Edibles for an Espalier:
- Malus: Apple/Crabapple
- Pyrus: Pear
- Prunus: Stone fruit (peach, nectarine, plum, almond, etc.)
- Ficus carica: Fig
- Citrus: Lemon, orange, tangerine
- Vitis: Grapes
Ornamentals for an Espalier:
- Ginkgo biloba
- Fagus sylvatica culivars ( i.e., tricolor beech)
- Acer palmatum cultivars
- Pyrus calleryana (Callery pear)
- Tilia (linden)
- Cedrus atlantica (Blue Atlas cedar)
Nature finds a way.
"Mother Nature’s Daughters" a NYT profile piece on women and urban agriculture.
Describing their own farms and gardens, managers suggested that women make up 60 to 80 percent of field workers, organizers and educators. Applicant pools are similarly unbalanced for summer postings, internships and certification programs.
Urban agriculture is much more diverse than is outlined in this article. Nonetheless, the questions asked are worth considering. Would you agree that women tend to lean more towards soil-based urban agriculture because its activities are tied more closely to their surrounding community? As for men, do they lean towards the more technological urban food fixes (hydroponics, vertical farming, aquaponics)?
Is urban agriculture truly a more female driven industry?
I think the fact that men tend towards more technological options is a matter of:
A) Men tend to have more money, or access to more opportunities to make money, and networks of other men with money: especially in the horticultural industry. I had several years of greenhouse experience, for example, and couldn’t find a landscaping crew that would hire me. My younger brother, with no experience or interest in horticulture, managed to snag a nice landscaping job with an all-male crew because he “knew some guys.” Even in the greenhouse business, I had to put in two low-pay years as a cashier before managing to talk my way into a raise and working in trees and shrubs / using the heavy machinery.
B) Men tend to have more opportunities and support to acquire technical knowledge: places for learning technical disciplines are often overtly hostile to women.
C) Men are more trusted to build technical solutions: a man and a woman could submit the same grant proposal/crowdfunding presentation for a hydroponics project, for example, and the man would have more success finding funding. The disparity between the funding received by men and women in sciences and in crowdfunding is well-documented.
D) Women are more likely to suffer from “imposter syndrome" and doubt their own abilities to accomplish complex projects like these, or trust their own leadership capabilities.
I know I would certainly be working with more high-tech solutions if I could afford to create them, or could find someone to hire me.
It’s not like I don’t have the aptitude for it — I run this entire site and a food forest, after all!
Perennial vegetables are a vital component of a food forest ecosystem, allowing for a very small amount of labour to produce yields year after year.
Occupying the "rhizosphere" and "soil surface" layers of the food forest guild, these Egyptian Walking Onions multiply underground, while also producing bulblets on the top of stalks. Once these stalks fall over, the small bulblets take root a safe distance away from the parent plant, allowing these onions to “walk” across the garden. Reproducing (non-true) from seed as well, these onions quickly establish themselves as a source of continual harvest, from the most modest of plantings.
A perennial food garden can include hundreds of crops, depending on climate, moisture, soil, and plant compatibility. In my zone, for example, perennial crops that grow well when companion planted together are artichokes, sunchokes, walking onions, sorrel, and asparagus. I also grow rhubarb, which provides mulch and discourages weeds, and I have been searching (in vain, I might add) for tree collards, which are a variety of African brassica that can live 25 years or more, taking a tree-like form as the vibrant collard greens are harvested every year.
Odds are, there are some little-known perennial edibles that can be grown in your biome, waiting to be discovered!
Photos 1-2: Bulblets from perennial Egyptian Walking Onions / Tree Onions.
Cultivars: Moritz, Amish, Catawissa, and McCullar’s
Photo 3: Naomi Slade, Telegraph UK
Taxonomically classified as a cultivar of the same species as broccoli and cauliflower, Brassica oleracea, Broccoli Romensco is one of nature’s finest examples of the Fibonacci series. The flowering buds spiral outward, progressively terminating in a logarithmic extension of numerical harmony
Not only does this plant demonstrate universal beauty, B. oleracea is also a fully edible vegetable, high in vitamin C, K, and dietary fiber. The plant typically grows in environments high in salt and lime, predisposing this fractal veggie to perching off of limestone cliffs throughout Europe.
Related: Garden Science: Math Edition
Plants that fight cancer
This picture shows Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar periwinkle) alongside the structure of vinblastine, an alkaloid natural product.
This pretty plant makes hundreds of alkaloid natural products which are a rich resource for a wide range of applications, including the development of pharmaceuticals, insecticides and biomaterials.
Natural products from this plant have already given us some very important cancer-fighting medicines, for instance vinblastine is one of the compounds used in chemo-therapy.
Read more about BBSRC-funded scientists who are studying this plant and developing new industrial applications for the natural products.
Credit: Mr Andrew Davis
I got to learn about vinblastine (along with some other drugs derived from plants like digoxin; made from Digitalis, for certain cardiac related issues.) Pretty awesome stuff.