7 Vegetable Garden Shortcuts
Raspberries, Blackberries and Salmonberries, Oh My!
“These and other native brambles—shrubs that send up arching stems called canes—are perfect garden plants. They’re easy to grow, but they’re highly perishable, so the fruits can be hard to find in supermarkets.
The red raspberry is native to every region of the Lower 48 except the Deep South. The black raspberry ranges throughout the East as far south as Georgia and from North Dakota south to Colorado and Oklahoma. The common, or Allegheny, blackberry grows in the Northeast and Midwest and south to Virginia and Missouri. California blackberry, also called dewberry, is native to the Pacific Northwest.
Blueberries: While cultivated varieties have been developed from the highbush blueberry, which grows wild in the East and Midwest, other blueberry species are native to most of the United States and Canada. The shrubs produce small flowers that are important spring nectar sources for bees while their intense, sweet-tart flavored berries are relished by many birds and mammals.
Serviceberries: Some species of serviceberry—also known as Juneberry, shadbush or Saskatoon—is native to every contiguous U.S. state and Canadian province. The large shrubs or small trees feature delicate white flowers on bare branches in spring that provide nectar for insects emerging from winter nests. The small, purple fruits help sustain grosbeaks, thrushes and many other birds during the breeding season. If you can get to them before the birds, the uniquely flavored berries can be used to make jam or pie.
American Persimmons: Native from Connecticut to Iowa and Kansas south to Florida and Texas, American persimmon trees produce ornamental, purplish-orange fruits that hang on leafless branches in autumn. Before they ripen, the fruits are guaranteed to make your mouth pucker. But when ripe, they taste a lot like dates. Wild persimmons are an important fall and winter food for many mammals, and the trees are a larval host plant for the luna moth.
You may have heard that the bee population is in trouble, they are dying off due to the use of poisonous pesticides, which threatens humans because bees play a major role in pollinating our food sources.
Here’s how you can help!
I found this little gem on my beloved Care2.com website. I had never heard that the word “pulse” had more than one meaning!!! Hip hip huzzah for discovery!
“A pulse, sometimes called a “grain legume”, is an annual leguminous crop yielding from one to twelve seeds of variable size, shape, and color within a pod. Pulses are used as food for humans and other animals. Included in the pulses are: dry beans like pinto beans, kidney beans and navy beans; dry peas; lentils; and others.”
I’m lucky to live only 5 minutes from the Front Porch Farm Stand (Pasadena, CA) and buy my fruit, vegetables and bread from these wonderful, down-to-earth, friendly people. I feel blessed to know them, and am inspired to begin our own journey in self-sufficiency!
Here is an award winning video about them:
Energetically, Diane Tegarden