Warning!: Make sure you positively identify each flower before eating. There may be flowers that look similar, or are of the same family that are not edible or are even poisonous! Do your own research on a plant before eating it, just to be safe.
As the season for gardens starts to roll around again, I have been thinking of creating my own small garden in pots. As a first time gardener I love the idea of being able to grow my own food. At the same time however, I also love the idea of a decorative garden as well. This led me to the idea of edible flowers.
There are quite a few edible flowers out there that would be a great addition to a garden. They add color and beauty to a garden, as well as a being a draw from pollinating insects. This makes sure that your vegetable plants get the pollination they need to actual produce and grow whatever vegetable you are trying to get.
Another thing that came to mind, is that because flowers are often seen as simply ornament plants, flowers can act as a colorful and decorative element to your gardens, and help give them some camoflague. People generally don't expect a garden with flowers to also contain vegetables. So if you are interested in camoflaging your vegetable gardens in plain sight, adding flowers is a great way to do that. It creates a garden that looks decorative, and can be enjoyed that way, but also has the functional elements that we want in a survival garden.
Always use home grown flowers, not store bought flowers because of the chemicals that are sprayed on the flowers that you find in stores. With your own flowers it is still a good idea to wash them before using them.
When picking edible flowers, it is always best to pick them in the morning, when their water conent is high to help the flower have its best taste. Also pick them on the day that you want to use them because the flower will not last. To prepare a flower to go in a dish or even just to act as a garnish you will want to remove the pistils, stamens and seeds beacuse they tend to taste quite bitter.
With those few tips in mind, here our some of our favorite edible flowers:
Borage: With its small brilliant blue flowers, it creates a perfect decorative element to your garden. This can then be transfered to the dishes in your kitchen. With a light cucumber flavor it would work very well in salads.
Squash Blossoms: With beautful flowers they will look lovely in your garden. They have sweet, nectar flavor and will work well with fish and dessert. Just remember not to snip off all of those flowers so you can have squash later in the summer and fall!
Sunflowers: These instantly recognizable flowers are a great edible flower to have in your garden. The petals have a leafy, slightly bitter taste, which can be lessed by steaming if you want. The real prize of these flowers though is of course its seeds. Soaked overnight in salt water, they can be baked real quick in the oven for a great treat.
Violets: With their beautiful purple color they work wonderfully in a garden and in a dish. They have a sweet, nectar like taste.
This is just a sample of edible flowers, that here at the Paracord Project we think would look great in your garden, and would work well on the table. Want some other varieties? Here is a full list of edible flowers:
So there you are! Some beautiful flowers that can be added to gardents for a decorative element. Then add them to your table for a tasty and beautiful addition to all your other garden treats.