Edible Flowers – useful in any garden

Edible flowers can make a useful and delightful addition to any garden – whether big, small and practical or pretty – they can help boost any garden in question. Edible flowers can be used in a variety of ways and grow easily and quickly for a fast harvest.

edible flowers

I decided to use an old tin bath to create my edible flower garden as part of my smallholding in Suffolk. I enjoyed growing mine, as whilst they were growing and before they were picked ready for eating, they add colour and fragrance to my vegetable garden! I believe they make a welcomed addition to any allotment or garden – they attract the helpful bees too.

I received a bunch of edible flower seeds from Thompson and Morgan. The seeds were:
Chives
Viola tricolor – Wild Pansy
Calendula ‘Sherbet Fizz’
Cornflower ‘Blue Diadem’
Oenothera – ‘Lemon Sunset’

The chives have been so useful. I have been using them to add to salads, soups and to replace onion in other recipes – adding to home produced free range scrambled eggs is a favourite in our house!

My pansies were a beautiful purple and yellow colouring and were very delicate.  Pansies have a lettuce and salad like flavour so are perfect to add in small quantities to home-made salads. Additionally, they can be sugared or crystallised to add to a number of sweet dishes such as cakes, desserts or even confectionery.

edible flowers

Calendula ‘Sherbet Fizz’ (Marigold) are the yellow and orange flowers and have a slightly peppery taste to them. I like using them in soups and salads. Additionally, baking with this edible flower can produce tasty breads and biscuits. Note – use in small quantities as can be a diuretic.

edible flowers
Cornflowers have a lovely striking deep blue colour to them and make a delightful addition to an edible flowerbed. They have a clove-like flavour and thus can be used to decorate salads, pasta dishes and eaten with other edible flowers.

Oenothera ‘Lemon Sunset’. Otherwise known as evening primrose; this edible flower has a lettuce; salad flavour to it so is obviously great to add to salads.

When adding to any cooking ensure to wash and rinse them properly, check which parts are okay to eat (i.e. stem, leaves, and petals) and also use in small quantities the first few times you cook with it. I really enjoyed this project making a mini edible garden plot in my smallholding and hope this post has been useful to future edible flower growers!

Katy, The Good Life In Practice

Cheese, Sage and Onion Savoury Scones

Cheese, Sage and Onion Savoury Scones

I realise these scones sound a little odd and festive but they are really tasty! Good for a snack hot with salted butter or instead of a sandwich for a lunchbox – add a little chutney and cheese in-between and it makes lunch a little more interesting!

Ingredients:

  • 1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ a  teaspoon of salt
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 150g cheddar cheese
  • 190ml milk
  • 100g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion (very finely sliced and diced)
  • About 5 or 6 Sage leaves (washed and thinly shredded)

Method:

  1. Heat your oven to 180C
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together
  3. Cut the butter into cubes then rub it into the dry mixture
  4. Grate the cheese and add that and all the remaining ingredients to the bowl
  5. Mix all of these together to form a dough
  6. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and cut out 3 cm deep discs with a cutter. Place these scone discs on an oiled baking tray
  7. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes. Check regularly to ensure the scones do not burn or brown too fast.

More details on Katy’s smallholding blog

The Good Life in Practice

I am a 24 year old attempting to live more eco-friendly. I first lived in Suffolk but now live in a small flat in a village in Switzerland. I have been living in the Berner Oberland canton since April 2012 (so just over a year!) since getting a job here. My boyfriend Michael and I have been trying to live as sustainably as we can by growing herbs and salad, recycling, composting and sourcing other food locally. He is a local grounds man and also has skills in carpentry so comes in handy for woodwork projects too!

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My boyfriend Michael raking the allotment

We have loved living here but have felt a little frustrated at times that we cannot live off the land more productively. However, In February we had good news – this dear reader is what I will be divulging! We have been told that we can use a small area of land near our house for some chickens and to use as a small allotment! Yay!

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The chickens and me

Since then we have been busy it seems! We have been checking locally for chickens to get in the Spring and have been planning how to upcycle old wood to make a coop for a few hens. Additionally, we have been learning about the differences between UK and Swiss sowing seasons. For example, we have had to put off planting anything outside as everything is still covered in snow! However, we have been busy inside preparing seedlings and airing some every so often on the balcony on a sunny day.

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New seeds!

We have a great selection of seeds to try from courgettes to Lime flavoured tomatoes! This last weekend we have potted a few different types of seeds – Baby Leeks, Thyme, Rocket and edible flowers called Electric Daisies. What’s more we have some Romaine Lettuce and more Rocket already sprouting up in other containers on the bedroom windowsill. Additionally, we have just harvested a load of small red and white onions from the allotment outside – these are now drying inside on trays – to use later in soups and general cooking!

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Our small onion harvest

We hope to try growing potatoes for the first time this year – I have started to chit a batch ready for the late spring time-fingers crossed!  We hope to be able to then use these veggies over the coming months to have a fresh supply of food-last summer using the fresh basil from the windowsill was great for home-made pesto and pasta sauces.

If you would like to take a look at my blog here’s the link: http://thegoodlifeinpractice.wordpress.com/about/

Also you can find me on Facebook: The Good Life In Practice and Twitter under the same name. Hope you have enjoyed reading,

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