Perennial Vegetables: Years of Bounty
Perennial vegetables—crops that you plant just once and harvest year after year—are relatively rare in North American gardens. With the exception of asparagus, rhubarb and artichokes, most gardeners are probably unaware of the tasty, extremely low-maintenance bounty that can be harvested when many annual crops aren’t available. A Brief History of Perennial Crops According to Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier, most North American gardening and farming traditions come from Europe, where there are very few perennial crops except fruits and nuts. Cold and temperate Eurasian agriculture centered around livestock, annual grains and legumes, and early European settlers to North America simply brought their seeds and their cultivation methods with them, including draft animals for plowing up the soil every year. However, in more temperate and tropical areas of the world, including much of North America, perennial root, starch and fruit crops were actively bred, selected and cultivated. 11.