Time Stamps: Forsythia 1:05 / Goumi 1:41/ Sea Berry 2:06 / Food Forest DIY 3:12
Autumn Olive (aka Russian Olive) grows abundantly on my property, in my county, and in my state. As we move through our food forest areas, we're replacing this beautiful, edible, yet invasive specie with a more appropriate alternative.
1. Forsythia doesn't have edible fruit, however, its blossoms are edible in spring. This grower spreads quickly, however, isn't currently on the USDA's list of invasive species. The blossoms also attract hummingbirds and pollinating insects and offer shelter during the winter months for small birds, insects, and wildlife. These shrubs grow well in poor soils, on banks and hillsides, and create dense hedges for privacy. Great for soil erosion too.
2. Goumi offers edible berries that are tart and more suitable for cooking or jam making than eating raw. These plants fix nitrogen into the soil, assist with erosion by holding soil in place, grow 6-10' tall and wide, and are self-fertile. They thrive in USDA growing zones 4-9. Goumi doesn't mind poor soil OR poor air quality and has no major pest or disease issues.
3. Hypophae / Sea Berries / Sea Buckthorn are thick growing shrubs which produce thorns to protect their edible berry clusters. The small berries are an orange-yellow color and are said to taste like a cross between a pineapple and citrus. The berries contain 7x more vitamin C than lemons and provide a food source to the home, resident birds and wildlife. The Sea Berry is suited for zones 2-9 and fixes nitrogen into the soil. To produce fruit, a male and female plant is needed (note one male to every four female plants). While it thrives in full sun, on hillsides, in poor soil, and in many soil consistencies, this shrub hates shade so isn't on the invasive species list by the USDA.
Angela is the farmer and content creator behind Axe & Root Homestead® LLC. This historic six-acre permaculture farm is home to two Clydesdale horses, ten honeybee hives, five sheep, two guardian dogs, barn cats and a flock of 40 geese and ducks. The farm produces maple syrup, fruit from a small orchard and loads of garden produce for consumption, preservation and donation to the local food pantry.
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