A Food Forest!
Similar to companion planting in the vegetable garden to enhance the flavour of the food we grow and the vigour of our garden crops, we can also plant perennials that work together in synergy and feed us too. When done properly this helps our landscape, no matter how big or small, to become more productive and resilient. Perennial plants work together to provide lots of food, medicine, habitat, and nectar in just a small space. To know how to fit plants together we need to know how and where each plant grows, if it needs sun or shade, and how it competes with other plants. Most importantly, take time to observe nature and to understand how to work as part of nature and with it too.
Pay attention to the latin name of each plant and then varieties of species that are more suited to our climate and hardiness zone. (Zone 4 (Northern NB) to Zone 6 (Halifax).
In table below, you will find edible and medicinal perennial plants that can be grown in Atlantic Canada, their latin name, and parts used (both edible and medicinal). Please verify which plant parts are edible versus medicinal before consuming. Great resources are the Peterson Field Guides: Medicinal Plants and Herbs, and Edible Plants – Eastern Canada.
Malus sp. (heritage)
|Good King Henry|
Nut *note zone
|Butternut / Buartnut / Heartnut|
Leaf, flower, fruit
Leaf, flower, root
Nut (esp. white oak)
Acer rubrum / Acer saccharum