Definition: Vegetables that live for three or more years.
Perennial Vegetables in the Forest Garden:
As opposed to annual vegetables, which produce for just one season, perennial vegetables offer long-term benefits to the farmer and the soil. They only have to be planted once and then can provide food again and again. The process of growing annual vegetables does not mimic a forest, and constant planting and harvesting can disturb the soil. Perennial vegetables provide the opportunity for more food to be grown and harvested from a more long-term and resilient system. They may also have different growing seasons than annuals, allowing the farmer to extend their harvest time and have more to sell and eat throughout the year. Additionally, perennial vegetables can serve multiple functions at once. Thanks to the steady decomposition of roots and leaves, perennial vegetables can be great soil builders as they improve organic matter, soil structure, water holding capacity and air circulation.