Grow and eat beauty—even if you are not an expert gardener!
I’ve never been a gardener that is until recently. Even so, my husband has the expert green thumb in our family. I am what you would call a novice. I’m still learning.
I love getting my hands in the dirt in our yard—actually I usually wear gloves— but I do love moving the earth around and growing delicious things for our table. Over the last few years I’ve gotten to be sort of a snob. I’ve started to notice that even vegetables from the organic section don’t have nearly the flavor (or love) of those grown in our yard.
That’s one of the reasons I love spring. It’s a fresh start. Time to start planting all of the things you would like to eat. I get to add to the mix things I wish I would’ve had last year, or plant more of something I loved. We have a big vegetable garden, but at our house, I’m mainly the flower goddess. I do mind the vegetables, but I find myself often more concerned about the flowers. This time of year I look around and note all the places I want to see bright patches of color when summer is in full bloom. And there is one place my love of flowers matches my love of eating things grown in our yard… edible flowers.
I’m a huge fan of beauty and color. I think it’s often underrated. To me it’s not something that a person can live without, at least not happily. Topping a salad with colorful flowers in the summer is for me like eating a poem, or a gorgeous (and delicious) work of art. It’s lovely. It’s easy. It’s natural. And it’s fun. I love it every time.
So here’s the best thing about the edible flowers I grow. You don’t have to love gardening to grow them. You don’t even have to have a yard actually. You could grow them in a window box in your living room. My two favorites are completely low maintenance, gorgeous, and the kind of plants that keep on giving all summer long: pansies and nasturtium.
Pansies are just lovely and colorful. They come in so many colors you can choose what to plant based on your favorite shades. (A friend tells me you can candy them, but I usually keep it simple and just toss them on the lettuce.) Nasturtium come in the orange and red color range and are a bit spicy like a radish. Both flowers are such a treat to see on a plate and to eat.
The other beautiful thing about them is the more you pick them the more they grow. Picking them to eat is like deadheading them before they are dead. The plant just produces more.
So if you want an easy way to integrate beauty with nutrition or to just add a smile to your face, I highly recommend planting yourself a little plot of edible splendor this summer. Add a little gorgeousness to your plate and make it homegrown