Tough Edibles for Our Changing Climate

By Meleah Maynard, Hennepin County Master Gardener

Our climate is changing and as it does, gardeners need to adjust what we plant in order to cope with the drought, winds and other weather troubles that climatologists predict are on the way. This is especially true for us because our climate is already extreme. I recently wrote a long article on gardening in extreme weather for Northern Gardener (

But the story didn’t talk about edibles, so here are some recommendations from Eric Green, greenhouse manager at Gardens of Eagan in Northfield. Green has been growing these drought- and wind-tolerant edibles for 30 years on his farm in northern Michigan, which is also Zone 4. (If no specific variety is listed, any type is fine.)

  • Apricot: ‘Moongold’
  • Asparagus: ‘Martha Washington’
  • Bush beans: ‘Royal Burgundy’, Roma II
  • Cherries (tart): Nanking
  • Cherry tomatoes: Sun Gold, Yellow Pear and Juliet
  • Chives
  • Eggplant: ‘Orient Express’
  • Grapes: Concord
  • Kale: ‘Red Russian’, ‘Lacinato’
  • Lettuce: Red Oakleaf, Salad Bowl
  • Mulberry
  • New Zealand spinach
  • Onion: Egyptian Walking
  • Plum: ‘Stanley’
  • Potatoes: Purple Peruvian, Peanut fingerlings, ‘Austrian Crescent’
  • Quinoa
  • Radish: Parat
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach: Tyee, Space
  • Squash: Delicata

Get more gardening tips at Meleah’s blog:

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