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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Must have plants for permaculture

Must have plants for permaculture

David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 204
Bayleaf, sweet gale, and sweet fern are all used as flavoring/herb rather than to eat. Beautiful soups, pot roasts, and other. You have to realize that I dig stuff up from the woods and grow it. I avoid greenhouses and their cultivars as much as I can. For trees, vegetables, you often need to buy them but most other things I just find. I consider my woods to be a farm. I do a lot of relocating of things already there that just need rescuing from intolerable places to places where they can make a fine living on their own. I let a lot of "weeds" grow. I add "weeds" to my salads. If you weed your garden, eat the purslane and the pigweed. Don't throw it away.

I am a homebrewer. Sweet gale is one I plan on trying in homebrew since it is used in early Scottish ale recipes. Same with hops. I am growing cascade finishing hops. I have been using two medicinal mushrooms with bitter medicinal constituents as a replacement for boiling hops. There has been a hops shortage recently BTW. I may get around to trying meadowsweet in my recipes eventually. That is a weed around here. Homebrewing is fun and very cost effective. $2-3 a six. The leftover yeast is good for your septic, compost, and for catching slugs.

My list is mostly all things that I do have. But the point is that they are low/no maintenance perennials. Once they are established you mostly do nothing. No fancy soil, raised beds, fertilizer, or anything else is necessary. They grow and produce without intervention (except for beating them back occasionally). 4 years ago I planted bayleaf. They looked like dying sticks at first and even the second year looked shaky. Now I have the bayleaf that ate the end of my deck. It grows wild all over the place around here.

Hopefully when you all come up we can compare blueberry cultivars with my wild highbush. Taste wise, it will be a major ass kicking. More disease resistant and possibly better producers as well. They almost never take a year off either.

Serviceberries are one of the biggest secrets in the woods. They are great and ripening right now. Some vibunums are better than others. Arrowood is pretty intolerable but I like bird bushes too. I also have cranberry viburnum, mapleleaf viburnum and I am working on propagating wild raisins (which are excellent) I grew from seed.

I do grow some vegetables too. Often in WTF? places. The only raised bed I have I am using mostly for fall planting of wild seeds. I did decide to plant a small corn patch there for the summer though.

Then there is my mushroom adventures....................
Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 470

I do grow some vegetables too. Often in WTF? places.

OK, that made me laugh out loud.
Gorham, ME
Post #: 214
I'd love to get some horse radish growing as well as Jerusalem Artichoke, but perhaps I should taste it first, to see if I even find it palatable....

I plan to get chokecherries(berries?) for next Spring, along with a trial of Buffaloberry just for giggles, and, of course, give the fruit away since I don't like kiwifruit.
David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 208
Chokecherries and chokeberries (aronia) are two different things. Chokeberries are most often found along shorelines and look a lot like blueberries. They can be red or purple. They have one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any known food. Although the article says they are somewhat unpalatable, the ones around here are pretty good.


If you come up for the walk, I'm sure I can hook you up with a couple of small chokechery trees. Wild cherries are weed trees around here. I have quite a few choke, pin, and black cherry trees around. Bring a shovel and some pots. Chokecherries can tend to bush up but can be pruned to a small or medium tree. Pin cherries tend to do the same but will grow taller (I think). The fruit is small and sour but great for birds, and jams if you can get enough. Black cherry is good but often gets disease.

Portland, ME
Post #: 6
Jerusalem artichokes are certainly easy to grow. I try to completely dig out my bed every year, but it keeps coming back. I've tried it as a potato substitute, and find it bland and boring. In a stirfry, my family all eats around the artichokes and leaves them. The one really delicious recipe I've found is to steam them, blend them to mush, and use as a milk-like soup base. I take it to potlucks, and everyone wants fresh artichokes so I can get rid of a lot of them that way. When I dig this fall, I'll be glad to give them to anyone that wants them.
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