These days many people want to grow their own organic food and have edible gardens at home. The photo here shows some Saratoga Springs, NY edible gardens projects in raised beds. It is always a good idea to plant native plants near vegetable gardens to attract pollinators. Native flowering perennials increase vegetable yield and size.
Growing vegetables is really fun for kids when they can be involved with the watering and weeding. Growing vegetables organically is much easier when native flowering perennials for pollinators and other companion planting methods are included. There are hundreds of local native plant species that are edible. (Maybe thousands.) Edible species trees and shrubs are popular and often easy to grow. Many NY/VA native perennials can be used medicinally. (See our friend Rebecca Hein from Underground Alchemy at the Troy Market for local native plant medicine.) In the wildflower farm gardens, we have native edible shrubs and trees such as Elderberry (Sambucas canadensis), American Hazelnut (Corylus americana), Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) and Black Cherry (Prunus serotina). Chokeberry is also called Photinia. Aronia and Photinia are synonyms.
This Liatris spicata is just starting to bloom, attracting many butterflies and bees, many who stick around to pollinate Eggplants, Zucchini, Tomatoes and Peppers. Gardens in our NY region can take many forms. Organic edible gardening is a worthy endeavor that can be made more successful with the integration of native perennials for attracting pollinators.
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