Exploring the use of edible plants in beautiful gardens

Submitted by the Orcas Island Garden Club.

Please join Orcas Island Garden Club on Wednesday, May 15 when we welcome Allison O’Sullivan to speak about including edible plants in landscapes.

From ground cover to a living wall, edible plants can be incorporated into any garden or landscape. Sometimes, they are growing unbeknownst to the gardener! Many edible plants fulfill multiple useful functions, yet are often reserved for the vegetable or herb garden. We will explore the differences and similarities between (ideas of) gardens and landscapes, as well as delve into which roles edible plants can play in many settings.

Allison will provide a plant list of perennial and annual plants that can be both enjoyed and utilized on many levels … for their aesthetics in the landscape, their nutrition as food or drink, the purpose of craft, or what-have-you! She encourages all gardeners, landscapers, horticulturists, gnomes, and the like to grow plants that are multifunctional and satisfy hunger.

For the last 20 years, Allison has been professionally working on connecting people to steward and interact with land in a mutually beneficial, ecologically healthy way. Her studies in Anthropological Sciences at Stanford University introduced her to the terraced subsistence agriscape of the Peruvian Andes. Her professional experiences include: farming organic vegetables and fruit; maintaining ornamental, edible, and native plantscapes for diverse clientele; directing multiple nonprofit organizations’ inclusive farm and garden-based education programs; and utilizing permaculture design techniques as a Peace Corps Volunteer to generate income through agricultural activities in rural communities in Ghana, West Africa. For the last 12 years, she has been gardening in the Pacific Northwest. Currently, she works as a Supervisor for the Urban Forestry division of Portland Parks & Recreation. As an anthropologist, an ISA Certified Arborist, an ISA Qualified Tree Risk Assessor, a Horticulturist, and a self-proclaimed hungry gardener, she is highly intrigued about how people interact with their environment.

The presentation begins at 10 am at the Orcas Center and will be followed by social time. The presentation will also be available via Zoom. For a link to the live Zoom presentation go to the Orcas Island Garden Club website. The presentation will be recorded.