A Chance To Try Something Different…Something New!

As I think about last year’s group of “fierce gardeners” and this year’s group, I wonder if the new group of kids will be willing to stretch their horizons a little bit more than they have in the past.  There is so much more to gardening than planting seeds and harvesting vegetables.  Somewhere a small, yet significant aspect of gardening has been lost in the shuffle, undoubtedly because it is not thought to be all that important.  What I am talking about is that most urban kids have not had the opportunity to enjoy a vegetable at different stages of its lifecycle or in different ways.  To be truthful, that statement can be made about all most everybody…urban, suburban or rural.  It’s just not thought of by most people, because you don’t see your vegetables until they are on a shelf at the supermarket, in plastic, in a can or in a frozen box.  But, the kids that will make up this year’s crop of “fierce gardeners,” will be able to do it because they are growing their own vegetables, and I hope that they take full advantage of a chance to take a savory, culinary trip around the world.

Savory, culinary trip?  What you talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?”  I am talking about discovering and eating another edible part of your vegetable plants…the flowers!  Some plants have flowers that just beg to be eaten.  As with regular flowers, much can be done with the flowers from a vegetable.  You still have to be careful (tomatoes are a very tasty fruit, but its stems and branches are poisonous) and make sure that no pesticides have been used on the plant(s).

Here’s a list of some of “edible flower” vegetables that might be grown in this year’s garden…

  • Arugula, sometimes called garden rocket, arugula is commonly grown as a salad green.  It produces yellowish or white flowers that add a peppery flavor to salads.
  • Broccoli, when broccoli heads mature, they open up to reveal tiny yellow flowers.  Pinch the flowers back to encourage growth, or use the slightly spicy flowers in salads and cooked dishes.
  • Fennel, has a mild anise (licorice) taste that improves when it is cooked.  Use the star-shaped yellow flowers in salads and sauces.
  • Garlic, like chives, garlic produces purple flowers in mid-to-late spring.  Add the flowers to salads for a mild, garlic flavor.
  • Ginger, use the petals in salads and desserts to add a spicy, mild ginger flavor.  Eat ginger raw or cooked in stir-fries and soups.
  • Okra, this odd looking, thorny vegetable produces hibiscus-like flowers.  Sauté or fry them for an exotic treat.
  • Pea Blossom, Snap peas, snow peas and English peas all produce white or occasionally pink blossoms.  The blossoms are sweet, tender and delicious in salads.
  • Summer Squash, Use the first tender blossoms of summer squash or zucchini.  These flowers are males and won’t produce fruit.  Identify the females by the small bump that forms at the base of the flower.  Stuff, fry or bake summer squash blossoms for a scrumptious feast!

As with any list, something may have been left off for any reason.  So If I left off one or two of your favorites, be sure to let me know.

Yes indeed, these kids don’t know how lucky they really are.  New taste sensations literally right at the tip of their tongues.  How exciting it will be for them!  Bon Appetit!

 

Source: http://www.gardeningchannel.com/list-of-edible-flowers-a-z/

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

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