Growing My Self-Sufficient Diet with Perennials


Wild garlic (background) with trout leaf (foreground) Photo by Jo deVries

I am so happy that we’ve already enjoyed over a month of spring weather here in Ontario, Canada. The chickens are doing well, and I’ve just been blessed with my third hatch of chicks (and one awesome miracle! See next month’s blog post). My two weaner pigs have only had to endure a bit of snow and enjoy snuggling in their bed of straw when not digging up the earth. They are tearing up everything except the elderberry bushes (which is toxic to them so they avoid it; another miracle), and turning over my first serious garden.

My son, Jordan, who bought a chainsaw last fall, has already felled and blocked a dozen trees, and two other friends have helped by dropping two very large trees that were dying and leaning toward an area I want to fence for the elderberry grove.  o, here we are in full swing, and there is much to be happy about.

When spring hit, and the first sprouts started emerging from the soil, I was excited to discover a fantastic variety of wild vegetables ready for harvest; free from Mother Earth. The first edibles to emerge were the daylilies and the dandelions, quickly followed by the wild garlic, trout leaf, and fiddle-heads.


I planted many patches of orange daylilies on my property soon after purchasing it 25 years ago. I dug them up from the side of the road, inspired by their ability to grow absolutely anywhere. Those patches have turned into large beds of bright green shoots that return first thing every spring, and multiply each year.

Every part of the wild, orange daylily (which isn’t a true lily) is edible except the stamens. Do not confuse the common, edible daylily with the toxic tiger lily, which has black spots on its flowers and black bead-like bulbils growing along a single upright stem.

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