Lorene Edwards Forkner Recommendations

             Photo courtesy of the author

             Photo courtesy of the author

Here is a quick summary of some of the plants and varieties that Lorene Edwards Forkner recommended during her great presentation at the March 2014 meeting entitled Plotting the Garden Year.  

Pole Beans - an obvious love of hers
 Purple and magenta varieties because they are beautiful
 Borlotti beans (cranberry beans) for fresh shelling as opposed to storing
 Scarlet runner beans - she prefers to just eat the flowers

Peas
 She suggested one that is recommended in a book by Sarah Raven but couldn't 
remember the name - possibly 'Blauwschokker' as it is purple?

Fava bean flowers, photo by Megan Jamieson

Fava bean flowers, photo by Megan Jamieson

Fava Beans
  Especially the Crimson-flowered variety - check seed sources with a big Italian section

Veggies that you can eat off one plant all year, and then cut back and renew it
 Kale
 Chard
 Beet tops (that have overwintered)

Veggies that produce a continuous harvest where you can pick and the plant will produce more:
 Pole beans
 Cherry tomatoes
 Tromboncino squash

Veggies worth sowing repeatedly to get an extended harvest:
 Salad greens / lettuces
 Tender herbs such as fennel, dill, cilantro

Photo by Megan Jamieson

Photo by Megan Jamieson

Great perennial choices that have a long harvest worth putting in a small garden:
 Berries: raspberries, blueberries, strawberries
 Alpine strawberries - the 'Pineapple' variety is paler and not noticed by birds; grows and readily self-seeds in part-shade
 Rhubarb 
 Artichokes
 Grapes

Practice "Nose to Tail" garden eating:
 Nasturtium leaves, flowers, seed pods
 Hardneck garlic scapes (flowering tops)
 Fava bean flowers and tender growing tips

For use as "instant garden architecture" along with being a vigorously growing edible (use caution!), she recommends bamboo. Lorene has a wealth of information in her two books:
 The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest
 Handmade Garden Projects: Step-by-step instructions for creative garden features, containers, lighting and more.