Last Sunday I attended a lecture and slide show by Rosalind Creasy. Creasy is a landscape designer whose focus is on creating edible landscapes. She has written many books on the subject. Her earliest book, The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping was written about 27 years ago. I overheard one woman in the crowd saying that it can be had on Amazon for $600.00! (I saw that a new copy sold for $93 on Amazon though) Creasy has many books that are quite reasonably priced. She has published books on herb gardens, salad gardens, French gardens, Italian gardens, heirloom tomatoes, flowers, rainbow vegetables (as in “colorful”), peppers, Asian and Mexican style gardens (I purchased The Edible Mexican Garden).
I was very inspired by her presentation. It is important to be clear about the time and maintenance an edible garden requires... which is a lot. However it can be more than worth the time and effort to adopt Creasy's ideas and incorporate them into your own garden. Many of my clients have made room in their yard for small vegetable plots or vegetables planted in raised beds. It’s amazing how much you can grow in a small space. John Jeavons has written a book called, How to Grow More Vegetables that gives great advice on how to plant intensively and reap abundant harvests from small spaces.
Creasy pointed out that she grows peanuts and sesame bushes, paprika that she swears by (saying that [compared to the quality she gets from her plants] the brown powder you buy in the store is not worth the money or the packaging!) I took home a catalogue called the Seed Savers Exchange - that has a variety of organic seeds far beyond that of small nurseries or catalogues. Visit the site to order a catalogue.