I have given away more that 10,000 edible cuttings from my garden over the past couple of years, and the garden still looks amazingly abundant. This is the beauty of edible perennials - they just keep giving, and the haircut keeps them looking good too.
Edible perennials are at the heart of a successful permaculture garden - and are definitely at the core of my garden. These plants live for many years, are abundant, and bring diversity and resilience to the garden.
I am in awe of how much they can produce in so many ways. They perform many functions in the system and dramatically increase the harvestable yield. Not only do perennials provide an ongoing supply of food, fibre and medicine for the gardener, they also provide structure to the garden, mulch, in-garden windbreaks or shade, habitat for beneficial insects, hides for birds and frogs, pollen for bees, and organic matter for the soil.
Perennials are so easy to grow and harvest - great for the novice gardener. Well-chosen perennials need little maintenance to be healthy and will come back year after year. They can withstand difficult conditions and are great for challenging corners of the garden. Their root systems access water and nutrients deep in the soil, making them typically more hardy and self-reliant than annuals.
There are thousands of edible perennials to choose from. Here are a few easy ones to get you started, then just keep on adding diversity…and enjoy the harvest!