Here is a variety of perennial edibles suitable for growing in the Bellinger River Valley. All have been grown by Bellingen Seed Savers members. Any of the fruits listed can be treated like vegetables. Can you suggest more perennials?
|Katuk (Sauropus androgynus)|
'By now you should know Katuk is one of the most popular vegetable in the world, particularly in Borneo and my home in Florida. Now some information to keep the lawyers happy.....
So, what does all this mean, beside don’t eat Katuk if you are taking something to open your blood vessels or lower your blood pressure? Enjoy Katuk as an addition to salads, a lawn-side nibble, and cooked in various dishes like you find in thousands of restaurants. Just don’t consume a half a pound of it a day raw for weeks or months and/or while taking an extract as well. I have been tossing a dozen leaves in my weekly salads for more than five years. I ain’t concerned.' Eat the Weeds
|Jicama (Yam Bean)|
|Turmeric and Ginger|
|Purple Yam (Dioscorea alata)|
Dioscorea alata, known as purple yam and many other names, is a species of yam, a tuberous root vegetable. The tubers are usually bright lavender in color, hence the common name, but they may sometimes be white. Wikipedia
|Coppiced White Mulberry (new young leaves)|
Tamarillo, is a small tree or shrub in the flowering plant family Solanaceae. It is best known as the species that bears the tamarillo, an egg-shaped edible fruit. It is also known as the tree tomato, tamamoro, and tomate de árbol in South America. Wikipedia
|Taro mashed with coconut milk|
|A grated green Paw Paw (Papaya) Salad|
|Edible Hibiscus (smooth leaf form)|
"Yacon is a perennial daisy with clusters of yellow flowers (see above) that grows to about four feet (one metre plus). It has furry leaves that are nutritious and can be used like olive leaves to wrap food or cooked like spinach as a green. The leaves contain quantities of protocatechuic, chlorogenic, caffeic, and ferulic acids, and these have prebiotic and antioxidant properties. You can also make the leaves into a tea."
From Permaculture.co.uk https://www.permaculture.co.uk/How-to-grow-harvest-eat-yacon
|Jack Fruit (can eat green as cooked vegetable)|
|Mushroom Plant Rungia klossii|
Unripe and sour type carambolas can be mixed with other chopped spices to make relishes in Australia. In the Philippines, unripe carambolas are eaten dipped in rock salt. In Thailand, they are cooked together with shrimp." Wikipedia
The flowers are acid and are added to salads in Java Reference
Canavalia gladiata, usually called sword bean, is a domesticated plant species in the legume family. The legume is a used as a vegetable in interiors of central and south central India, though not commercially farmed. Wikipedia
The Chinese water chestnut or water chestnut is a grass-like sedge native to Asia, Australia, tropical Africa, and various islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is grown in many countries for its edible corms. Wikipedia
Manihot esculenta is a woody shrub native to South America of the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. It is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates. Wikipedia
Hibiscus acetosella is an angiosperm of the genus Hibiscus or rosemallow. The word acetosella is of Latin origin and is derived from an old name for sorrel which comes from the sour taste experienced when eating the young leaves of the plant. Wikipedia
|Turmeric and Lemon Grass|
|Oca has succulent clover-like leaves and produces a small, pink, delicious tuber. Suited to cooler temperate climates, tolerant of high altitudes and a wide variety of soil types.(Green Harvest)|
Oca should grow well on the Dorrigo Plateau. It finds the Bellingen Valley a little too steamy.
|Peanuts can be grown from southern NSW to northern Australia in areas with 5 months of warm frost-free weather. Green Harvest|
|Zatar (Mother of Herbs)|
|Pigeon Peas self seed quite well in our valley Green Harvest|
|Lebanese Cress |
Grows best in shallow water. Pic from Green Harvest
|Jerusalem Artichoke Green Harvest|
|Day Lily (Daley's Nursery)|
|Sweet Potato (Garden Drum)|
|Basella - red form (Garden Drum)|
|Choko (Garden Drum)|
|Luffa or loofah are not susceptible to mildew like zucchinis. Eat young. (Garden Drum)|
|Pumpkin. You eat the shoots as well. (Garden Drum)|
|Camelia sinensis - Tea (Garden Drum)|
Rumex acetosa meaning garden sorrel and Rumex scutatus meaning French sorrel are more often grown in herb or vegetable gardens for their leaves which are typically added to salads, soups, omelettes and sauces.
|Sweetleaf or Katuk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8EA1dpruWQ|
The site below and other sites suggest eating other types of Alternanthera, a common plant in our gardens.
"8. Joy weed, Alternanthera, Gomphrena (Alternanthera aurea)
aurea 'Exhibition Border Gold' is a colourful groundcovering perennial,
with small green leaves blotched with gold. Use as a contrast or accent
plant in warmer areas, or as an annual in cooler climates, as it is
frost tender. It makes a good low hedge...
Cultivar/variety: 'Exhibition Border Gold'
...learn more about the 'Exhibition Border Gold' variety
9. Joy weed, Calico plant, Alternanthera (Alternanthera bettzickiana)
bettzickiana 'Exhibition Border Red' is a colourful groundcovering
perennial, with small burgundy leaves blotched with bright pink. Use as a
contrast or accent plant in warmer areas, or as an annual in cooler
climates, as it is frost tender. It makes a good low...
For more information about perennial edibles
"Flowers and edible leaves can make a unique addition to salads, or unusual edible garnishes. However, a few words of warning are necessary to avoid potential trouble.
Gardeners should always use extreme caution in consuming anything other than the familiar garden vegetable and herbs. Most growers, ourselves included, avoid using toxic chemical sprays whenever possible, but at times they are relied upon to control various insects and diseases. Upon purchasing a plant, there is no way to tell whether or not it has been recently treated with a pesticide product. Each different chemical product has its own life span, the period that a toxic residue may remain on a treated plant. To avoid contact with any toxic residue, newly purchased perennials and herbs should not be consumed for a minimum period of at least 60 days after planting.Edible flowers should be approached with great care, in general, because of potential allergy problems in sensitive individual. In particular, anyone with an allergy to Ragweed or any other member of the Daisy family (Asteraceae) should never consume the flowers or any other parts of these plants. The link above and below will return a list of common members of this plant family.
Add any edible flowers to your diet in small quantities at first, to test the reaction of those eating them. Avoid giving any edible flowers to children under 7 years of age. Children should also be warned to never eat any flowers without the supervision of an adult.
Use extreme caution in selecting and gathering edible flowers, leaves or any other plant parts. Just like with wild mushrooms, erring on the side of caution is advised. If you are not 100 percent sure about the identity of an edible plant, DO NOT EAT IT, even in tiny amounts. Avoid using any toxic plants as attractive garnishes, in case a dinner guest (or anybody else not in the know) should accidentally consume it. Poisoning your guests is not a pleasant way to end a dinner party!"