Even though my earliest days in gardening were all about growing vegetables I gave up the practice shortly after planting my first garden in Toronto 30 years ago. For me vegetable growing in a small city garden was fraught with challenges. From catching the right time to plant out, the short growing season, and the abundance of vegetables in the shops throughout the spring, summer and fall, vegetable growing seemed not worth the effort.
On top of this I never trusted the goodness of the soil and vegetables never looked as beautiful as the perennials and shrubs.
However, I didn’t give up completely. I still have rhubarb, leeks, thyme and chives. I have lovely day lilies and awful dandelions as well but I’ll never eat them, although I know many do. And I never thought of them as perennial vegetables. This intrigued me to the point of investigating perennial vegetables further.
Turns out there are way more perennial vegetables than I ever imagined. This year I intend to start kale and garlic, the only ones I like to use in the kitchen. Apparently, they will grow and come back every year in our Toronto zone. There are others that will grow to zone 4 but I’ll see how these two work out before trying more. The kale will give me the same height and leaf characteristics of rhubarb, and the garlic flowers I imagine will resemble the same beauty as in chives.
There are two types of kale, and I like the idea of growing sea kale since it grows bunched.