Our 2023 EFN seed catalogue is now online! 100+ new varieties. Over 40 different growers and foragers from across the country. A million thanks to all who make this possible, especially our amazing seed-house crew!
Hosta is a tragically underutilized perennial edible vegetable, highly sought after by foragers in its native China, but typically left to look pretty and feed deer and other grazers in temperate gardens throughout the world. The leaves are edible (and most tender and delicious when freshly unfurled), but it's the spring shoots that are especially delicious. Their flavor is quite similar to asparagus, and with a very slight mucilaginousness (though significantly less than okra). They're fantastic for pickling, and you can remove two-thirds of the shoots from a mature plant in spring and not even notice they're gone once the plant has fully emerged. Hostas are also fantastic companion plants for trees, grown around the base, since they suppress weeds completely but have a relatively shallow root system themselves (and those roots have been used in traditional medicine as a toothache remedy!). And since they can thrive just as well in shade as in the sun, everyone should be growing hosta!
Our seed comes from the good folks at Sheffield's Seed Company in Locke, NY. Grown in New York.
GROWING TIPS: Sow seed 1/16th inch deep (seed requires some light for germination). Easily divided with a shovel once mature to spread it around. Makes a great ground cover.