Featured Question How many edible plants do you grow?

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Steve, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    The other day I looked around my tiny back yard and felt pretty proud of how far I've come on the journey of growing my own food. I have a long long way to go but it got me thinking, just how many edible plants do I currently have growing?
    It took me all of 10 seconds to count them all but it shocked me to think that I started off only 2 years ago with only 2 herbs in a couple of pots. All my plants are in pots so I am probably at my maximum capacity unless I go a little crazy and take over our living space. Never say never.
    I know with many others it will take a good walk around their property to count it all up that might take an hour. I'm sure it will be inspiring to see how far this self-sufficiency thing can go.

    I thought I would put the question out there to see what others currently have on the go.
    Here's the rules (so we have level playing field):
    1. Only count plants that either fruit, root, rhizome, leaf, etc that can be eaten.
    2. Dont count animals (different thread maybe)
    3. Count each different type of plant once, i.e if you have 3 different types of tomatoes growing count that as ONE, same as if you have 4 different lettuce varieties growing... count as one.
    4. Dont count how many of the one type of plant, i.e. if you have 20 carrots growing only count that as ONE.
    5. Only count them if they are currently in the ground and alive, i.e. if you have planted it with the expectation it will grow then count it, you can also count seeds that have been planted. However if the seeds are sitting in a packet on the self in your shed then leave them out of the count.
    6. If the plant is dormant but still in the ground then it counts. (perhaps like ginger may be, or a raspberry bush)
    7. Herbs and spices still count as they are still consumed.
    8. This is just a snap-shot-in-time question so if you just pulled up a plant then don't count it. I want to know what you have growing right now.
    9. That should be enough rules......
    Post your answer below and feel free to add more info of what that number is made up of. For some of you that may be a big task but it may just give others an idea of new crops to sow and generate discussion.:idea:
     
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  2. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    Let me start this off seeing it was my question.

    I have a grand total of 16 types of edible plants on the go.:chuffed:
    True its a small number but that adds up to a lot of pots in a small area and every single one of them is/will provide me with the satisfaction that I have grown it with my own two hands without poisons and will save me money at the supermarket. The satisfaction is far beyond just 16 plants.

    Looking forward to see what others have on the go.....:popcorn:
     
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  3. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Just a question on the counting rules, what about different fruits trees but from the same genus like lemon and orange trees are "citrus" do we count them as two or one?
     
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  4. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    Good question Mark, I think they should be counted separately. However if you have 2 types of lemons they should be counted as one.
    Coming up with rules for something like this is not as easy as one might think.

    Let see how we go.... no sheep stations on the line here, and its not a competition so any grey area's just make up your own rules. And how will we ever know if you cooked-the-books? You will only be cheating yourself. (BTW, I'm not talking directly to you here Mark, just a general comment ;))

    And here's my predictions:
    Mark will have between 50 and 60 types, or maybe more (100?)
    Stevo (you're a hard one as you haven't given too much away in other threads) will have around 30 to 40. But I really have no idea and have just plucked numbers out of the sky.

    Cheers,
     
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  5. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    I've been looking at edible weeds recently, and I have a few, does that count? :p ... hrm, i'll have to do a survey of the yard, probably will be less than anyone else on here though.
     
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  6. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    This was a really good little exercise Steve, it made me go out and physically check/add up what we had growing in the garden! The shortfalls have been exposed...

    Here's my list currently as it stands but it could be better as I've been a little lazy in the veggie patch lately :rolleyes:

    Banana, mango, orange, Barbados cherry, olive, lemon, lime, avocado, nectarine, peach, caimito, tamarillo, pomegranate, Nashi pear, Black Sapote, Fig, Loquat, mandarin, dragon fruit, pineapple, pepper, apple, mulberry, cape gooseberry, blueberry, curry leaf, plum, macadamia, pecan, spondias, cedar bay cherry, chilli, guava, arrowroot, turmeric, ginger, artichoke, taro, peanuts, tomato, cucumber, swede, carrot, beetroot, lettuce, coriander, parsley, basil, dill, chives, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, asparagus, strawberries, egg plant, squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, passion fruit, peas, beans, raspberry, grape, mustard, leek, onion, garlic, corn, grapefruit, lemongrass, nasturtium, radish, endive, bay leaf, rosella, sage, and rosemary. I may have missed a few but I think this comes to 79 or I can make 80 if you count capsicum as not a chilli.

    Which reminds me, spring is here in 2 more days time and this means only about 3 more months of good growing weather remaining before the hot, wet, mongrel, summer weather hits in this part of the world so I better get cracking and get some more crops growing! Hoping to make the ton in the next 12 months or so :D
     
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  7. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    Ah we will give you the 80. Capsicum and chilli are different beasts in my eyes. Put it this way, you cant really substitute one for the other in a nice summer salad can you? :heat:

    That's awesome Mark. Reading that list just boggles my mind. Some of those I will need to google as I've never heard or seen them before (like Sapote and nasturtium :dunno:)
    What's that? You don't have mushrooms on the list! Woohoo I didnt think I had anything you wouldn't already have. Well to be honest, my mushrooms might be a complete flop but there is potential there. :whistles:
    Nice work Mark, very impressive and inspiring. :cheers:
     
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  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Thanks mate capsicum it is then - gives me 80!

    I was a bit cheeky with nasturtiums as it's a edible flowing annual, which are very easy to grow (both leaves and flowers are edible). Another name for Sapote is chocolate pudding tree because its fruit tastes a little like chocolate.

    No mushrooms for me... :( I'm barracking for you and your mushy success!
     
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  9. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    a rough list from me.

    ..

    Lilly Pillies
    Loquat
    Cape Gooseberry
    Guava Strawberry
    Arabica Coffee?
    Passionfruit
    Tahiation Lime
    Dwarf Avocado
    Chives
    Spinach
    Tomato
    Garlic
    Shallots
    Potato
    Chillies
    Jelapinos
    Capsicum


    things that may not count...
    Banana (tree being donated from neighbours soon)
    Dandelion weed ?

    other
    eggs
    crayfish
    fish x 1
    grasshoppers
    honey

    mexican fruit flies ... heh couldn't resist
     
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  10. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    i should add, that some of the above haven't fruited yet and may be unsuccesfull, but hey, it's growing
     
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  11. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Steve didn't put that in the rules so I counted plants which haven't fruited also :)

    You've got a nice collection there and a lot of potential food not required to buy. Passion fruits for example are sometimes 90c to $1 in the supermarket! Unbelievable. And, 2 bucks an avocado is just robbery.

    You can't eat fruit fly but - I think you've breached the thread rules Steve made up :D
     
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  12. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    why not? i reckon they'd taste like a crunchy jelepino.... hrm.. fried and dipped in honey? :cookingsmileyface:
     
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  13. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    today i added:

    dwarf mullberry tree
    strawberries
    lettuce

    :eat:
     
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  14. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Dwarf mulberry hey - I love mulberries! We've got two trees (still pretty young) but they do grow fast and yours probably will fruit in the first season. Good stuff.
     
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  15. Becca

    Becca Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'm dredging up this post!

    I have all my plants in two large raised beds and some pots all just outside my front door. The backyard is chicken and guinea pig territory only! ;) except for all the car stuff my hubby seems to be able to multiply much more prolifically than my edible stuff!

    Dwarf mulberry
    Rasberry
    Blackberry
    Tomato
    Capsicum
    Chilli
    Nasturtium
    Mint
    Basil
    Rosemary
    Chervil
    Sage
    Flat leaf parsley
    Clover
    Dandelion
    Kale
    Lettuce
    Assorted random sprouting recipes of left over seeds
    Sugar snaps
    Zucchini
    Cabbage
    Broccoli
    Some sort of choy maybe pak?
    Pumpkin
    Pineapple

    Seeded but not sprouted
    Spaghetti squash
    Spring onions
    Cucumber - that could be a disaster...

    I've been experimenting with rue to deter pests out there. Has anyone else tried/had success with it? It seems to be pretty effective... With mozzies and flies at least.
     
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  16. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Nasturtium, Clover, Dandelion... hmm, yes very clever ;)

    Chervil - never grown this! I thought it might be flat leaf parsley but I see it is not and has a completely different flavour - what do you use this herb in Bec?

    If you can get them to start well at this time of year then they could do really good as an early cucumber crop otherwise starting them in winter (even in subtropics) is risky but I do tend to try these things also cause it sometimes pays off big time! The beauty of growing traditionally warmer fruiting crops such as cucs, large variety tomatoes, capsicum, jalapenos, etc at this time of year (during winter) in SEQ is the fruit doesn't usually get stung by fruit fly but as soon as the weather warms up in spring these crops can become a target unless other preventive steps are taken.

    I have some beefsteak, romas, and other larger tomatoes growing at the moment some fruit just starting to ripen - the plants aren't growing great this year but still pretty good. Nothing better than a homegrown big beefsteak tomato :twothumbsup:

    Nup, never tried it sorry. Marigolds work for me and also coriander seems to help keep pests down in my vegetable garden - I found this out by mistake after letting it self seed next to various crops over the past several years and noticing those plants near the coriander grew terrifically!
     
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  17. Becca

    Becca Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    It's my first foray into chervil Mark. It may well end up as guinea pig/turtle/chook snax we'll see ;)

    I can't get coriander to grow for nothing! I have tried from seed, and plant... Never lasts long enough to use :(

    I used marigolds this summer! The animals love the flowers after they have done their job!

    I have a random tomato that's popped up in my compost in the pumpkin patch. It's going gang busters! Just starting to show a couple of fruits now... Can't wait to find out what type it is!
     
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  18. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Try giving it a go during our autumn/winter - coriander is quite particular in regards to seed germination and won't usually strike or grow well if it's too hot or too cold. Once you get one plant going let it go to seed and then leave most of those seeds to find there own way. Next season, you will see coriander popping up in the garden and it will have adapted to your micro climate germinating at the right time for it so it's just a matter of transplanting those seedlings into a more convenient place or just leaving them grow. Coriander isn't an invasive crop and it's easy to control so if too much comes up I just pull out the young plants and use them in cooking until I have enough left over to let grow on to maturity.
     
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  19. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member

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    I vouch for both those. Marigold is a pretty flower but coriander is more practical as an edible herb. It grows well from seedling in the cooler months especially with decent sun and rain.
     
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  20. Ken W.

    Ken W. Active Member Premium Member

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    This was certainly an interesting activity and probably worth doing every year or two for comparison and to see the growth in our self-sufficiency. Anyway, here's my list as of July 2015. It's in no particular order except for as I wandered around the property.

    • apple
    • plum
    • lime
    • orange
    • mandarin
    • lemon
    • lemonade
    • blueberry
    • feijoa
    • blue flax lily (Dianella caerula)
    • olive
    • rose hips
    • chives
    • onion
    • carrot
    • mango
    • mulberry
    • peas
    • rosemary
    • parsley
    • fennel
    • wombok
    • cabbage
    • cauliflower
    • broccoli
    • turnips
    • leeks
    • oats
    • lettuce
    • raspberry
    • blackberry
    • acacia
    • saltbush
    • mint
    • spinach
    • wheat
    • barley
    • loquat
    • goji berry
    • figs
    • pummelo
    • pomegranate
    • japanese raisin
    • grapes
    • pineapple
    --------------------------------------
     
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