Mountain Gardens is pleased and honored to announce a plant walk with Stephen Barstow on Sunday Sept 22 1-5 pm. Stephen is the author of "Around the World in Eighty Plants", the best book available on growing and using perennial vegetables, and since he resides in Norway all the plants he discusses are hardy here. He will be visiting Mountain Gardens in between giving a presentation at the Atlanta Botanic Garden and then flying to Iowa to give a keynote address at a Midwest Wild Harvest Festival being organized by Sam Thayer. You can read much more about his work at his website www.edimentals.com and see pictures of his record breaking salad incorporating 537 varieties of perennials.
Perennial vegetables is a very important topic: I met Stephen at a conference in Switzerland on "Perennials for Food Resilience" (you can google that for more information). Perennials offer not only food resilience (less susceptible to the vagaries of climate change) but also a potential reduction in greenhouse gases since they sequester carbon in their roots. Food production accounts for a third to half of greenhouse gases by some estimates. The world is full of excellent, gourmet even (think asparagus and artichokes, the only two we commonly utilize), food plants and yet our food system is based entirely on annuals with all the plowing, etc. and bare soil that goes along. "Perennial" needs to become the next big thing in food, after "organic" and "local". I hope you can join us for what promises to be a very informative discussion and plant walk.