Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Flowers to Salads

Its July and things on the farm are shaping up nicely! Our peas are laden with pods which are starting to fill out nicely, the kohlrabi have small bulbs at their base about the size of a pingpong ball, the tomatoes are full with dense dark green growth, and the runner beans are about as tall as I am.
Of course, there is much else going on too! The salad greens have been a source of much joy for a bit now. We've been eating sandwiches and salads frequently and they don't show any sign of stopping. From the tender trout/reds and buttercrisps to the spicy and stringy mustards, this has been a great start to a summer of salad greens!
A great many plants are blooming right now, and many of these blooms can be used more than just to look at: they make great additions to salads too! We've been putting pea blossoms, nasturtium, violets, and mustard blossoms into our salads. Not only does this add much color to the dish, it also adds a spicy and often sweetish flavor too.

Here are some of the blooms before being picked:

And after being put into the fresh green salad:

There are many other blossoms out there that also make great edible additions (many can also be sugared and added as edible decorations on cakes, especially violets). Violets, nasturtium, borage, pea (and the pea tips), squash, chamomile, day lilies, and chamomile are some of the most common. Wikipedia has a good list here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edible_flowers

Of course, be careful what you are eating. Not all blossoms are edible. Be sure you know what you are picking! Also be sure what you are picking hasn't been exposed to chemical sprays or roadside pollution as these wouldn't be good additions to your diet.

Happy eating!


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