Edible Flowers Great For Small Spaces

Edible Flowers for Small Spaces

May 18, 2012

Are you limited to an apartment windowsill or small balcony but still  want to grow organic food to liven up your diet? Try edible flowers.
Usually only seen in high-end gourmet restaurants to garnish  salads or brighten a plate, edible flowers are easy to grow, bloom all  summer long and come in a variety of colors, shapes and flavors.
Here are a few listed in the Johnny’s Selected Seeds catalog (johnnyseeds.com) and widely available elsewhere:
• Nasturtiums (Nasturtium officinale) are probably the best-known edible  flowers—you can eat the flowers when they are fully open and eat the  leaves, too. They come in yellows, oranges and reds.
• Calendulas (Calendula offinalis) are edible when the flowers are fully  open. They come in various shades of yellow, some with darker tinges on  the edges.
• Bachelor’s buttons (Centaurea cyanus) or classic cornflowers come in a  variety of colors that produce abundantly. They can make successive  sowings to bloom all summer.
• Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos) has a nice nutty flavor. Hummingbirds love them, too.
• Hollyhocks (Alcea ficifolia) are large 3-inch to 4-inch flowers on  long stems that range in color from cream white to yellow to pink and  deep maroon.
• Hyacinth Bean (Dolichos lablab) also make nice cut flowers and come in shades of purple.
• Ornamental, cutflower kales (Brassica oleracea) are cool-weather  plants that you can plant in the fall and grow into the cold weather.  These are colorful, leaf-type cabbages that are edible.
Of course, if your roses have not been treated with chemicals, they are  edible, too. My beautiful wife, Annette, puts rose petals in the teas  she makes. You can boil them in water and add lemon juice and sugar or  honey for a stand-alone tea, put them in an omelet, or use them as a  garnish (they are really pretty in yogurt!).
Clip this article out and take it to your local garden supply store.  Buy organic or heirloom seed varieties to ensure they aren’t genetically  modified “frankenseeds.”
Remember: You want to grow organically, so don’t use chemical  pesticides, etc. Pollinators like butterflies and honeybees like edible  flowers as well, so let’s help keep them healthy, too!

Jim PathFinder Ewing is a journalist, author, writer, editor, organic farmer and blogger. His latest book titled Conscious Food: Sustainable Growing, Spiritual Eating (Findhorn Press) is in bookstores now. Find Jim on Facebook: http://bit.ly/cuxUdc or follow him @edibleprayers or @organicwriter or visit blueskywaters.com.

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