Episode-1986- Perennial Vegetables for your Homestead

“Bloody Dock” – A Beautiful and Edible Perennial Most People Have Never Heard Of

Today we are going to turn our focus on food production in our own back yards.  The plants I will describe here are wonderful for growing in just about any environment.  And even though they are perennials most will do find in containers and wicking beds, etc.  Indeed a few are custom made for such applications though normally not grown that way.

Perennials are wonderful because they either come back on their own every year or they require very minimal effort to assure their return each year.  Many are even considered weeds or a nuisance by the unknowing.  Yep a plant that requires minimal work, self propagates and is good to eat we have come to see as a weed.

Join Me Today To Discuss…

  • How we define perennial vs how we should define it as growers
  • Twelve Plants you should be growing for trouble free food production
    1. Bloody Dock (True Perennial to Zone 4) – Source
    2. Ostrich Fern (True Perennial to Zone 3) – Source
    3. Scarlet Runner Beans (True Perennial to Zone 6 with heavy mulch) – Source
    4. Sorrel (True Perennial to Zone 3) – Source
    5. Jerusalem Artichoke (Behaves Like a Perennial to Zone 3) – Source
    6. Lambs Quarters (Behaves Like a Perennial to Zone 4 and possibly Zone 3) – Source
    7. Day Lilies (True Perennial to Zone 4) – Source
    8. Good King Henry (True Perennial to Zone 3) – Source
    9. Egyptian Onions (True Perennial to Zone 4) – Source
    10. Horse Radish (True Perennial to Zone 3) – Source
    11. New Zealand Spinach (True Perennial to Zone 7 or Zone 6) – Source
    12. Lovage (True Perennial to Zone 3) – Source

Resources for today’s show…

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9 Responses to Episode-1986- Perennial Vegetables for your Homestead

  1. I would add Borage, It keeps coming up in Prince Edward Island, Zone 6a. Not sure if it is a perenial or just re-seeds. Great pollinator

    Also my French Tarragon is a trooper, good to -20c , five years and counting

  2. Bloody Dock and Sorrel ROCK. The bloody dock I have was actually sold to me as “red sorrel”. I have it growing in clay soil on a swale berm underneath a plum tree and it’s doing very well.

    Sorrel has this lemony/citrus flavor that’s a really addition to salads

    You can’t kill it, and it grows all throughout the growing season for me (zone 7B)

    I have plants in several places. My 4 year olds recognize it and eat leaves right off the plant.

  3. This is a new plant to me,never heard of it before. I wonder can ordinary common dock be eaten, (the one known as ‘green toilet paper’, (assuming the leaves are still growing when found and don’t have dark stains on them !)

  4. I was born the day Chernobyl blew up. I remember my mom telling stories about how nervous she was to have a newborn the day a nuclear plant melted down. It’s a little silly, but I’ve always been fascinated with the Chernobyl story for that reason.

  5. Southpaw Ben

    I was just talking to my Dad the other day, and he ran out of our homegrown horseradish, so he bought some from the store, it was decent horseradish, that only has a handful of ingredients in it, not the creamy crap, and he was saying it just doesn’t have the same kick or flavor that ours has.

  6. Michael: The plant I know as “green toilet paper” is mullien, you might check pictures and make sure you are not confusing it with dock. There may be several plants referred to as toilet paper plants, it might be my head that’s mixed up…
    Mullien has medicinal uses, but I have never heard of it being eaten. I may be wrong 🙂

  7. I have a few ideas to add. Stinging nettles is a great perennial green especially in omelets. Maybe also sea kale but that is hard to grow from seed. I grow strawberries as a ground cover around my fruit trees. Rhubard is a great perennial and you cant beat strawberry rhubarb pie, yum!

  8. My grandfather used to make homemade horseradish and it was delicious. Kielbasa w/ homemade horseradish and my grandmother’s homemade pierogies fried in butter was one of my favorite meals.

    In 1993 I was shooting pool in a Williamsburg, Va bar and Bruce Hornsby was drinking beer waiting for the table. It was really no big impact on my life, but today’s song made me think of it. It also made me think of growing up north of the Mason Dixon line and living / working in the sunny south. It was interesting seeing the racism in people’s beliefs and language.