This Week’s Podcast — A Replay: Wander into the Edible Woodland with Dan Furman
Click on the small black arrow on the bar to listen, or the MP3 to download the show:
Alert: Ken’s new book The New Shade Garden has been published and is available for purchase!
Forest edibles. What does that mean? This new take on “foraging” suggests you cultivate some wild woody plants in a home orchard.
Dan Furman is co-owner of Cricket Hill Garden, a second-generation nursery famous for tree peonies in Thomaston, CT. Since joining the business in 2010, he has worked to expand the peony production program at the nursery, as well as to diversify the stock to include unusual landscape and forest edibles. He is growing (and popularizing) pawpaw, persimmon, and other wild fruits as well as less common ones like Asian pears, quince and medlar.
Is it safe to say that most of these plants do not require the constant care and pesticide use demanded by more familiar crops. Dan tells us about: Pawpaw (Asimina triloba, above right)- the largest native fruit; American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana, below) – delicious fruit with a lot of potential; Juneberries (Amelanchier canadensis) – blueberry-like native, very early season harvest; elderberries (Sambucus canadensis) – easy plant with many desirable attributes (landscape, wildlife, culinary and medicinal); Asian pears (Pyrus pyrifolia) – easy to grow nice fruit with a low or no spray system; edible Quince (Cydonia oblonga) – delicious for jelly; medlar (Mespilus germanica, above left)- Antique fruits in the modern landscape; and Nanking cherry (Prunus tomentosa)- early color, yields bountiful crop of tart cherries enjoyed by gardeners…if you can beat the birds.
To learn more, visit Cricket Hill Garden’s website.