Transitioning to Perennial vegetables

Farmer’s that grow mainly annuals requiring huge inputs of labor and fertility each year (which is the majority in modern agriculture today) may dream of a better way.  Perennial vegetables offer a solution to this problem but not without their own road blocks for farmer’s trying to make a living.  To start not many people have ever heard of, let alone know how to cook with, many perennial vegetables.  This requires a great deal of customer education by the grower and forces them to find creative ways to market their “new” products.  Another hold up is the time needed for these vegetables to get established and harvestable.  To get over this a transition period would be helpful where a farmer can continue to grow annuals while adding perennials, educating customers and diversifying produce offered.  This would slowly change the way food is grown and hopefully start moving them away from the never ending labor and attention that annual crops demand.  With that being said I know there will always be a demand for the delicious annual crops we have come to love… but for those that see a need for change and feel as though they are on a never-ending treadmill catering to the needs of annuals, perennial vegetables would be something to consider.  A great book to start with is “How To Grow Perennial Vegetables” by: Martin Crawford.

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