A Few Perennials: Plant Once for Years of Food

A Few Perennials: Plant Once for Years of Food

A Few Perennials You Need To Plant Once For Years Of Food

When it comes to growing your own food, the idea of annual crops may seem intimidating. After all, sowing seeds, tending to the plants, and harvesting can be a lot of work. But what if there were plants that you could plant once and enjoy a bountiful harvest for years to come? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, not exactly.

Perennial crops are the answer to your gardening woes. These are plants that live for more than two years and can provide you with delicious harvests year after year. Not only do perennial crops save you time and effort, but they also contribute to a more sustainable and resilient food system. By planting these few perennials in your garden, you can ensure a steady supply of food for years to come.

1. Asparagus

Asparagus is a nutrient-rich vegetable that is a perennial favorite among gardeners. This tasty crop requires some patience, as it takes about three years for the plants to become established and ready for harvest. But once they start producing, you can enjoy abundant harvests for up to 20 years! Asparagus is a versatile vegetable that can be enjoyed steamed, roasted, or sautéed. It’s also rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as fiber, folate, and antioxidants.

2. Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that is often mistaken for a fruit due to its tart flavor. This hardy plant is known for its thick stalks, which are commonly used in pies, jams, and desserts. Rhubarb plants can thrive in a variety of climates and can be harvested for many years. One thing to keep in mind is that only the stalks are edible, as the leaves contain toxic substances. Rhubarb is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, making it a nutritious addition to your garden.

3. Artichokes

If you’re a fan of Mediterranean cuisine, you’ll love growing artichokes in your garden. These perennial plants produce large, thistle-like flower buds that are harvested before they bloom. Artichokes require well-drained soil and full sun, but with proper care, they can provide you with fresh, tender buds for several years. Artichokes are not only delicious but also high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins C and K. Enjoy them steamed, grilled, or stuffed for a flavorful and nutritious meal.

4. Strawberries

What could be better than having a perennial supply of sweet, juicy strawberries? These delicious berries are one of the easiest perennial crops to grow, making them a favorite among beginner gardeners. Plant your strawberries in a sunny spot with well-drained soil, and they will reward you with a bountiful harvest year after year. Strawberries are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, making them a healthy choice for snacks, desserts, or even in salads.

5. Raspberries

If you’re a fan of berries, you can’t go wrong with raspberries. These delicious fruits are packed with flavor and can be enjoyed fresh or used in a variety of recipes. Raspberries are hardy and relatively easy to grow, making them a great choice for perennial gardening. They require a trellis or support system to keep the canes upright, but with a little care, you can enjoy a constant supply of these tasty treats for years to come. Raspberries are rich in vitamins C, E, and K, as well as antioxidants and fiber.

6. Asparagus Peas

Asparagus peas, also known as winged beans, are a tropical perennial plant that is well-suited for warmer climates. These unique plants produce pods that resemble asparagus, hence the name. The young pods can be harvested and cooked like snap peas, while the mature seeds can be used like beans. Asparagus peas are highly nutritious, containing high levels of protein, fiber, and vitamin C. They are a great addition to any garden, offering a unique and delicious crop.

7. Egyptian Walking Onions

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance perennial crop, look no further than Egyptian walking onions. These onions are unique because they produce bulbils at the top of their stalks, which eventually bend down to the ground and root, “walking” to a new location. This characteristic makes them an excellent conversation starter in the garden. Egyptian walking onions can be harvested at any stage, from the green shoots to the bulbs, and they have a mild, onion-like flavor. Plant them once, and they will continue to provide you with onions year after year.

8. Horseradish

If you enjoy adding a kick to your meals, horseradish is a must-have perennial crop. This pungent root vegetable is typically used as a condiment or ingredient in sauces, dips, and dressings. Horseradish plants are hardy and can grow in a variety of soil conditions. They can be harvested as early as the first year, but the flavor improves with time. Once established, a small horseradish plant can produce an abundant harvest year after year. Just be warned, horseradish has a strong flavor that packs a punch!

By incorporating these perennial crops into your garden, you can enjoy a variety of fresh and nutritious food without the need for constant replanting. Not only will you save time and effort, but you will also be contributing to a more sustainable and resilient food system. Happy gardening!

My 2 Cents

Perennial crops are a game-changer when it comes to sustainable and resilient food production. By planting a few of these perennial favorites in your garden, you can enjoy a lifetime supply of fresh and nutritious food. Not only do perennial crops save you time and effort, but they also contribute to a more sustainable and resilient food system. So why not give them a try? Your taste buds and future self will thank you!