What are some Zone 5 unusual edibles? – REGENERATIVE.com

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Robin 4 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #46532

    Corey
    Participant

    I am looking for various, delicious fruits and vegetables for zone 5 climate range. Specifically, plants that do not need to be brought inside during winter months. Thanks a lot : )

    #46689

    Andreae
    Participant

    Corey, I’m also in zone 5 and am currently overwintering a Valiant grapevine outdoors for the first time. I think they’re supposed to be hardy to zone 3. I can’t say yet whether it will have survived – we’re having a particularly punishing winter this year. I am planning to add Arctic kiwi in the spring. I think I will have to protect them from the spring thaw-freeze cycle by mulching, but that’s not a problem for me. I don’t know if this helps – I will certainly be happy to report back with my findings! Oh, and ground cherries (Physalis) do quite well for me as well, they are annual but they self-seed readily and don’t need much by way of maintenance.

    #46703

    Corey
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply. Ya, this winter is pretty rough for sure. I actually had arctic kiwi, and Issai Kiwi on my list, should be interesting to see how they work out. Here is what I have so far that will be planted in my yard, besides the kiwi. Snowy Mespilus, Paw Paw, Persimmion, Winter Nellis Pear, Bilberry, Riverbank Grape vine, Amur Grape vine, Apricot, Peach, Bing Cherry, Black Currant, Gogi Berries, Apple, and Sumac. These plants along with my typical garden set up, should be a good start.

    #46751

    Andreae
    Participant

    You’re well ahead of me! I had to look up Snowy Mespilus, but it looks like it’s a more refined strain of the same Amelanchier that grows wild where I live – we call them Chuckley Pears here. They’re extremely hardy, and the berries are fabulous in baked goods. My next-door neighbours have an incredible mature sweet-cherry tree that comes halfway over our property line, so we get all the cherries on our side – 30 pounds or so in a good year. I believe the variety is Stella, which is self-fertile. I have also put in a Montmorency sour cherry, and I forgot to mention Haskap – I bought three small Haskap plants (different varieties for cross-pollination) last year; unfortunately my one-year-old pulled them out of the ground enough times that only one survived, and I don’t know which variety it was – I’m hoping my local seed shop, where I bought the plants last year, will be able to help me out.

    From your list it sounds like you have a fair amount of space to work with. I’m on a small urban lot so I don’t have much room for trees. I’m hoping to train a kiwi vine to grow up into an old lilac tree. Sounds a little crazy, but I have to make the most of what I have!

    #46771

    David
    Participant

    Unusual? How about elderberries? Make great pies, jams, jellies & can be juiced. You may find young plants around wild full grown plants.

    #46887

    Corey
    Participant

    I heard haskap are really good for you, and good to eat obviously. Ya David, I love elderberries, they do make good jams. Thats great your making the most of what you got.. That’s kinda what its all about : ). Most of my property is on a steep slope, which seems great for tree ideas to me.

    #47260

    elizabeth
    Participant

    How about weeds as salad? Nasturtium? lichen? catail?

    #47364

    Shannon
    Participant

    Try looking for a plant called Autumn Olive. They grow as far north as southern Maine, as far as I know, and can be used for jams, juices, jellies and baked goods. Also, if you juice them you can set aside the juice and it will seperate, leaving a dark red juice at the bottom and a clear juice on top. I believe you can ferment the clear juice and drink the red as healthy source of nutrients.

    #47643

    Robin
    Participant

    Hello Corey,

    I live in Zone 5 and I grow quite a few unusual edibles. In addition to some of the plants already mentioned in earlier posts, you could try Goumi berries (a family favorite), Sea Buckthorn, a tart, nutrient-dense citrus substitute, Aronia (very astringent until ripe, it is good for wine or jam), High-bush cranberry (jam or jelly), Gooseberries and perhaps you could try a Maypop vine as well. I have had good luck with everything except for the Maypop. Every summer I get beautiful purple flowers and green fruit but our Massachusetts summers don’t have enough sunlight and warmth for the fruit to ripen before our first frost.

    We have had good success with perennial vegetables. Some that thrive here are: lovage, sunchokes, sorrel, asparagus, rhubarb, horseradish, Good King Henry (not a favorite) and Sea Kale (also not a favorite). Just last year I planted the American hog peanut, the ground nut and a Chinese yam but the plants are just getting established so I cannot tell you if we like to eat them. Stinging nettles grow wild here and we enjoy eating them every spring when they are young and tender. If you steam or saute them, the formic acid goes away, and they have a nutty, delicious taste. Try them in an omelet!

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