HOW TO USE EDIBLE FLOWERS THIS SUMMER

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

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photo by Parade

As much as we love flowers for brightening up our living room or kitchen table, eating them is more of a thorny issue. They might look great on the plate, but they do come with some health concerns and questionable taste. Before you start using edible flowers, you want to learn the facts. Here’s a primer into the mysterious world of edible blooms.

What Makes a Flower Edible?

There are dozens of edible flowers that taste good and are actually good for you—but there are also plenty of poisonous ones that contain high doses of chemicals that don’t agree with the human body. The best rule of thumb to follow: Don’t assume it’s palatable just because it’s pretty. Consult a guide or a book to make sure the flower is safe to eat. (Keep in mind that even safe flowers may have strong allergens, making them off-limits for some.) Like when you’re shopping for produce, look for edible flowers that have been grown with safe pesticides and fertilizers. For best flavor, eat flowers that have been picked at peak ripeness, right after the bud opens.

What Are Good Flowers to Eat?

Edible flowers can come from perennial plants like Johnny jump-ups, dandelions, and calendula. Many decorative plants sprout edible flowers, too, from citrusy begonia, fancy hibiscus, fruity roses, nasturtiums, pansies, geraniums, and pink chrysanthemums. Even pots of herbs left to flower will produce white, purple, orange, or yellow blossoms that often taste like the herb’s leaves, only slightly sharper. You can eat chive, basil, marjoram, mint, chervil, and dill flowers. Another place to spot edible flowers: on fruit trees, like apple, citrus, plum, and elderberry. Be sure the tree hasn’t been sprayed (farmers often apply pesticides after flowers appear, but before fruit does) and eat only petals.

And remember that vegetables can flower, too: Zucchini blossoms are a well-known spring treat, but fennel, cauliflower, arugula, and broccoli also produce edible blossoms. Many vegetables flower after ripening, but the flowering makes the vegetable taste bitter—so you can have broccoli or broccoli flowers but not both.

Edible-Flowers
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hoto by Epicurious

How Do You Eat Edible Flowers?

Most edible flowers look prettier than they taste, so use them when you can really show off their beauty. For party punches and cocktails, freeze purple pansies or bright daisies in ice cubes, then pop them out to garnish drinks. Also, try experimenting with incredible-tasting vinegars made from flowers by infusing 4 sprigs with 1 cup vinegar for 3 to 6 weeks, until the liquid has a flavor you like. Edible flowers look charming on a cheese plate (their sharp flavors meld especially well with fresh cheeses) or on top of a green salad. And don’t forget confections. Instead of sugar flowers, you can candy violets and rose petals with sugar, then top them on cupcakes or cakes. When using edible flowers, avoid the white base of the petals, the stamens, and the center pistils, all of which can be bitter.

Woolly School Gardens Around the World: New York

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

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This week we wanted to share an inspiring story of our Woolly School Garden in action in New York.

40 WALLY 1 pockets were installed at PS206 on the chainlink of the school yard. (They have a LOTTA chainlink!) The students planted the pockets with edibles like: kale, spinach, rainbow chard, broccoli, scallions, red cabbage and mesclun salad greens as well as herbs like thyme, sage, parsley and mint!

The garden is watered lovingly by 43 third graders in our APPLE SEED program. It is also watered almost every other day by students receiving occupational therapy. The on-site occupational therapist says the pockets are perfect for sequencing, physical and communication activities. The plants LOVE the water and the garden is THRIVING. I wish you could see it in person.

The garden at PS 206 is a three headed dragon. One partner is TURBANA, a banana and tropical fruit importer, they have generously supported the project. The second partner is KEEN: Kids Enjoy Exercise Now. KEEN’s  goal is for the children to get exercise outside and to learn about healthy foods.  www.keennewyork.org  KEEN New York won an online Facebook challenge and wanted to build a garden in a public school. KEEN was looking for a school with a high population of Special needs children. The Horticultural Society of New York is the project’s installation and education partner. Our colleague Miriam Campos was contacted to develop the garden at PS 206—as school with a 40% of their students on the autism spectrum. Our Hort team recognized that we needed to capitalize on that urban chainlink and MAKE IT GROW!!! So thank you WOOLLY POCKET. You make edibles grow in amazing places with amazing people.

 

WoollyPocket Living Wall Planter 2s Participated in an Episode of Tiny House Nation

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

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Tiny House Nation on FYI follows renovation experts and hosts John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin as they travel across America to show off ingenious small spaces and the inventive people who live in them.

Tiny House Nation airs Monday nights at 9PM ET on FYI.

Plants and People March 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

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We are finally saying goodbye to winter and welcoming spring colors with this months #PlantsandPeople photos. Photos by @jeffmindell, @davidptalley, @thebotanicstudio, @zolajewelryobjects, @ry_dwy, @lanitrock, @harwinma, @thehappyhunters, @themelodyh, @concretegeometric, @kenmarten, @dewitgardentools, @mewnimble, @yougrowgirl, @morningslikethese, @rey9360, @thislittlehouse_, @bethnaymollenkof, @pleasebabygiveittomelouder, @whighfield, @elizabethlafargue, @taylor_josf, @denverbotanic, @joshualott, @brandon_floyd, @idwr

Woolly Around the World: Canada

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

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photos by Tim Suddaby

This week’s Woolly Around the World post comes from Canada and the design team of Vertical Oxygen. Vertical Oxygen specializes in implementing edible, decorative and air filtering plants into living wall systems. They utilized our wally threes for a temporary living wall they built for a local institute of technology for an awards night (top photo) and the wally one for a 75 foot living wall in the oil camp (bottom photo).

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