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Perennial Vegetables By Eric Toensmeier

Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier

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From artichokes to zuiki taro - a gardener's guide to over 100 delicious, easy-to-gro edibles

Perennial Vegetables Summary

Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, A Gardener's Guide to Over 100 Delicious and Easy to Grow Edibles by Eric Toensmeier

There is a fantastic array of vegetables you can grow in your garden, and not all of them are annuals. In Perennial Vegetables the adventurous gardener will find information, tips, and sound advice on less common edibles that will make any garden a perpetual, low-maintenance source of food.

Imagine growing vegetables that require just about the same amount of care as the flowers in your perennial beds and borders-no annual tilling and potting and planting. They thrive and produce abundant and nutritious crops throughout the season. It sounds too good to be true, but in Perennial Vegetables author and plant specialist Eric Toensmeier (Edible Forest Gardens) introduces gardeners to a world of little-known and wholly underappreciated plants. Ranging beyond the usual suspects (asparagus, rhubarb, and artichoke) to include such minor crops as ground cherry and ramps (both of which have found their way onto exclusive restaurant menus) and the much sought after, anti-oxidant-rich wolfberry (also known as goji berries), Toensmeier explains how to raise, tend, harvest, and cook with plants that yield great crops and satisfaction.

Perennial vegetables are perfect as part of an edible landscape plan or permaculture garden. Profiling more than 100 species, illustrated with dozens of color photographs and illustrations, and filled with valuable growing tips, recipes, and resources, Perennial Vegetables is a groundbreaking and ground-healing book that will open the eyes of gardeners everywhere to the exciting world of edible perennials.

Perennial Vegetables Reviews

Part of the allure of perennial gardening is the fact that a gardener can plant something once and enjoy it for several years, a benefit that has rarely been extended to vegetable gardeners. Save for such stalwarts as asparagus and rhubarb, most edible crops can be used only annually. Thanks to Toensmeier, gardeners need no longer be frustrated by such limitations. From air potatoes to water celery, Turkish rocket to Malabar gourd, there are more than 100 new species of edible plants. After addressing such cultural basics as site selection and preparation, Toensmeier explains why each plant is an excellent perennial vegetable crop. Now that such items are making their way onto trendy restaurant menus and health-store shelves, Toensmeier's groundbreaking guide is destined to become the bible for this new class of edible gardening.

-- Carol Haggas

This book is itself a perennial polyculture of multipurpose plants. Toensmeier's adventurous yet sober palate blends with his observant eye and plant-geek mind to yield a varied harvest that should produce for years to come. He is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide for explorations of this largely unmapped territory. Let's hope gardeners everywhere follow his lead and join the fun!--Dave Jacke, coauthor Edible Forest Gardens

That there are more perennial vegetables than asparagus is no surprise, but that there are more than 100 species we North American gardeners can choose from is news. Toensmeier's Perennial Vegetables, the first comprehensive guide to growing them, will have all of us reexamining our plans for next year's vegetable plot. --Karan Davis Cutler, author of Burpee-The Complete Flower Garden

Eric Toensmeier has comprehensively filled a huge gap in the sustainable landscape. Perennial Vegetables lets you put away your tiller, and covers everything you need to grow, harvest, and eat vegetables and greens that will keep coming back year after year.--Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia's Garden

Toensmeier's knowledge of edible plants is impressive and inspiring. His excitement for a sustainable landscape helps us focus away from buying food to harvesting it naturally. Perennial Vegetables offers an excellent range of edible plants for long-term cultivation and enjoyment.--Ellen Ecker Ogden,co-founder of The Cook's Garden seed catalog, author of From the Cook's Garden

Growing perennial vegetables is a true pleasure. This fine book gives the knowledge to successfully add variety to both the garden and the table while also enhancing the home environment.--Miranda Smith, author of The Plant Propagator's Bible and Complete Home Gardening

About Eric Toensmeier

Eric Toensmeier is the award-winning author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables, and the co-author of Edible Forest Gardens. Eric is an appointed lecturer at Yale University, a Senior Fellow with Project Drawdown, and an international trainer. He presents in English and Spanish throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean. Eric has studied useful perennial plants and their roles in agroforestry systems for over two decades, and cultivates about 300 species in his urban garden. His writing can be viewed online at

Table of Contents

Part 1: Gardening With Perennial Vegetables
1. New class of food plants
2. Design ideas
3. Selecting species
4. Techniques
Part 2: Species Profiles
Using this book -- Alismataceae: the water-plantain family -- Arrowhead -- Alliaceae: the onion family -- Multiplier onions -- Ramps -- Other perennial alliums -- Amaranthaceae: the amaranth family -- Sissoo spinach -- Apiaceae: the celery family -- Arracacha -- Article: Lost crops of the Incas -- Lovage -- Water celery -- Skirret -- Araceae: the aroid family -- Edible aroids (taro, belembe, tannier) -- Article: Calcium oxalate -- Araliaceae: the spikenard family -- Udo -- Asteraceae: the aster family -- Chicory and dandelion -- Globe artichoke -- Okinawa spinach -- Sunchoke -- Article: Inulin -- Fuki -- Scorzonera -- Yacon -- Basellaceae: the malabar spinach family -- Malabar spinach -- Ulluco -- Brassicaceae: the cabbage family -- Perennial brassicas (cabbage, kale, and broccoli) -- Article: Pests and diseases of the brassica family -- Turkish rocket -- Sea kale -- Sylvetta arugula -- Watercress -- Cactaceae: the cactus family -- Nopale cactus -- Cannaceae: the canna family -- Achira -- Caricaceae: the papaya family -- Papaya -- Chenopodiaceae: the goosefoot family -- Saltbush -- Article: Oxalic acid -- Sea beet -- Good King Henry -- Convolvulaceae: the morning glory family -- Water spinach -- Sweet potato -- Cucurbitaceae: the squash family -- Perennial cucumber -- Malabar gourd -- Bitter melon -- Chayote -- Article: Extending the range of chayote and other day-length-sensitive plants -- Cyperaceae: the sedge family -- Chufa -- Water chestnut -- Dioscoreaceae: the yam family -- Air potato -- Article: Air potato: an ecological conundrum? -- Yams -- Dryopteridiaceae: the wood-fern family -- Ostrich fern -- Euphorbiaceae: the spurge family -- Chaya -- Bull nettles -- Cassava -- Katuk -- Fabaceae: the pea family -- Groundnut -- Basul -- Hyacinth bean -- Water mimosa -- Perennial beans -- Winged bean -- Lamiaceae: the mint family -- Chinese artichoke -- Liliaceae: the lily family -- Asparagus -- Yellow asphodel -- Camass -- Daylily -- Giant Solomon's seal -- Malvaceae: the mallow family -- Edible hibiscus -- Cranberry hibiscus -- Musk mallow -- Meliaceae: the neem family -- Fragrant spring tree -- Moraceae: the mulberry family -- Breadfruit -- Moringaceae: the moringa family -- Moringa -- Musaceae: the banana family -- Plantain and green banana -- Nelumbonaceae: the lotus family -- Water lotus -- Oxalidaceae: the wood-sorrel family -- Oca -- Phytolaccaceae: the pokeweed family -- Pokeweed -- Haitian basket vine -- Poaceae: the grass family -- Clumping bamboos -- Running bamboos -- Article: Rhizome barriers for aggressive running bamboos -- Pitpit -- Polygonaceae: the smartweed family -- Rhubarb -- Sorrel -- Solanaceae: the nightshade family -- Wolfberry -- Ground cherry and goldenberry -- Pepino dulce -- Peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes -- Article: Pests and diseases of the nightshade family -- Tetragoniaceae: the New Zealand spinach family -- New Zealand spinach -- Tiliaceae: the linden family -- Linden -- Tropaeolaceae: the nasturtium family -- Mashua -- Urticaceae: the nettle family -- Stinging nettle and wood nettle
Part 3: Resources
Perennial vegetables for each climate type
Recommended reading
Helpful organizations and Web sites
Sources of plants and seeds
Sources of gardening supplies and materials

Additional information

Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, A Gardener's Guide to Over 100 Delicious and Easy to Grow Edibles by Eric Toensmeier
Chelsea Green Publishing Co
Winner of ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award: Home & Garden 2007 Winner of American Horticultural Society Book Award .
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a new book - be the first to read this copy. With untouched pages and a perfect binding, your brand new copy is ready to be opened for the first time

Customer Reviews - Perennial Vegetables