Growing Outside the Garden Box 2014

Last year I showed you Growing Outside of the Garden Box 2013 edition. The wheat was great, the sunchokes did pretty well and coming back this year, my love for comfrey continues, I have bits of the amaranth that reseeded itself, the stevia didn’t survive the hot summer, the cardoon continues to thrive, and as you know my beloved purple tree collards didn’t make it through the freezing rain.  

Fast forward to day 196 in the edible forest garden. It’s obvious I’ve started an unusual collection of perennial edibles most don’t know what they are or their use. In conjunction, I’m planting them with your typical annuals found at the grocery story. My goal is to have a complete edible perennial garden with supporting species. I’m hoping to try to grow about 300 species. 
 
BAMBOO 
This may not seem very ‘out of the box,’ but this plant is totally useful. It’s edible, it will become a living fence, wind screen, privacy fence, use as chop and drop, helps with erosion, and the poles will be used for trellises and such. It’s really a very useful plant.
 
I’m ordering Golden Goddess Bamboo (seen in the photo) in the fall and hope to plant them in October. If you are worried they are going to grow away from my yard, I purchased the clumping type of bamboo.
 
YAUPON HOLLY 
Ah yes, another not so ‘out of the box’ plant. Isn’t it a little scary that it’s scientific same is Ilex Vomitoria? Most hollies are actually edible and used for tea. The tea could be found in stores in the 70’s. The yaupon holly has more caffine than coffee and when given nitrogen, you can get even more caffine. This video is a great source for the hollies and tea. 
 
I purchase this lady (has berries) this weekend but I don’t plan to plant it till this fall. The yaupon hollies come in all sizes. I decicied to go with the weeping type to add a different texture to the landscape.
 

JUJUBE 

Not the candy! This is an asian fruit that is typically called an asian date. Some varitieties are better left on the tree to dry. I purchased the Li and Coco that should be good fresh as well as left to dry on the tree. According to this website, Texas is perfect for this tree. 
 
I purchase both trees at One Green World and plan to recieve them in the fall.

ELDERBERRY

This plant is more common growing wild in Europe. It’s a medicial and edible in many forms. Wine, jam, and pies to name a few. This recipe for Elderberry jam recipe is used for colds. “I’m not feeling so swell, better go make biscuits and with jam!” Jam sounds way better than taking any medication.
 
I planted the American Elderberry this spring and is only about 9″ tall. Blast to perennials and their slow growth!
 

PAWPAW 
These are a unique fruit that resembles the texture of custard inside. I have’t tried them yet, but they are native to the North American. They aren’t found in stores because they don’t have a long shelf life because they bruise easily. 

 
I purchased two this spring and was sorely dissapointed in the quality I recieved. I have a tiny seeding, but have also bought two more to plant this fall. One of the varieties claims to set fruit within two years which seems to be early for this fruit. It grows in shade or will produce more fruit in the sun. Parts of the plant are made to make insecticde, so bugs and deer don’t really like this tree. I found this video helpful. 
 
There’s just five good unique things I’m growing and or have purchased for this fall. I’m already researching for spring 2015 plants! Fall planning is well under way and hope to share more soon. It’s crazy how much the master plan is changing, sometimes daily. I need to start an ‘as built’ plan.

credits & resources: bamboo photo by Beautiful Bamboo // Holly source by Eat the Weeds // Jujube photo by onegreenworld.com // Elderberry photo from elderberryjuice.net // Edlerberry Jam Recipe by James Wong from Cooking Channel // pawpaw image by onegreenworld.com

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