Tag Archives: edible flowers

Growing Faithful

Every year I fret over our small garden and think nothing is going to survive, let alone prosper. It is still a revelation to me after several years of growing food that you put seeds or tiny seedlings in the ground, they get bigger, blossom and produce beautiful vegetables! It really is satisfying. And, of course, it’s not quite that simple. I weed, add compost and other organic fertilizer to the soil and the plants, water, use organic pest sprays, etc., but inevitably I get busy with other things and my attention wanes as the season goes on. Despite this, we had and have loads of things to harvest, even beans and brassicas that seemed to be getting ravaged by some pest or another early on bounced back formidably and continue to produce glorious green goodies. (Naturally, not everything thrives. For some reason, despite two successive plantings of carrot seeds, we ended up with a grand total of three carrots!)

This year, for the first time, I started some seeds (kale, eggplant, tomatoes, nasturtiums, and a new hybrid of kale and brussel sprouts called flower sprouts) indoors under a small grow light. I seriously doubted these fragile little plants could endure the torrential downpours that have become the norm, and the occasional cold or hot spells we had this spring and summer, not to mention what seems like an absurdly short growing season. But they did! And that experience was even more satisfying because I was nurturing plants from their birth through to their adult stage, and because we ended up with so much more food than we would have if we had been buying all seedlings, which can get to be expensive. Below are some of the results of these efforts (or lack thereof), which, in case you couldn’t tell, I’m quite proud of! Next year, I promise to have a little more faith in the resiliency of a loved-just-enough garden.

Dive into Chives

chive blossoms

Now that lovely fresh food is abundant here in Maine, I’m working on bolstering my collection of stock food images. Wandering around, peering into people’s gardens this time of year (yes, I’m a nosy neigbhor, and I love looking at others’ gardens), you’ll often see pom-pom-like, pale purple blossoms sitting atop thin, vibrant green spikes. Chives, the smallest species of the onion or allium family, are a hearty plant that come back year after year and tend to expand each year. I didn’t know until I saw them for sale at the farmers’ market a couple of years ago that the lovely lavendar blossoms are just as tasty as the green part of the plant. Cut several chives with the blossoms on top to make a beautiful and fragrant bouquet and put them in your kitchen. With them in your line of sight as you’re cooking, you’ll remember to use them more often than if they’re outside. You can serve them whole in salads for a colorful touch or snip them and sprinkle over pasta, pizza, risotto or any other dish that could benefit from a slight oniony flavor. Enjoy!