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
She suggested one that is recommended in a book by Sarah Raven but couldn't
remember the name - possibly 'Blauwschokker' as it is purple?
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
Beet tops (that have overwintered)
Veggies that produce a continuous harvest where you can pick and the plant will produce more:
Veggies worth sowing repeatedly to get an extended harvest:
Salad greens / lettuces
Tender herbs such as fennel, dill, cilantro
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
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.