Growing Perennial Foods: A field guide to raising resilient herbs, fruits & vegetables

Growing Perennial Foods: A field guide to raising resilient herbs, fruits & vegetables


Written by Acadia Tucker, Illustrated by Krishna Chavda

Acadia Tucker’s longtime love affair with perennial foods has produced this easy-to-understand guide to growing and harvesting them. A regenerative farmer deeply concerned about global warming. Tucker believes there may be no better time to plant these hardy crops.

Sturdy and deep rooted, perennials can weather climate extremes more easily than annuals. They tend to thrive without chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and they don’t need as much water, either. These long-lived plants also help build healthy soil, turning the very ground we stand on into a giant carbon sponge.

Tucker lays the groundwork for tending an organic, regenerative garden. For her, this is gardening as if our future depends on it, and she spells out why. Most of the book is dedicated to profiles of 34 popular herbs, fruits, and vegetables, with instructions on how to plant, grow, and harvest them. Tucker also includes 34 recipes.

Growing Perennial Foods is for gardeners who want more resilient plants that can withstand extreme weather. It’s for people who want to do something about climate change. It’s for anyone who has never grown food before and wants to start. It’s time. (See excerpt.)

Learn how to grow: basil, chive, lavender, leaf fennel, lemon balm, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, sorrel, thyme, blackberries, blueberries, currants, goji berries, grapes, huckleberries, raspberries, strawberries, artichokes, asparagus, beans, broccoli, garlic, peppers, radicchio, rhubarb, spinach, sunchokes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, walking onions, and watercress.

Growing Perennial Foods: A field guide to raising resilient herbs, fruits & vegetables is a companion guide to Growing Good Food: A citizen’s guide to backyard carbon farming.

Peek inside Growing Perennial Foods here.

ISBN: 9780998862354 (paperback); Pages: 280



Tucker helps us tap into the deeper meaning of gardening and grow good food at the same time.
— Anne Biklé, co-author, The Hidden Half of Nature

Acadia doing some regenerative gardening!

Acadia doing some regenerative gardening!

I love this book. An easy-to-read, down-to earth guide to regenerative gardening, Growing Perennial Foods provides a blueprint, and the inspiration, to start planting your own.

Virginia Aronson, Director, Food and Nutrition Resources Foundation

Acadia Tucker is on a mission to get more of us thinking about the power of regenerative agriculture. By the end of the book, you’ll feel inspired enough to start your own Climate Victory Garden.
— Jess Walton, Green America

Right from the beginning of the book, you really get the idea that not only does Acadia know what she's talking about, she is passionate about it. This book isn't technical, but also doesn't talk down to readers. Acadia is right there with you, explaining everything, encouraging you, and giving you all the info you need on growing various perennial foods. My favorite part is the section on the challenges you might face. As anyone who has ever grown a plant can tell you, one cannot simply plant and expect to have a successful harvest. I found it very refreshing to have an author write about pests, diseases, and growing problems. I also appreciate that she covered tips on how to overcome them. Acadia approaches gardening much the way we do at the National Gardening Association -- organically, and with an eye toward working with nature rather than against it. We are very impressed and excited to see more of Acadia's work.

-Trish Whitinger, COO, National Gardening Association

Read this book. If we don’t get together and take care of the soil, our atmosphere is toast.

— Tim LaSalle, The Regenerative Initiative, CSU

In North America, we tend to think of perennials as primarily ornamental rather than food-producing. Regenerative farmer Tucker believes that taking cues from how plants grow in the wild will allow for cultivated gardens that produce bountiful harvests while addressing concerns about global climate change. This guide to creating a regenerative food garden starts with addressing the existing soil and moves through all the steps needed to create a healthy, nurturing bed. Tucker then recommends a variety of perennial herbs, fruits, and vegetables, including information for how to plant, grow, and harvest each, along with potential challenges specific to each plant. One recipe is included for each plant, with most of the recipes vegan or vegetarian. While the majority of these plants are able to survive winter in many parts of North America, some are tender and will need to be moved inside during cold months. A FAQ section and glossary are appended.

— Anne Heidemann, Booklist at American Library Association

Beautifully written and illustrated, Growing Perennial Foods will be a well-thumbed addition to your gardening library.

-Patt Grub, The Northern Light (read full review)

Acadia Tucker’s Growing Perennial Foods is a must-have resource for home gardeners looking to take their conservation efforts to the next level. With hard-earned knowledge and conversational clarity, Tucker demystifies the concepts of regenerative agriculture, translates them to the garden level, and guides the reader both philosophically and practically. Her focus on perennial plants provides an exciting and useful method of enacting the principles of regenerative agriculture, one that any sustainable gardener will appreciate.

– Stephanie Anderson, author, One Size Fits None: A Farm Girl’s Search for the Promise of Regenerative Agriculture

Acadia Tucker takes a break with Nimbus, who gets free rein of the farm.   Image source: Micheal Winters Photography

Acadia Tucker takes a break with Nimbus, who gets free rein of the farm. Image source: Micheal Winters Photography

Great for new and experienced gardeners alike, Growing Perennial Foods is worth the purchase for the recipes alone. The book provides a short primer on general gardening topics, including composting and organic pest control, along with individual plant profiles for a wide variety of herbs, vegetables, and fruit. But, more than the academic knowledge, you will experience the love and passion Acadia Tucker has for the earth and making it a better place for all to enjoy.

–Denise Pugh, Gardening Products Review (read full review)

This book lays the groundwork for the beginning organic gardener interested in regenerative methods of growing food. And eating it.

-Todd Hest, BBOG (read full review)


A U T H O R   &   I L L U S T R A T O R

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Acadia Tucker is a regenerative farmer, climate activist, and author. Her books are a call to action to citizen gardeners everywhere, and lay the groundwork for planting an organic, regenerative garden. For her, this is gardening as if our future depends on it.

Before becoming an author, Acadia started a four-season organic market garden in Washington State inspired by farming pioneers Eliot Coleman and Jean-Martin Fortier. While managing the farm, Acadia grew 200 different food crops before heading back to school at the University of British Columbia to complete a Masters in Land and Water Systems.

She lives in Maine and New Hampshire with her farm dog, Nimbus, and grows hops to support locally sourced craft beer in New England, when she isn't raising perennials in her own backyard. She is also the author of Growing Good Food: A citizen’s guide to backyard carbon farming.


Krishna Chavda is an illustrator and surface designer based in Hoboken, NJ. Inspired by her childhood in Tanzania, nature, and her Indian heritage, Krishna's illustrations and patterns are vibrant and playful.

Learn more at Nanu Illustration.