicity of rhubarb leaves, irritating hairs of nettles, or "must not be eaten raw'.

Listing relevant books, websites, and suppliers is also useful.

If you live in warmer climates, be sure to check out ImZeke's thread:
http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=446993

The diversity of this community is it's strength and I am confident we can compile a wealth of useful, relevant information :thumb:
 
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Here is some of what works for me in 5a, Il/Wi border.

Hardy Kiwi -Actinidia arguta, takes a few years to start setting.
Here's where I got mine
http://www.starkbros.com/products/berry-plants/kiwi-berry-vines

Two peach trees that have done well for me here in the not so gentle north.
Reliance
http://www.starkbros.com/products/fruit-trees/peach-trees/reliance-peach
Intrepid
http://www.starkbros.com/products/fruit-trees/peach-trees/intrepid-peach
If you plant dwarfs they don't take up a lot of room, are much easier to manage and start fruiting in two years.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Lambs Quarter - a recurring weed worth knowing

An important caveat with any “wild” edible is be certain of its identity before use and if on public land, prudent in considering if the plant was exposed to harmful chemicals such as weed killer or toxic pollutants.

Though often overlooked as a common weed, Lambs Quarter (aka Pigweed or Goosefoot), Chenopodium album, is actually tasty and highly nutritious, well worth seeking out in your yard or neighboring green spaces. Not technically classified a perennial plant, Lambs Quarter is a prolific self-seeding annual that naturalises easily and tenaciously, appearing year after year for 20+ years on my homestead without any effort on my part. It is in the same family as beets, spinach, quinoa, and Good King Henry and can be eaten raw or cooked.

The Nutrient Balance Indicator* evaluates a food's nutritional components- its vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium; one cup Lambs Quarter prepared like spinach, chopped and boiled with salt, scores an impressive Completeness Score of 86 out of 100. Looking at its protein component, Lambs Quarter is complete with regard to the nine essential amino acids. It is also a very good source of Iron, the B vitamins, Calcium, Copper, Manganese, Potassium and more. The one caution often listed is the presence of oxalic acid in its leaves, but like with spinach and beet greens, this concern is mitigated through cooking. For an in-depth nutritional analysis see: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2869/2. An added bonus is Lambs Quarter is often one of the first greens after the snow is gone, appearing in early spring.

So! How to identify this nutrient rich resource? The website “Foraging Texas” offers an excellent reference page for Lambs Quarter, including very clear identifying pictures.

http://www.foragingtexas.com/2007/05/lambsquartergoosefoot.html

A couple of additional FYIs - “Food Production 101” has a page on how to save Lambs Quarter seed and several seed companies offer seed for cousin crop Magenta Spreen.

http://www.foodproduction101.com/blog/how-to-save-lambsquarters-seed.html

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-7167-magenta-spreen.aspx

http://www.highmowingseeds.com/organic-non-gmo-seeds-magenta-spreen.html

For those uncertain how to convince your family to eat a “weed”, there are quite a few yummy recipes for how to prepare Lambs Quarter on the Internet.

HTH



* http://nutritiondata.self.com/help/nutrient-balance-indicator
 

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Nemo me impune lacessit
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Here is some of what works for me in 5a, Il/Wi border.

Hardy Kiwi -Actinidia arguta, takes a few years to start setting.
Here's where I got mine
http://www.starkbros.com/products/berry-plants/kiwi-berry-vines

Two peach trees that have done well for me here in the not so gentle north.
Reliance
http://www.starkbros.com/products/fruit-trees/peach-trees/reliance-peach
Intrepid
http://www.starkbros.com/products/fruit-trees/peach-trees/intrepid-peach
If you plant dwarfs they don't take up a lot of room, are much easier to manage and start fruiting in two years.
Thank you for the stark Brothers site. Very user friendly and lots of information. I'm in 6a. They have lots of things I could use.
 

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Emperor has no clothes
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Discussion Starter #6
Online nursery and orchard sources

Thank you for the stark Brothers site. Very user friendly and lots of information. I'm in 6a. They have lots of things I could use.
A couple of other sites you might want to check are:

Grandpa's Orchard in Coloma, MI
https://www.grandpasorchard.com/index.cfm

Indiana Berry Company in Plymouth, IN
https://indianaberry.com/

Oikos Tree Crops in Kalamazoo, MI
http://oikostreecrops.com/

and though not in the immediate area, Fedco in Maine is worth a look...
http://fedcoseeds.com/
 

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Weed 'em and reap
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An important caveat with any “wild” edible is be certain of its identity before use and if on public land, prudent in considering if the plant was exposed to harmful chemicals such as weed killer or toxic pollutants.

Though often overlooked as a common weed, Lambs Quarter (aka Pigweed or Goosefoot), Chenopodium album, is actually tasty and highly nutritious, well worth seeking out in your yard or neighboring green spaces. Not technically classified a perennial plant, Lambs Quarter is a prolific self-seeding annual that naturalises easily and tenaciously, appearing year after year for 20+ years on my homestead without any effort on my part. It is in the same family as beets, spinach, quinoa, and Good King Henry and can be eaten raw or cooked.

The Nutrient Balance Indicator* evaluates a food's nutritional components- its vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium; one cup Lambs Quarter prepared like spinach, chopped and boiled with salt, scores an impressive Completeness Score of 86 out of 100. Looking at its protein component, Lambs Quarter is complete with regard to the nine essential amino acids. It is also a very good source of Iron, the B vitamins, Calcium, Copper, Manganese, Potassium and more. The one caution often listed is the presence of oxalic acid in its leaves, but like with spinach and beet greens, this concern is mitigated through cooking. For an in-depth nutritional analysis see: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2869/2. An added bonus is Lambs Quarter is often one of the first greens after the snow is gone, appearing in early spring.

So! How to identify this nutrient rich resource? The website “Foraging Texas” offers an excellent reference page for Lambs Quarter, including very clear identifying pictures.

http://www.foragingtexas.com/2007/05/lambsquartergoosefoot.html

A couple of additional FYIs - “Food Production 101” has a page on how to save Lambs Quarter seed and several seed companies offer seed for cousin crop Magenta Spreen.

http://www.foodproduction101.com/blog/how-to-save-lambsquarters-seed.html

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-7167-magenta-spreen.aspx

http://www.highmowingseeds.com/organic-non-gmo-seeds-magenta-spreen.html

For those uncertain how to convince your family to eat a “weed”, there are quite a few yummy recipes for how to prepare Lambs Quarter on the Internet.

HTH



* http://nutritiondata.self.com/help/nutrient-balance-indicator
Lambs quarters was one of the most cultivated plants on the Eastern seaboard in pre-Columbian America.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Perennial Alliums

In addition to their nutritional and culinary use, alliums are also valued for their more homeopathic properties such as being an antiseptic and antibacterial agent; with this in mind, just wanted to highlight some of the choices available when considering adding perennial alliums to your garden or expanding an existing bed.

bunching onion Allium fistulosum – typically grown for greens
  • aka Japanese bunching onion, Welsh onion
garlic chives Allium tuberosum

multiplier onion Allium cepa aggregatum – typically grown for bulbs
  • I’itoi Multiplier Onion – listed in Slowfood USA's Ark of Taste http://www.slowfoodusa.org/ark-item/i-itoi-onion
  • Potato Onion aka Pregnant Onion, Mother Onion or Hill Onion – an heirloom that reportedly provides all the onion you'll ever need
  • French Red Shallots
perennial leek Allium ampeloprasum
  • Elephant Garlic (yes, it is actually not a garlic!) – often considered a milder alternate to garlic
ramps Allium tricoccum – wild growing scallion-like greens known for garlic flavor

walking onion Allium cepa proliferum
  • Egyptian Walking Onion aka Tree Onion – top set onion usually grown for greens; “walking” due to self-planting bulbets on their stalks
wild onion Allium cernuum
  • aka Nodding Onion
this is by no means a complete list...


Additionally -

Southern Seed Exchange has an informative growing guide pdf:
http://www.southernexposure.com/growing-guides/allium-guide-web.pdf

Heirloom Onions is a wealth of information on the many different allium species and varieties:
http://heirloomonions.com/

Mother Earth News has a good article on perennial alliums:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/perennial-onions-zmaz03aszgoe.aspx


And of course there is the morale boost when the onion bed begins to green again just as the doldrums of winter come calling...
 

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I live in zone 5 (Michigan) and do well with rhubarb, strawberries, rasp and blackberries, peach, Apple, apricot, Asian pear, tart cherry trees As well as blueberry bushes, potatoes jeruselum artichoke, and lilies for my perennials that I don't have to maintain. Just water when they look dry and throw some organic fertilizer once a year and hope the dogs don't eat it.
 

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parsnips will self seed if you let them go. Plant an dozen, come back in a few years and you'll have hundreds if the soil is right.

Of course the berries, like strawberries and raspberries. Bushing berries like gooseberry and chokecherry grow wild in the Rocky's so they also grow well domesticated. In just the right spots you may be lucky enough to grow or find Huckleberries, but they resist domestication.
 

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a warning on chinese yam/cinnamon vine. it grows prolifically in my ct. garden. i haven't found any yams- just very deep roots. the vine bulblets are edible( tho not to my taste) BUT if they fall to the ground they will sprout everywhere ! kind of like indian ground nut. that's tasty but very invasive, to the detriment of my annual veggies.
 

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Emperor has no clothes
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Discussion Starter #16
a warning on chinese yam/cinnamon vine. it grows prolifically in my ct. garden. i haven't found any yams- just very deep roots. the vine bulblets are edible( tho not to my taste) BUT if they fall to the ground they will sprout everywhere ! kind of like indian ground nut. that's tasty but very invasive, to the detriment of my annual veggies.

It's been on my list of considerations so good to know about the bulblets, thanks!
 
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