Edible Landscaping is Back in Style

Edible landscaping is, quite simply, landscaping with edibles. The idea gained some popularity in the mid 1970s, with two definitive works being published on the subject by Rosalind Creasy and Robert Kourik. These two books are full of great ideas, and the Creasy book even includes several usable landscape plans. The downside is that both authors have experience gardening in California, so recommendations to plant persimmons and bananas fail to resonate with northern gardeners. With a little research, of course, hardy plants can be substituted.

But why is edible landscaping surging in popularity again? For the same reason it did before: high oil prices. The energy crisis of the 70s led to high prices for food and uncertainty about the future, making vegetable gardening seem practical and maybe even critical for future well-being. Of course, with the current high price of oil, food prices are again skyrocketing; the uncertain financial position of the United States has put many people in doubt about their future. At times like this, a tree covered in free apples begins to look as beautiful as any shade tree!

When economic outlooks are gloomy, frugal concepts like edible landscaping get a lot of attention. But when the bear market turns bullish (as it eventually always does), fresh food from the garden is still tastier and healthier than anything found at the supermarket. So why plant an "ornamental" tree when you could plant something both beautiful and productive?

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