I have never grown Fava Beans… but noticed some permaculture folks talking about them this morning while looking up YT Vids on Nitrogen Fixing / Permaculture…

Evidently you grow them to about the stage above (starting to bloom) then whack them back, Chop and Drop… and the nitrogen they fixed in the root area is available to other stuff… Looks like they would make some nice chop/drop. It you let the beans develop some (but not fully) they are supposed to be good raw in a salad for example, or just eating fresh… although rather high carb… I would have to do portion control there…

It would be Ideal to grow mostly ground covers, or nitrogen fixers that are at least part edible… Fava Beans seem to qualify…

Between Fava Beans, Comfrey, Rhubarb looks like you could produce some nice chop and drop mulch/compost in place.


im in that process right now. i have lots of fruiting groundcovers, medicinals, herbs, pollinator friendly flowers that are also medicinal. as its filling in i still mulch areas not established to keep out weeds. too many to mention them all but here are some. walking onions, chives. welsh onion. lowbush blueberry , ligonberry, thyme, lemon balm, basil, arctic raspberries and alpine strawberries. these are all shallow rooted so they shouldnt compete with your trees and bushes. im still adding more every year. many i grow from seed. yarrow has gotten in there as well as creeping charlie but thats ok as the yarrow is medicinal and the c.c is food for the bees. lupine is a N fixer and a showy flower in there. readily spreads from seed. the miniture sunflowers look nice in there and bees love them. tuber crops like jerusalem artichokes and apios groundnut produce a edible crop as well as flowers for the pollinators. my groundnut vine crawls up my j. artichoke stalks.


@steveb4 – I saw one of Steffon’s vids this morning and he recommended seaberries (sea buckthorn) and buffaloberries… but now he is way up north there near you I think.

I found one listing for buffaloberries that showed ok for Zones 2-6 (I am in 7a here).

On the sea buckthorn found one saying 3a-7b… so that might work here. On the edge anyway.

But are there any varieties of sea buckthorn that are suitable for fresh eating ?
I consider Goumi to be suitable for fresh eating… not my favorite berry but they ripen so early there is not much else ripe at that time. But I don’t have to process them to make the taste good enough, can eat them fresh.

Most of the people I have watched harvest the Seabuckthorn berries, were juicing them adding sugar.
I don’t want anything I have to add sugar too to get it down.
That would be my concern with Seabuckthorn… would they grow well down her in Za… and would they tast good enough for some fresh eating. I can handle some tart, like loganberries just fine.


You can always blend your berries… Doesn’t have to be all one kind.

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there is a silver buffaloberry that grows from z 6-9 i think. unfortunately seaberry is mostly juiced. i had some and the juice was good but you have to sweeten it as its very tart. maybe sweeten with stevia? id grow it just for its foliage. its very ornamental and they have thornless varieties now. i had to cut mine as they got too big in the wrong spot and the thorns were tearing me up when i mowed around them. they also have dwarfing cultivars now. they love full sun and should take the heat down your way just fine. also grow some goji. has the black one thats supposed to be excellent for you. Steffan is in z4b Quebec about 75 mi. due west of me. our weathers similar but hes on sandy soil. im on clay. ive learned alot from his vids. hes not parroting someone elses experiences. hes learned from trial and error. over time we figure out what works best in our areas. like rhubarb might struggle in full sun for you but put it in full shade under a tree it will still grow where many other things wont. its even more shade tolerant than comfrey. you want some rhizomes to try come may let me know.


@steveb4 - I have never eaten any rhubarb… my wife has had a rhubarb, strawberry pie once… and said it was good. I am sure lots of sugar was added…

I hear most of those are quite tart too…

but I have seen the guy on Canadian Permaculture Legacy (YT) pull a stalk, toss the leaf part in his food forest bed, and sit down and munch on the stalk.

Are there actually varieties of Rhubarb that are sweet enough for fresh eating like that ?
I mean if you are into Sweet/Tart… are there any actually sweet enough that you could sit down and eat it fresh ?


If or when your chipdrop comes though it might look like this. Free Wood Chips ( - General Gardening - Growing Fruit

Other Elaeagnus

Elaeagnus pungens Golden Silverberry - One Green World

Elaeagnus hybrid Hybrid Silverberry - One Green World

Elaeagnus commutata USA native Silverberry – Elaeagnus commutata | Menoken Farm

I would avoid the Seaberries. While they are nitrogen fixers they are 100 intolerant of shade.


i grow Canada red. i eat it straight off the plant. yes it’s still tart but not as tart as older cultivars. many pair it with other fruits. awhile back i found a website that had dozens of recipes using rhubarb. im sure if you google it it will come up. my wife eats it strait with salt. even if you just pull leaves/ stalks off and let it rot on the ground, it works at least as well as comfrey does. its very popular with people from western Europe and Russia. we have some from there on the forum. maybe they will chime in.

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@lordkiwi … I checked out the 2 silverberry options at OGW. Both showed zone 6-9… works for me. Golden is described as sweet/tart… and Hybrid as Sweet. Odd that they bloom in the fall (Oct Nov) and then fruit in the spring. I will have to try one of each and see how they do here.

That chip drop … I will have to try that… got plenty of room for a big pile here as long as they will dump it where I want it.

@steveb4 … I will try that Canada red.

All this new stuff is for my new location… may not happen this spring… but probably spring after next.



Yea the Elaeagnus is a little weird diffrent members have Wildy different bloom and fruiting times. I want to add the family members I mentioned so there always something producing.

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hmm…the mere idea that pesticides are not going to affect anything…if I may say so, that’s ludicrous. If you are referring only to one’s health from eating the food… I don’t need traces of anything of that sort in my food…of all things. My post was actually born out of a recognition of really quite an opposite perspective, 180 degree opposite, I think everything matters in terms of human impact. I think it is highly likely, if we could go back that far, and have records of what was happening when we began to bend things to our own purposes, that we would find that many of the modern agricultural problems we face are of our own making…not all mind you …but many, and of those , some of the most concerning and challenging.


For sure, some of these things aren’t going to necessarily work “overnight” …and i thinks it’s certainly possible to use the right thing in the wrong way…or it may be a matter of scale. I think in this realm of study there’s a lot less immediate judgement needed and more suspension of judgement /conclusion, more observation, curiosity and tweaking. The outdoors or nature …is not a laboratory…things don’t follow our timelines, nor are they isolated matters , such as in an experiment. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to change my conclusions on a matter simply because I didn’t observe it long enough or under the right conditions.

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rubarb strawberry has to be the best pie ever…though there are so many i like :yum:


I’m working on it and it has more success than other methods…although I am going to try a combination of methods…cardboard, our duck and goose manure ( straw woodshavings included) and then put the desired plants in with some soil on top and hopefully when they establish by that time maybe the grass and weeds will be only starting to come through and it will hold them back. Having said that…yes I have been mostly concerned with edible/ practical plants…but I am beginning to branch out to more flowers and herbs and even some things often considered “weeds” because I really think these are underappreciated in the general scheme of things ( all of the above that you mentioned) some , such as chives and beebalm I already have well established in and around my apple trees and plum trees.


That’s part of the beauty of fruit science, trying to figure it out and then replicate to confirm your findings. Also trying to figure out if the idea of permaculture itself is a pseudoscience in the process :wink: