Enamored by the aesthetic and culinary virtues of Swiss chard almost enough to write an entire blog on that subject alone, I appreciate these qualities in many other garden plants as well, from the traditional to the unusual. I find it unfair that tomatoes, kale and their savory companions are so often relegated to a hidden corner of the yard, jammed into stick-straight rows. These plants can be beautiful, if they're just given the chance. Through Artichokes and Zinnias, my greatest hope is to inspire you to grow some of your own food, no matter how small your space, and to do it in a way that looks spectacular! I hope to enhance that inspiration by offering ideas on how to prepare some of these foods. Afterall, they should taste just as good as they look!

I make my living as a research associate at the University of Minnesota Department of Horticultural Science. Since 2007 I have been doing field research on strawberries, raspberries, apples, plums, cherries and apricots. I write many of our educational and outreach materials and maintain a few project websites. I also teach HORT 1003, Organic Gardening, a fully online introductory horticulture course.

In 2009, I established an edible landscape demonstration garden on the U of M St. Paul campus. This blog was born that season, though under a different name to share the process of starting and maintaining the garden. The U of M Horticulture Club now manages the garden, giving students the opportunity to practice this style of garden design and management.

Over the years I have enjoyed speaking and teaching about edible landscaping to Twin Cities area garden clubs, master gardener groups, landscaping organizations, The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, on KARE11, and at the Minnesota State Fair.

In 2011, I relocated to the state of Wyoming. From a small cabin in the woods at the base of the Tetons I still work full time for the U of M, writing and teaching and supporting our research program in various ways.

What about the book, you ask? The book happened the way we dream of books editor who read my blog contacted me to ask if I'd be interested in writing a book on edible landscaping. How could I resist? Just about two years later, the book became a reality.


  1. Hi Emily - I'm a Minneapolitan with a love of growing things and a new small home on a small lot. I'd love to get someone to wander around and help me plan my next steps in making my yard more edible :) Any suggestions for me on where I might find that kind of help? Teeny budget, of course, to go with the teeny yard & lot.

  2. Hi Meg, I would be happy to stop by, take a look, and offer a little advice. Contact me via email at emily.tepe at gmail dot com and we can talk in further detail.

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