Sunday, May 9, 2010

Try A Few Gardening Perennials For Food To Remember!

My grandparents on both side of the family really fostered my love of gardening - it was nothing to head out, at any time of the summer, and snack own way through picking. Radishes. Carrots. Rhubarb. Asparagus. Horseradish. Corn. Berries. Grapes. Fruits of all kinds! We ate and then either froze or canned the produce for eating during the winter months. I found it amazing to watch seeds grow to become food, but I was even more amazed to watch some things come back year after year!

If you haven't tried growing garden perennials, I highly recommend it. They are simple to grow and often produce some of the most delicious results! Here are some of my top garden perennials for you to try:
Asparagus: Find a full-sun place to grow the rhizomes in your garden and watch out. It will take a few years for them to get to the size you can harvest, however buying 2-3 year old root crops can speed that up a bit! We eat them all spring, harvesting them until July 4 - My grandparents taught us to allow them to go to seed after that! I like to grill them tossed in olive oil and serve them with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Garlic: It's not a true perennial, however Michigan gardeners can over winter several varieties or even use a cold frame to make it happen further. I like to cut the tops off full bulbs, brush on olive oil and roast them until the bulbs can be squeezed out onto toasted breads or crackers.

Horseradish: This was one of the must-haves in my family. While I do not like it straight from the jar, I do like it mixed into an applesauce mix or made into other types of sauces! As long as you harvest just the side roots, horseradish taproots will continue to produce a new harvest every year.
Kale and Collard Greens: A few years back while visiting my best friend I picked up a type of Collard Green - Sure enough it comes back yearly and adds beautiful green foliage with red stems. To eat them I like to wilt them in a pan with olive oil and serve up salted to taste or dress them with butter/olive oil, vinegar/lemon juice and salt or feta cheese. YUMM-O!

Rhubarb: This was another family staple in my grandparent's garden. As a child I really didn't care for it, but have now eaten a rhubarb crisp that is to die for - sweet and tart in one bite with a hint of crunch! I also had a tasty rhubarb jam that my kids devour.

What is your favorite garden perennial and how do you serve it to your family? Try planting just one of these options for your family memories and wonderful meals!

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