Electric Swiss chard Flowering chives Kohlrabi Garlic scapes
"Agriculture is an art, created by human hand and heart." Mokichi Okada, Shumei founder

The Edible Garden

Landscapes are able to sustain the body as well as the soul. Growing plants for personal food consumption deepens the connection between humans and Nature. In fact, growing edibles either in a kitchen garden, a potager, a field, in pots or as intermingled with a flower garden changes our modern perception of Nature as harsh and indifferent to one of care and abundance. Seeds saved from one year of a successful edible garden will yield enough seeds for next year's garden plus many, many more.

Edible gardens are practical and healthful. Establishing an edible garden means establishing control over your food intake. You decide which heirloom or open pollinated seeds to plant, the organic or natural growing methods, harvesting and final meal preparation. This keeps chemical corporations and the government out of your food system. More importantly, growing some of your own food establishes a sense of self-sufficiency. Watching a spring seedling emerge from the darkness of the soil will probably even bring a smile to your face and a balm to your heart.

Historically, edible gardens were grown separate from ornamental gardens but these days, knowledge of how pollinators assist in plant growth or spatial limitations make mixing striking edibles like rainbow Swiss chard or purple Vienna kohlrabi with traditional garden flowers practical and beautiful. Some of my favorite hardy edibles to interplant with annual or perennial flowers are Red Russian kale, Rainbow Swiss chard, Purple Vienna kohlrabi, cilantro, Gigante d'Italia parsley, German hardneck garlic, Red Giant mustard greens, chives, Vates Champion collards and any sort of onion or bunching onion for cool vertical accents.

leaf pattern