Flowers You Can Eat
Join us on Saturday, July 2nd from 1-2pm at Persimmon Park for the next class in the DIG IT series: Edible Flowers 101! We’ll be talking about all the beautiful flowers you can grow in your garden to attract pollinators and beneficial insects, with the added bonus that you can eat them. The class is free and open to the public, so please bring friends, family, and fellow gardening enthusiasts. In the meantime to whet your appetite, below are some examples of edible flowers that you can grow in your very own garden:
SHUNGIKU EDIBLE CHRYSANTHEMUM
Not only is this pretty edible chrysanthemum flower edible, but its leaves are, too! Pick the green leaves when they’re young and tender to add to stir fries and salads, while the flowers can be dried to make a slightly bitter tea that’s great for digestion and stomach ailments. For those of you who are feeling particularly adventurous, we’ve also heard of people making chrysanthemum wine from the dried flowers – it’s something we’ve never made, but let us know if you give it a shot!
A cousin to the wild miner’s lettuce that you see growing along trailheads throughout the Bay Area, the candy flower (Claytonia sibirica) is great for shady gardens. It produces tasty white flowers with pinkish stripes that taste a bit like peppermint, while the crunchy watery leaves add some great texture to salad mixes. Be warned, however, that the candy flower re-seeds aggressively and your patch will grow larger with every year!
Do you get frustrated in the summer when your leafy greens “bolt” and produce a flower due to the heat and warmer temperatures? Well, at least there’s a good side to bolting, as most leafy greens (including kale, mustards, and arugula) produce a flower head that’s pretty and delicious. Pictured above are white arugula flowers, which have a spicy peppery flavor that can really add a punch to many dishes. So don’t just pull out those bolting greens and compost them – save the flowers and add them to your salads, scrambled eggs, or other dishes.
We hope this blog post inspired you to add some edible flowers to your garden! They come in all shapes and sizes (including the roses, violas, bachelor’s buttons, borage, and calendula pictured in the bouquet above), and there even are varieties that can survive low-water or shady conditions if those exist in your garden.
Happy gardening and we hope to see you from 1-2pm on Saturday, July 2nd at Persimmon Park.
PHOTO CREDITS HOMESTEAD DESIGN COLLECTIVE