There’s no better place to start localizing the food system, saving water, and building community than in the landscape right outside your door! The following Daily Acts’ favorites are Sonoma County adapted plants that can help transform your landscape into a luscious, edible playground while saving thousands of gallons of water per year as compared to conventional landscapes.
Persimmon trees display splendidly colorful fall foliage and then drip with brilliant orange fruit like Christmas ornaments on bare branches in the winter. There are two main types: astringent varieties such as ‘Hachiya’ which are meant to be eaten gushy ripe but will dry the mouth if eaten too soon; and non-astringent varieties such as ‘Fuyu’ which can be eaten crunchy as an apple. Drying the unripe astringent fruit eliminates the mouth-puckering effect.
A relatively unknown shrub, Chilean Guavas have small, glossy, evergreen leaves and produce tiny fruit high in fiber and vitamins that can be eaten whole. This is a great edible substitute for common box hedges and an ideal grazing food for children. It can tolerate salty maritime air but prefers shelter from the wind. While it is drought tolerant it produces best with regular light watering and thick mulch to hold moisture.