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After the arctic raspberry, this might be the next cold-hardiest of the blackberry/raspberry group. And, I mean… the fruit looks like a thimble. How cool is that? HERB LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 3 – 7 (can withstand cold to -40° F, -40° C) Soil PH: 6.0-7.0 Watering needs: Medium-low. Don’t overwater. But do keep them evenly moist long enough to he…
 
Being (quite possibly) the cold hardiest of trees, and a nut pine, and one of the few truly cold hardy nut pines that maintains a Christmas tree shape throughout much of its life, you might say that this is the most likely candidate species for the food forest owned by Santa Claus. UNDERSTORY LAYER* Cold hardiness zones: 1 – 9 (can withstand cold d…
 
Queen of the food forest, this tasty “blueberries-in-a-tree!” favorite is easy to grow, is not too picky about its soil (unlike some plants I know… coughBLUEBERRYahem…), and will give you enough fruit to make pies, muffins, syrups, tarts, and a thousand other delights. SHRUB LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 2 – 7 (can withstand cold to -50° F) Soil PH: …
 
Also known as wild plum, this prolific dainty can produce from 100 – 150 pounds of fruit per year! And it just might be the most cold hardy, PH tolerant of all the food-worthy plum tree species. And yes, they’re even eligible for making prunes… or Christmas plum pudding… or any other plum recipe, for that matter. UNDERSTORY LAYER Cold hardiness zon…
 
Probably the cold-hardiest of all tasty edible apricots. UNDERSTORY LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 3 – 7 (can withstand cold to -40° F, -40 C) Soil PH: 6.0 to 7.5 Watering needs: Medium. Drought tolerant once established. Blooming Season: Early spring.i Just be aware that Manchurian apricots only blossom every two or three years. This is healthy and n…
 
I’m totally nuts for this tree. One of the few particularly cold hardy nut pines (AKA stone pines), and it grows to 100 feet and lives 1000 years! Plus it has some serious staple potential… CANOPY LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 3 – 7 (can withstand cold to -40° F), and sometimes listed as going down to zone 2. Soil PH: 4.5 – 7i (Adaptable to most soil…
 
Though actually named after their lovely little golden-yellow flowers, golden currants do grow a tasty fruit that can be yellow, purple, or even red. The point is to enjoy them no matter their color! SHRUB LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 4 – 8i (can withstand cold down to -30° F, or -34° C) Soil PH: 6.0 – 8.0. Tolerates a variety of soils.ii Watering n…
 
Yes, it is indeed the quintessential, typical domestic apple—with hundreds if not thousands of varieties. But there is nothing typical about its story, nor its history. Plus, because it’s been utilized by people for so long, and been bred so many different ways, there are SO MANY options. You can get the apple varieties that are just right for your…
 
So bring us some figgy pudding, so bring us some… wait! Make that nannyberry pudding! UNDERSTORY LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 2 – 8 (can withstand cold to -50° F, or -45 C) Soil PH: 5.0 to 8.0 (alkaline tolerant, but can be sensitive to salt) Watering needs: Average, prefers moist ground. Can withstand sopping wet ground,i but can also tolerate shor…
 
True, it’s not actually a cherry, but this tasty little fruit has its own delicious appeal. UNDERSTORY LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 4 – 8 (Can withstand cold down to -30° F, or -34° C)i Soil PH: 5.0 – 8.0ii Watering needs: Average, does okay in damp soil, but doesn’t like sopping wet soil. Fairly drought tolerant (for short periods) once established…
 
Though not everyone’s first choice for a fresh-picked grape, this wild (and ridiculously hardy) grape has several tasty uses beyond its tasty grape jelly. AKA Fox grape, northern fox grape, plum grape, northern muscadine, swamp grape, frost grape, and wild vine. VINE LAYER Cold hardiness zones: Cold hardiness zone 3-9 (can withstand cold to -40° F,…
 
It likes sun, it’s perennial, and it looks like grass. We should just rip out our lawns and grow garlic instead. The neighbors might not even notice! But hold your breath—unless of course you’ve got garlic breath… ROOT LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 4 – 9 (can withstand temperatures to -30° F, or -34° C)i Soil PH: 4.5 to 8.3 Watering needs: Average. C…
 
Hardier, lower maintenance, longer lived, and colder tolerant than common garden sage, yet it can be used in the same recipes in the same way. HERB LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 4 – 8 (can withstand cold to -30° F, -37° C) Soil PH: 6.0 to 6.5 preferred,i but will also grow in higher alkaline soils. (≈ 6.0 – 8.5)ii Watering needs: Low. Don’t overwater…
 
The best perennial green bean I can find. And they can also make perennial hard dry beans, too. And did I mention they are perennial? I will give a heads up, however—without the ground protection, many gardeners never see this bean again. VINE LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 4 – 11 (though you’ll want to provide heavy mulch for zones 4 and 5)i Soil PH:…
 
No it’s not a true cranberry… but it can be used for anything a cranberry can be used for, with good results! And they’re hardy, and MUCH easier to grow for most people than true cranberries. SHRUB LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 2 – 7 (can withstand cold down to -50 F, -45 C) Soil PH: 4.5 to 7.0i though some sources say up to 7.5ii Watering needs: Ave…
 
You’d be nuts not to get one. This tree walnut disappoint you. CANOPY LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 4 – 9 (can withstand cold to -30° F) Soil PH: 6.8-7.2, but it will survive in a wider range of soils Watering needs: Average, though they prefer more in summer Blooming Season: Mid-spring Harvest season: September-October Fruiting age: As early as 4 – …
 
Well, ain’t that just the cutest lil’ raspberry you ever did see? But don’t think this little feller’s feeble or frost tender—these things can grow in places far too cold for most raspberries—and thrive there! GROUNDCOVER LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 2 – 8 (can withstand cold to -50° F, or -45° C) Soil PH: 5.0-7.01 Watering needs: Medium. It prefers…
 
Looks like parsley, tastes like a cucumber, and a great plant for those wide open clearings between forest groves—or that open sunny spot in the middle of your backyard. i GROUNDCOVER LAYER Cold hardiness zones: 4 – 8 (can withstand cold down to -30° F, or -34° C) Soil PH: 6.8ii (but can take up to 8.0)iii Watering needs: Average (Prefers evenly mo…
 
The darling princess of the food forest! And the MUST HAVE for cold climate cherry lovers. This half sweet, half tart little cherry is also known by the names Manchu Cherry, Downy Cherry, Mountain Cherry, Mongolian Cherry, Chinese Bush Cherry, and Hedge Cherry.Wild Tater
 
Imagine a blueberry rolled to the shape of an elongated egg, but that tastes like a kiwi, and LOVES cold climates. Did I mention one mature bush can produce several pounds of fruit every year? Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lonicera_caerulea_2017.jpgWild Tater
 
AKA Lycium chinense I love goji berries. They’re not the candy-sweet berries you get with raspberries or strawberries. Rather, they’re more like the flavor of a tomato or bell-pepper, but they are perennial and incredibly hardy. I would love to see these little red ‘maters showing up in the produce department, sold by the pound. But for now, I’ll g…
 
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