Edible Plants

Who Gets to Eat Here?

Anyone. No permission needed.  Food for wildlife and humans, in harmony with each other.  Except for deer.  Given their overpopulation, we have chosen mostly deer-resistant plants, and placed netting around many of the woody plants.  It’s not perfect.  One of the apples got chewed and several of the bean leaves got munched early on but they have survived.  See below:

IMG_9388
We’ve got beans! (Photo by Steve McKindley-Ward)

 

Use these charts to find out what you can harvest in the park:

Herbs in the Food Forest

Uses for Humans

Native?

Calendula Medicinal, Tea, edible flowers no
Chives Culinary no
Clustered Mountain Mint Tea yes
Comfrey Medicinal no
English Thyme Culinary no
Lemon Balm Medicinal, Tea no
Oregano Culinary no
Parsley Culinary no
Peppermint Tea no
Pineapple Mint Tea no
Purple Coneflower Medicinal, Tea yes
Rosemary Culinary no
Sage Culinary no
Scarlet Bee Balm Medicinal, Tea yes
St. John’s Wort Medicinal yes
IMG_9395
And we’ve got blueberries, too. (Photo by Steve McKindley-Ward)

Shrubs in the Food Forest That Feed Humans

What to Harvest?

Native?

Arapaho Thornless Blackberry Fruit no
Caroline Everbearing Raspberry Fruit no
Highbush Blueberry Fruit yes
Nannyberry Fruit yes
Red Chokeberry Fruit yes

Warning: We have Winterberry in the Food Forest because many birds eat its berries, but it is POISONOUS to humans.

 

Trees in the Food Forest That Feed Humans

What to Harvest?

Native?

American Chestnut Nuts yes
American Persimmon Fruit yes
Arkansas Black Spur Apple Fruit no
Beach Plum Fruit yes
Black Cherry Fruit yes
Celeste Fig Fruit no
Cortland Apple Fruit no
Dwarf Weeping Mulberry Fruit no
Elderberry Fruit yes
Favorite Lyubimy Pomegranate Fruit no
Hazelnut Nuts yes
Macoun Apple Fruit no
Nikita’s Gift Persimmon Fruit no
PawPaw Fruit yes
Pignut Hickory Nut yes
Pink Lady Apple Fruit no
Potomac Pear Fruit no
Red Nanking Cherry Fruit no
Serviceberry Fruit yes
White Nanking Cherry Fruit no

And, we have Virginia Strawberries, which are neither tree nor shrub, but ARE edible and native.

 

Veggies in the Food Forest

Uses

Native?

Belleville Sorrel Salad green no
Jerusalem Artichoke Use root; roasting is best yes
Perennial Kale Salad or cooked green no
Pole beans Cooked green no
Red-veined sorrel Salad green no
Tracy Rhubarb Sauce and pie no
Wood Sorrel Salad green yes

 

The chart below shows plants in the Food Forest that indirectly benefit humans; except for the Bird House Gourds, they are all native to Maryland.

Plants in the Food Forest That Benefit Wildlife

Type

Benefit

American Hornbeam tree Provides understory shelter for birds
American Linden tree Attracts pollinators
Aromatic Aster perennial Attracts pollinators; birds eat seeds
Bird House Gourds annual Provides nesting (used to make houses)
Blue Aster perennial Attracts pollinators; birds eat seeds
Blue Mistflower perennial Attracts pollinators
Carolina Rose shrub Attracts pollinators
Common Milkweed perennial Attracts Monarch caterpillars
Early Goldenrod perennial Attracts pollinators; birds eat seeds
Evening Primrose perennial Provides nectar and insects for hummingbirds; other birds eat seeds
Downy Goldenrod perennial Attracts pollinators; birds eat seeds
False Indigobush shrub Moth/butterfly host plant
False Sunflower perennial Attracts pollinators; birds eat seeds
Flat top Goldenrod perennial Attracts pollinators; birds eat seeds
Foxglove Beardtongue perennial Attracts bees and hummingbirds
Golden Alexander perennial Attracts pollinators; host plant for butterflies
Great Blue Lobelia perennial Attracts moths, butterflies, and hummingbirds
Hairy Wild Rye perennial Forage plant for wildlife
Heirloom Sunflower annual Attracts pollinators; birds eat seeds
Hollow Joe-Pye Weed perennial Attracts pollinators; birds eat seeds
Honey Locust tree Attracts pollinators; shelters birds
Pasture Thistle Perennial Attracts pollinators; goldfinches eat seed
Red Maple Tree Attracts pollinators; shelters birds
Showy Goldenrod perennial Attracts pollinators; birds eat seeds
Spicebush shrub Moth/butterfly host plant; birds eat berries
Swamp Magnolia tree Attracts pollinators and hummingbirds; moth/butterfly host plant
White Heath Aster perennial Attracts pollinators; birds eat seeds
White Oak tree Host for 534 species of moths and butterflies
Woodland Sunflower perennial Attracts pollinators; birds eat seeds
Wreath Goldenrod perennial Attracts pollinators; birds eat seeds
Yellow False Indigo perennial Attracts pollinators; host plant for butterflies; birds eat seeds
Zigzag Goldenrod perennial Attracts pollinators; birds eat seeds