Green garden » wild foods
Edible flowers are all the rage at the moment and they look great in a salad. Eating flowers is nothing new, it has been going on for centuries. The first mention of people consuming flowers was as far back as 140 BC! You are already eating flowers; broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes are all flowers.
Here are a few tips to remember before harvesting any flowers:
1. Do not harvest any flowers that could have been exposed to animals especially dogs. i.e. avoid the telegraph pole!
2. Do not harvest any flowers that have had insecticides sprayed on them. Yet another reason for organic gardening. To be safe only harvest flowers from your garden, not the local council flower gardens.
3. Do not harvest any flowers that have had liquid fertilisers recently sprayed on them. Wait at least a week to be safe.
4. Do not harvest any flowers from the side of roads where they have been exposed to carbon monoxide etc.
5. If you are unsure if it is edible, then do not eat it. Caution is always the best policy.
6. Do not eat any flowers from florists as they could have been sprayed with pesticides.
7. Do not pick any flowers that show signs of disease or have been eaten by insects. Bees will not make flowers inedible.
Some of the more common EDIBLE FLOWERS in your garden:
A) Angelica, Apple Blossom, Artichoke, Arugula (Rocket)
B) Basil, Bee Balm, Borage, Burnet
C) Calendula (Marigold), Carnation, Chamomile, Chicory, Chives, Chrysanthemum, Coriander, Citrus, Clover, Cornflower
D) Dandelion, Daylily, Dianthus, Dill
E) Elderberry, English Daisy
F) Fennel, Freesia, Fuchsia
G) Gardenia, Garlic, Geraniums, Gladiolas
H) Hibiscus, Honeysuckle, Hyssop
L) Lavendar, Lemon Verbena, Lilac
M) Mallow, Marigold, Marjoram, Mint, Mustard
O) Oregano, Okra, Onion, Orange Blossom
P) Pansy, Passionflower, Pea, Pineapple Sage, Primrose
R) Radish, Red Clover, Redbud, Rose, Rosemary, Runner Bean, Rocket
S) Sage, Scented Geranium, Snapdragon, Society Garlic, Sunflower, Sweet Marigold, Sweet William
T) Thyme, Tulip
V) Viola, Violet
W) Winter Savory
Pick your flowers in the morning when their water content is at its highest. Rinse them under fresh running water. Immediately drop them in ice water for 1 minute. Dry on a paper towel. For best results, use your flower petals immediately (not the stamen or the stems), or store the whole flower in a glass of water in the refrigerator overnight.
Flowers can be used for a multitude of dishes from garnishes to salads. Try freezing petals in an ice cube tray filled with water. Add to jellies, cocktails, stirfries, add to baking such as bread, scones or muffins or decorate an iced cake.
Seaweed has been eaten for centuries. It is loaded with nutritional value. There are many types of edible seaweed and here are a few. When you go seaweed harvesting remember to choose a part of the coastline which is away from any commercial or industrial areas or any large river mouths. Seaweed around these areas have the potential to have been contaminated by pollutants...
Growing your own mushrooms is easy and can be alot safer that foraging if you are not sure on safe eating varieites. Follow my simple steps to grow your own out of used coffee grounds.
Make some Poor Mans Capers