Photo: Asparagus between seasons in Texas.

The perennial blessing

Perennials become more established over time and build on their growth each year. even though most of our food comes from annuals vegetables, they are often heavy feeders that require the addition of compost or fertilizer to grow and produce both food and seed.

In terms of sustainability and food security, the seasonal vegetable garden should only be considered supplemental to what is possible through perennial cultivation. Not only do perennials keep coming back year after year, they also often put down deeper tap roots to bring up water and nutrients from the depths of the soil that annuals cannot reach because of their shallow seasonal roots.

Diversity leads to stability

The word perennial literally means “through the years.” So naturally, a perennial plant is one that survives all seasons in the geographical region where it grows. Perennials are the cornerstone of permaculture (permanent agriculture) cultivation because they are ever growing, producing, and giving back to the land. They are continuously intertwining with other features of an ecosystem and building interdependence among all species of inhabitants.

Perennials help build diversity, resilience, and stability in a garden space. They are a long term investment in the land and often increase in size, durability, and productivity year after year. Choosing the right perennials for your garden is a good way to cut down on seasonal maintenance and build long term, vibrant biodiversity. Apart from fruiting trees, some edible perennials you might be familiar with include asparagus, rhubarb, artichokes, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

Consider the community

Before ordering your perennials from the local nursery, consider the needs of your community in terms of food, fodder, fuel, medicine and supporting and encouraging wildlife. Think about where your long term additions should go with regard to accessibility.

What kind of soil do you have? How much sun does that area get during the day? What kind of perennials are recommended for your plant hardiness zone? A little research on plant hardiness will go a long way toward protecting your investment.

Perennial planting is one of the best ways to build food security, nourish the land, and  upgrade your property to a multigenerational heirloom.

Trees are the ultimate perennial! Check out the tree planting activity in Daniel’s book to “grow” your adventure!

Nerding out in the “permagarden”

Daniel McFly often geeks out about permaculture “stacking functions.” Can you figure out how each element of this permaculture garden supports other components?

Gardening with the flow

Permaculture, in it's simplest form, is about working with the flow of nature. If you think about the flow of energy across a landscape, you can see patterns. Water flows downhill and carries nutrients with it. The practice of permaculture can be thought of in terms...

News from the hen house

  It took six months but we've finally got eggs! We also have a rooster. Surprise!   When we went to our local feed store, we picked out five (female, or so we thought) chicks; one for each of us to name. We got a variety of breeds so we could observe the differences...

A Cozy Greenhouse

If you are like me and love to eat fresh from your summer garden, then you might consider extending the fruiting season for your tomatoes and peppers in a greenhouse. We usually have a pretty good warning that the first freeze of the winter season is coming. When I...

Hi! I'm Daniel

I am busy everyday learning about the world around me and how I can protect the environment.

I can’t do this alone. I need you and your friends to help!

The Mystical Magical Abracadabracal Daniel McDougal McDouglas McFly

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I would love to get to know you. Like our Facebook page and keep an eye out for events, book signings, great activities and more!

 

Hi! I'm Daniel

I am busy everyday learning about the world around me and how I can protect the environment.

I can’t do this alone. I need you and your friends to help!

The Mystical Magical Abracadabracal Daniel McDougal McDouglas McFly

A great addition to your child’s bookshelf, a classroom and we offer bulk discounts.

I would love to get to know you. Like our Facebook page and keep an eye out for events, book signings, great activities and more!

Pierce Press
PO Box 206
Arlington, MA 02476

Pierce Press
PO Box 206
Arlington, MA 02476

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