Posts Tagged ‘edible flowers’

Edible Flowers

We have ventured into growing flowers that you can eat.  Imagine having a salad of bright violet, yellow and fuchsia blossoms. Or having a cake strewn with flowers you can actually eat. Flowers are just too pretty not to eat right?  And since our flowers have been grown without pesticides, they are quite the safest to eat.

Pansies

There are a number of edible flowers. You can even grow them yourselves.  Just make sure that the flowers have not been sprayed or grown with chemicals. What are some of the edible flowers that we grow:

Let’s start with the most common culinary herbs flowers: You can actually eat the flowers of culinary herbs like thyme, sage, basil, rosemary, chives, cilantro, dill, and arugula. Their flowers are as tasty as the herb, even more attractive.

Nasturtiums

Next are the real flowers! Among our most popular edible flowers are the Butterfly Blue Pea.  The flower has been used in traditional Ayuverdic medicine for memory and its antistress, anxiolytic, antidepressant, anticonvulsant, tranquilizing and sedative qualities.  In Southeast Asia the flowers are used to color food or rice.. In Thailand, they use the flowers for a syrupy blue drink.  The flowers are also used in Burmese and Thai cuisine, dipped in batter and fried.

We also grow those bright and pretty nasturtiums. These are quite beautiful on the plate and the palate too.  They taste peppery and a bit like watercress. You can add these to salads, vegetable dishes and to make your herb butter, infuse your vinegar or even vodka. Then there’s the pansy flower, with its mild and minty flavor.  The rose petals are edible too!  There are different flavors, depending on the kind of rose variety, some a very mild whole others are quite lush you can use them for flavoring sweets and sorbets.  Chrysanthemums have been heavily used in Chinese cuisine and have a pungent, slightly bitter flavor. They can be used for garnishes.  Lastly, we grow snapdragons, which have a bitter taste but is used as a garnish.

If you want to grow edible flowers yourself, they are easily grown from seed (except for the roses and rosemary).  Just buy the seed packets and grow them in your garden or in pots.  Make sure you examine the blossoms well as you pick them, remove any insects or dirt and don’t go overboard. Use them in moderation in your salads and soups and lavishly for garnishing.

The most important thing to remember about edible flowers is to be fully familiar with them. Don’t go around the garden nibbling at everything- some flowers are poisonous and make sure they are organically grown. – David Hirsch

Taken in part: Old Farmer’s Almanac, Flower Gardening Secrets

Real Food for Real Farmers

Our flower farmers are going back to doing what they should be doing- growing their own food. The wisdom of their ancestors have been lost throughout the years to cup noodles and fastfood. They go on for days laboring and toiling, so they can buy food for their tables. They forgot that they were farmers- and as farmers, the soil would give them their bounty. Work done tilling the soil was not only for money to buy food, it was going to grow them the food itself.  In the same way, we were living in the city, buying produce at exorbitant prices, when we could easily grow the same vegetables from our farm. Not only do we save on costs, we would know exactly what it was that went to our food.  It took us awhile to change everyone’s mindsets. Most of them were quite happy eating cup noodles filled with no nutrition except salt and MSG. Their children were growing up with rice and noodle soup as their staple. We were lazy to go through the entire process of waiting for the vegetables, growing them, harvesting, and then only having the kind that was in season. Yet, the soil was rich and teeming with life, plants were growing in abundance, and the sun was shining. Imagine how much good nutrition they wasted, by mere forgetfulness (and of course, consumerism and media brainwashing.) Since then, we have slowly reintroduced backyard farming to our farmers. There are now vegetable patches for employees to work on during their breaks. They could take the fresh produce home, put food on the table.  The same patch will provide vegetables for the Steiner-inspired daycare we are building in the farm.  Slowly, we are now growing some of the vegetables we eat.  Our farm manager, a Bukidnon native, started gathering local and indigenous seeds growing in the area. He was able to discover Tahore, a local lentil,  local sweet potatoes, native squash, native cherry tomatoes, edible flowers and native corn. We added a few more vegetables- carrots, 3 kinds of lettuce, okra, string beans, greenbeans, onions, edible flowers (ie. nasturtiums) and different kinds of herbs. Our flower farm has now a small vegetable patch, devoted to plants that do not only adorn our tables but we can eat as well! More than this, we have planted the vegetables to create patches of  ecosystems for all nature in our farm. We do so by growing in all our vegetable beds, a mix of legumes, leaf plants, root crops, annual and perennial plants in one bed. Thus, legumes will provide nitrogen (fertilizer) through their roots.  Root crops, taking nutrients from the soil, help aerate the beds, benefitting all plants. Herbs and flowers serve as homes for beneficial insects and also repel the harmful ones.

Aglay (local sorghum), Tauri (native lentil), native corn, alugbati and native tomatoes

As we wait for our vegetable and flower harvest, we look forward to real food, with all its vibrancy and nutrition.  Our farmers will see the life forces of the food they eat, discovering new ways of providing for their needs and even experimenting with new cuisine.  In time, they will not look for fast food or food that come in cans, plastic or boxes. As we harvest more and more vegetable, herbs and flowers from our patches, we look forward to little squash with green beans in a lentil soup.