Native plants & the MacKinnon Food Forest

A couple of interesting articles on this great YEG edible landscape project.

Vue Weekly – Reshaping how we define native species
Dustin Bajer – Edmonton’s River Valley Food Forest

Hankering for fresh, homegrown berries but don’t have the resources, time or cash to grow/buy them yourself? The solution lies just north of the river in the MacKinnon Ravine, where our city’s first food forest has just passed its first birthday. Bring a pail and get picking.

In Mackinnon Ravine, West of the museum (‘s old location, not the new one downtown), is the city’s first publicly planted food forest. I did not know this place existed until I saw this article in Vue Weekly!

One of the things I love about Edmonton: the city is constantly surprising me with great ideas being implemented, new things being tried, people who are passionate about something getting their project going. It’s a big enough city that it can surprise you all the time with what it has to offer.

Since it’s the long weekend (soon! like 5 hours!) I’m going to try to make a field trip to the food forest and check out what’s growing.

Edible Perennials for Zone 3

Link – Opens in Google Drive
One of the garden things I get the nerdiest about are edible perennials. I’m always on the lookout for new ones to try. Here’s the thing about perennials: you buy them once and plant them once and then they feed you forever. It’s like magic.

I really believe the key to success with edible perennials in zone 3 is for us to abandon our preconceptions, most of which were formed in the grocery store aisle, about what we should be eating and instead eat what grows here. I don’t mean just everything that grows here (for one thing, I will not eat dandelion greens, and I will certainly not buy them from a store. It’s a matter of principle. In the words of Ron Swanson, I am not a rabbit), but we can be smarter about growing what works and then finding ways to work those foods into our lives.

If you know of perennial edibles for zone 3 (or if you want to trade for seeds or plants), please leave a comment below!

More gardening charts

Richters Herbs Unboxing!

OK, it’s not a video, but I did take some pictures as I unboxed my plants from Richters Herbs because I am just that big of a nerd. I want to share everything with you, Internet. EVERYTHING. No matter how boring it is.

I’ve ordered live plants from several different mail-order places in the past, and Richters is my favourite. For one thing, of all the places I’ve tried, they do the best job packing their plants. These came out of the box in pristine condition, in spite of coming here all the way from Ontario. Look! This one (a bunch of comfrey plugs) came in its own little house!

richters (2)<< Are you comfrey-table in there?
HA! I crack myself up. Dads everywhere are virtually clapping me on the back for that one.

In addition to being well-packed, the plants I’ve gotten from Richters have always been also just healthy and in great shape. THEY ARE GREAT, OK? Someone on a permaculture forum told me about their ‘Profusion’ sorrel, which I have growing in several spots in my yard. I also got some Egyptian Walking Onions from them last year, which are, as of this spring, walking all over the place. This year, I ordered comfrey, lovage, wild ginger (to use as a ground cover in my front yard) and echinacea. Here are my little plants getting their first glimpse of their new home:

richters (3)>> Even though you are my mail-order plant brides, you guys are going to like it here.

If you order some plants from Richters, be sure to request that they send some to you in a tiny house.

This post just represents my unbiased opinion about Richters. I didn’t get compensated for this post, although I wish I was being compensated, because then I could get paid in plants. (In other words, I could get complantsated) (I’m sorry about that)