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 and am now happily engrossed in plums, cherries and apricots. (Yes, these do grow in Minnesota!)

In 2009, the Horticulture Department provided a large and very visible plot of ground on the St. Paul campus for me to try my hand at edible landscaping. Outreach being a large part of the project, it was during that inaugural season that this blog was born, though under a different name ( Putting that garden together was a huge learning experience, and I wanted to share the resources I was using and things I was discovering with people who might want to give edible landscaping a try.

Since then, I have had a great time speaking about edible landscaping to Twin Cities area garden clubs, master gardener groups, landscaping organizations, The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, on KARE11, and even had the chance (dream come true!) to speak on the topic at the Minnesota State Fair.

I designed the garden at the U of M for a couple more years, but now let that task go to enthusiastic students who are excited to try their hand at edible landscaping. Presently, I split my time between two cold climates, Minnesota and Wyoming.

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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