Baby Baptisia

Meet a couple of my wild blue indigo seedlings. Baptisia Australis is a tap rooted perennial herb which can take a little shade though prefers sun and fixes nitrogen. It grows to about 5′ high x 2′ wide and blooms from July to August. It provides shelter and nectar for beneficial insects and bees. It is a fantastic plant to consider when designing an edible food forest.

I had planted some of these outside in the early fall. They were eaten by slugs. So, I planted inside and late (or, from another point of view, early). We’ll see what kind of craziness will be happening in the living room this winter! I hope to design and plant edible food forests everywhere next spring. Front yards, back yards, farms, orchards, vacant lots. I don’t care where! Obviously, I can’t wait!

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4 Responses to Baby Baptisia

  1. mtairygal says:

    Your excitement is catching!

  2. Cecilia Liss says:

    How is Indigo edible?

    • micvel says:

      That’s a perfect question…so cool! Edible forest gardening seeks to mimic forest structure and function. The forest garden is designed to obtain high, diverse yields while minimizing competition for resources and maximizing ecological health and self-maintenance within the system. So, you would expect plants that are soil builders (nitrogen fixers, dynamic accumulators), ground covers, food and shelter for beneficial insects and bees, and food sources for wildlife, as well as plants that will provide food for the household. Many of the plants will serve several ecological functions as well as household uses (food, medicine, fun, drink, craft). As the food forest matures; there will be less and less dependence on costly inputs of fertilizer and weed and pest management. Indigo serves to fix nitrogen in the soil to the benefit of other plants. It serves beneficial insects and bees. I have seen reference to its use as a medicinal; though, you’d have to look pretty deeply into that. It has been used as a dye for craft. It is, also, a very fine looking plant! Yes! We’ll, definitely, have to talk about your yard! Though you will not expect to eat everything in your forest garden; one good place to start is thinking about what you’d, most, like to eat and work from that! Apologies for such a lengthy answer. Take care, Cecilia!

  3. Cecilia Liss says:

    How about planting an edible forest in my backyard?

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