Saturday, July 24, 2010

Edible Flowers

Myrtle Glen, in addition to being a farm, also has some very well maintained flower gardens all around the house. Dave, the owner, is a believer in functional beauty, as I learned that the majority of them are either edible or medicinal. One of my favorite is elephant garlic, which grows a beautiful big purple flower head with a silly little clove-shaped paper hat on top.

Do to a bumper crop of lettuce, we eat salad with pretty much every meal. However, I've discovered that a few flower additions can make your lunch look (and taste!) much more exciting.

We made this salad with Begonias (which have a very tart, citrusy flavor), day lilies (which are mild and sweet), and a bunch of fresh-picked strawberries. To put it lightly, it was mind-blowingly delicious. Salads like these hardly even need dressing.

We also picked a few California Poppy plants to make a tincture with, which basically involves steeping the cut up whole plant in everclear for about a month or so. California poppy is a calming medicine, and can also be dried and made into tea. It's been an educational experience to learn all of the different uses for what I would otherwise just have passed up as pretty flowers and not much more. As it turns out, pretty much every plant (and most weeds) have some very cool purposes, and I intend to keep learning them as I go.

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