February 2018 Guess these Plants

Can you identify these edible perennial plants growing at the Garden of Eating? I offer all these plants for bare-root planting in early spring.

Spoiler alert: answers follow the pics…

Our booth’s popular perennial plant pop-quiz once again intrigued passerbys at the Guelph Organic Conference. This year’s answers are:

  1. lovage I am experimenting with blanching the shoots to mellow out the celery kick.
  2. black currant ‘Titania’ shown. Summer berries remind me of red wine.
  3. rhubarb Hardy buggers no doubt. Last year I discovered a specimen growing below the dense shade of an overgrown hedge that I don’t believe has been tended to for at least 35 years when the original homestead burned down.
  4. pawpaw From a 25 year old tree bearing in Thornbury. Fruit is gooey sweet with no bitterness or astringency that some pawpaws exhibit. Suckers available, while seeds and sprouts from this hardy tree are a little small this year.
  5. hazelnut many commercial Niagara cultivars available
  6. quince so many suckers surround this hardy grandmother tree in Meaford with good sized fruit available (likely larger fruit if thinned). Giant of Zagreb variety shown in picture.
  7. heartnut lots of 1′ stock but very few 4′ tall grafted trees left. In-shell nuts available.
  8. garlic 2 of my largest bulbs of this porcelain variety ‘Music’ which I have lots of
  9. mitsuba I love this herb! Nobody successfully guessed this correctly but interestingly everyone was close. It is a perennial relative and taste-cousin of celery and parsley. Two folks guessed its very close relative goutweed which is a lesser and invasive edible. Tolerates part-full shade and damp conditions. Perhaps also worth planting near mushroom logs and enjoyed as a garnish to sauteed shrooms?

Thanks to everyone who attended and especially those who cross-referenced my Edible Plants for Sale list (cleverness, not cheating). Congratulations to Kristen, this year’s oyster mushroom log winner.


It was a tight race to the finish as three other entrants were correct on 7 of 9 plants. Considering the limitations of a partial view on a 2-D screen and relative obscurity of some of these plants, it is great to know everyday folks are becoming increasingly aware of these plants.


Trade Show

Out of our core areas of business (no produce is sold at the conference), pet mushroom logs reigned #1 and sold out before the end of the conference.

Workshops, Events

Property Consult

Edible Plants

Mushroom Logs



Preparing the presentation meant a lot of sleepless hours of prep, but Sunday’s Resilient Climate Farm Planning was a blast for those who braved the 9am start. Framing the reality that many of us are unprepared for is a serious topic, so short bursts of improv comedic relief, property flyover movies, and hidden humour, and a few, um… you know, words of hesitation helped lighten the mood… haha loved reviewing my presentation on video!

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