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Food Shortage Solution: Eat Your Landscape

Blueberries are easy to plant...

When food shortages occur, those
who have planned ahead with edible
landscaping will truly benefit.

When food shortages occur, those who have planned ahead with edible landscaping will truly benefit. People often landscape around their homes with beautiful flowers, to benefit the birds and butterflies…why not benefit you personally as well?

Blueberries are easy to plant around a home and with good care it will produce blueberries for muffins, drying, snacking, ice cream toppings and many other goodies! Cherry trees can be decorative and productive and if you don’t have room for trees there are also bush cherries available! In the right zones, tangerines, lime, lemon and orange trees offer fruit and shade. Coffee plants can be kept in containers on the corner of decks, and cranberries, currants and a host of other berries can be run along fence lines.


Ginkgo is a long cultivated nut tree with an unusual point in a male and female tree is needed to provide nuts. They grow up to 30 feet high in full sun, and the males may e kept on the street or front yard with the female back further so you can harvest the nuts without competition!

Do you have a sitting area you’d like to make use of? There is not a better area to use for growing herbs! Planters can host chocolate mint, lemon mint as well as the more common spearmint and peppermint – keep them separated as they can be invasive. Rosemary, thyme, lavender, lemon grass and horseradish are all productive plants as well. You can, with a little research, create a tea garden to sip sweet tea on summer afternoons, or a potpourri/craft garden if that’s an interest for you. Best of all is a kitchen garden – garlic, basil, savory and a wide range of other plants can be grown in most areas. You get a year’s worth of landscaping plus food. Plants such as rosemary can handle quite a bit of trimming once established and fresh herbs are so much better than the processed ones!

Adventurous gardeners may try less common plants such as josta berry, jujubes and apricots. If you like nuts, almonds are another possibility for those with extra space. Have a shady area you want to use? Get a log implanted with shiitake mushrooms, which can last several years. This is a great way, if you like mushrooms, to grow your own and use the space that isn’t fully in the sun.

Strawberries are an obvious choice for very little effort. A flower box with pansies can generate lavender pansy preserves as well as decorating. Rhubarb is another possibility, with rhubarb pie being a favorite of many people.

This is just as possible for those in cooler climates as in the coastal zones. Smaller trees and shrubs can provide considerable food for a small family as well as dressing up your yard with flowers and fragrance – after all flowers are needed for fruit!

Some use vines to cover areas and among the vines that can be used is grapes. Gourds and other vines can also be ‘trained’ up a trellis.

A natural offshoot as you begin landscaping with edible food is composting – compost bins don’t have to be unsightly! While many use pallets – which can be ‘dressed up’ with flowers or ‘hidden’ behind bushes – an older trash can works well also. An old metal one that may leak is great – put a few holes in it and dress it up with a coat of paint. You will no longer have to pay to have grass and other things hauled off – compost it, turn it back into something useful for your garden!

The University of Nevada designed, installed and maintained a strip in the city of Reno. One area was designed to attract insects (which pollinates the landscaping), but there was also a salsa garden, salad/herb garden, perennials, “Three Sisters garden”, tomatoes and ground cherries. This is a great use of space!

There are many websites and books available on these topics; it is not difficult or expensive to produce edible landscape!


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