Perennial vegetables are a class of crops with great potential to address challenges like dietary deficiencies, lack of crop biodiversity, and climate change. Though some individual plant species have received significant attention (e.g. moringa), as a class, perennial vegetables have been largely overlooked. In this article, I provide an overview of perennial vegetables, focusing on their contribution to human nutrition.
Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) is a multi-use legume well suited to rainfed agriculture in hot, dry areas. Pigeon pea plants grow into erect (1-4 m tall) shrubs that can live up to five years, though pigeon pea is usually grown for only one or two years. Edible, nutritious seeds, produced in pods, can be made into a variety of foods.
This year ECHO held its 27th Annual Conference--but with a twist. Like many events, meetings, and occasions this year, the ECHO conference took place online. This meant the loss of the excellent face-to-face networking that has always been a hallmark of past conferences; however, a major advantage was that hundreds of people from around the world, who would not have been able to travel to Fort Myers in normal years, were able to participate. While participants were unable to be on the ECHO farm for workshops, the online one-day event included multiple short videos (lightning talks) that highlighted techniques being demonstrated at ECHO.