In northern Minnesota you can grow a wide variety of both fruits and vegetables. We may not have some of those delicious tropical plants to provide for us, but we can grow things like grapes, numerous kinds of berries, plums and even pears. Apples are a Minnesota staple, and we continue to add to the list of varieties we grow. We currently have Sweet 16, Goodland, Gravenstein, Norland and Haralred. The last couple of years I have added to the number of types of fruits, vegetables and even nuts that we grow. We now are working on growing hazelnuts, elderberry, kiwi berry, and cherries. Though these plants are young, they will in time add diversity to our locally available diet. We are also working to expand the growing space for fruits and vegetables on the farm and we have plans for additional grapevines, berry bushes, and a few perennial vegetables to be planted this spring. Perennial vegetables are some of the easiest to grow, and they can be great yielding plants once established. Growing your own garlic is doubly beneficial in that you not only get two crops if you plant hardneck varieties by cutting the garlic scapes and later harvesting the garlic bulbs, but you also plant it in the fall once other veggies are done with harvest. Rhubarb, another Minnesota staple is a wonderful perennial vegetable though it is more often thought of as a fruit. The crown of the plant can be divided after a few years of establishment, and you end up with several plants from just one crown. Asparagus is another prolific perennial vegetable grown from crowns, and it even grows wild around our area. Sun chokes also known as Jerusalem artichokes are another great perennial vegetable to consider which not only feeds us, but it is also attractive to pollinators.
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