Queen of the food forest, this tasty “blueberries-in-a-tree!” favorite is easy to grow, is not too picky about its soil (unlike some plants I know… coughBLUEBERRYahem…), and will give you enough fruit to make pies, muffins, syrups, tarts, and a thousand other delights. SHRUB LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 2 – 7 (can withstand cold to -50° F) Soil PH: 6.0-8.0 […]
Golden Currant, Ribes Aureum
Though actually named after their lovely little golden-yellow flowers, golden currants do grow a tasty fruit that can be yellow, purple, or even red. The point is to enjoy them no matter their color! SHRUB LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 4 – 8i (can withstand cold down to -30° F, or -34° C) Soil PH: 6.0 – 8.0. Tolerates a variety […]
Highbush Cranberry, Viburnum Trilobum
No it’s not a true cranberry… but it can be used for anything a cranberry can be used for, with good results! And they’re hardy, and MUCH easier to grow for most people than true cranberries. SHRUB LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 2 – 7 (can withstand cold down to -50 F, -45 C) Soil PH: 4.5 to 7.0i though some […]
Northern Spicebush, Lindera benzoin
Step aside, allspice! Spicebush is coming to town. Cakes, candies, cookies… and it’s not just the berries that give the flavor. This cold hardy, moderate climate seasoning is going to rock your food forest and spice your world.
Nanking Cherry, Prunus tomentosa
The darling princess of the food forest! And the MUST HAVE for cold climate cherry lovers. This half sweet, half tart little cherry is also known by the names Manchu Cherry, Downy Cherry, Mountain Cherry, Mongolian Cherry, Chinese Bush Cherry, and Hedge Cherry.
Smooth Sumac, Rhus Glabra
It looks like something from the rainforest, but provides a popular tart Mediterranean spice. And let’s not forget to mention that when they’re green, they’re totally gorgeous!
Hinnomaki Red Gooseberry, Ribes uva-crispa
The grape of the high desert mountains! If you struggle to grow other berries, you’ve got to at least try this one… they’re hardy, tasty, and lushly abundant producers.
American Hazelnut, Corylus americana
Good for more than Nutella (which, by the way, you can make at home with roasted hazelnuts!), hazelnuts are one of the best nuts for the food forest.
Hosui Asian Pear, Pyrus pyrifolia
For those unfamiliar with Asian pears, picture a fruit with the shape of an apple, the color and texture of a pear, but the flavor of an extra-juicy spiced pear. Plus they sell for top dollar at the grocery store and farmer’s market.
Buffaloberry, Shepherdia argentea
Also known as the silver buffalo berry, which, while it may make it sound like something for a boy scout, can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Aronia Berry, Aronia melanocarpa
Pucker up! The aronia chokeberry is tastier than it sounds!
Honeyberry, Lonicera caerulea
Imagine a blueberry rolled to the shape of an elongated egg, but that tastes like a kiwi, and LOVES cold climates. Did I mention one mature bush can produce several pounds of fruit every year? Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
Siberian Dwarf Pine (AKA Japanese Stone Pine), Pinus pumila
A power-punch shorty, a champion in the cold, and a rockstar in the food forest.
Nootka Rose, Rosa nutkana
Great fruit, beautiful shrub.
Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus
The beautiful edible rose tree. Gorgeous, tasty, hardy, big… what more could you want?
Goji Berry, Lycium barbarum
AKA Lycium chinense I love goji berries. They’re not the candy-sweet berries you get with raspberries or strawberries. Rather, they’re more like the flavor of a tomato or bell-pepper, but they are perennial and incredibly hardy. I would love to see these little red ‘maters showing up in the produce department, sold by the pound. But for now, I’ll grow […]