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Growing our own – Summer 2015

Summer is not my favourite season because I am in no way a fan of heat. But I do love our kitchen garden :)

My 2015 experiment was to grow edible flowers. I started simply and chose to grow Lavender, Chamomile and Borage; none of which had I grown before.

The chamomile is beautiful and exactly what I wanted. We finally made some fresh chamomile tea from the fresh flowers, and now I need to read up how to dry the flowers so they can be stored over the winter. I also found chamomile growing of its own accord on one of my walks. Such a beautiful and practical flower.

UPDATE 14.7.15: As with all foraging I have since discovered Pineappleweed and Scentless Mayweed look remarkably similar to chamomile and each other. So the wild chamomile I discovered on one of my walks may not actually be chamomile. I’ve still got a lot to learn when it comes to foraging!

The borage also grew exactly as I had hoped, once I decided to cover the baby leaves with some grass cuttings so that the slugs, snails and other bugs stopped munching on them. Apparently you can eat the young leaves, though I did not try them as I did not know this at the time. I have however eaten the flowers which I am excited to say do taste a little like cucumber. They definitely make a meal look much prettier and more colourful.


The Lavender on the other hand isn’t doing so great, but at least it is growing… slowly…

We also have peas growing beautifully.

The flowers that grow before the peas (not to be confused with sweet pea flowers which are toxic) are also apparently edible, along with radish flowers and basil flowers – all of which are in our garden! I haven’t looked in to the best way to harvest and eat those yet though.

The radishes bolted quicker than I was expecting and I have since discovered that after the edible flowers, radishes produce edible seed pods that taste a bit like snap peas! What an amazing plant to be edible in so many forms.

Sunflower petals, and of course the seeds are also edible, but we are still waiting for those to open.

And last but not least, chive flowers are also edible,

2015-06-08 15.20.21

As it happened, we only got one chive flower from ours, so we left it to turn white so that we could save the seeds for next year instead. Hopefully we’ll get more flowers next time?

And this is the best of the rest-

Above you will see spring onions; runner beans that came as an activity in our toucan box; potatoes (planted in bags as well as numerous plants from our compost trench); our baby apple trees; salad leaves; baby tomatoes; carrots; a poppy plant that planted itself in our compost trench as well as another intriguing little plant that looks a bit like a bulb of some sort which has looked the same for months now. No idea what it is but it can be seen in the photos above next to the compost trench potato plants. We’ll wait and see…

So I’m really enjoying eating our garden produce. Now we are turning our attention to harvesting seeds.

UPDATE 14.7.15: Turns out the intriguing little plant in our compost trench is an onion plant that has gone to seed! Makes perfect sense as we are always throwing onion peelings in the compost. Onion flowers are actually also edible, so we have another edible flower! Wonderful :)



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