Thursday, April 30, 2009

Eat Your Edibles. Flowers, That Is.

Sunflower petals are bittersweet and can be used in salads.

A potential garden coaching client got in touch with me about growing edible flowers. Which reminded me about this great list that I came across during my mid-winter garden reading.

Here are details on each (taste-wise) and when you can start them from seed or buy them as transplants.

Bachelor's Buttons (Mild and sweet - Salads and desserts) - Early spring from seed.

Calendula (Tangy, slightly bitter - Baked goods, rice dishes) - Early spring from seed. Or, you can find transplants at the farmers' market and nurseries.

Dianthus (Mild clove - Garnish for vegetables, fruit salads, cold drinks) - Buy as a transplant now.

Marigold (Spicy and citrus-y - Salad garnish) - Very easy from seed right now or as a transplant.

Nasturtium (Spicy and peppery - Stuff flowers with soft cheese (yum!)) - Very easy from seed right now.

Salvia (Slightly sweet - Add leaves to soups and cooked greens) - Buy as a transplant now.

Hyacinth bean (Bean-like - Use in soups, sandwiches and salads) - Very easy from seed now. Only use edible flowers from the Ruby Moon variety.

Squash blossoms (Sweet and savory - Fry 'em up) - Start your summer squash plants in early May from seed.

Sunflowers (Bittersweet - Salads) - Start from seed in early May.

Violas (Wintergreen - Dessert and salads garnishes and decorations) - Buy as transplants now.

Also, this season's issue of The Herb Quarterly has a fantastic section on meals with edible flowers. I have the candied violet vanilla cake dancing around in my head as a possible experiment. It's always nice to have a cake dancing around in one's head, I must say.

1 comment:

Lonnie said...

You might specify the species of Salvia you mean. I doubt any species are poisonous, but some would definitely be unpleasant to eat (like white sage)