Thursday, September 9, 2010

Garden Plants in the Kitchen

Malva Moschata is a well known and common perennial. While it is popular in the flower garden, did you also know that it is edible? The leaves are a good addition to salad. They are mild tasting and have more vitamin A than spinach! The seeds are edible, as are the pods and the flowers.

Many people grow this in their flower gardens as it is so beautiful and blooms all summer long. It can be slightly invasive and reseeds generously. It sometimes grows wild in the fields, having escaped from a nearby garden. It is an easy to grow perennial, doing well in sun or partial shade and needs a lot of water.

It also comes in white, for your moon garden.

Another flowering plant that can be brought into the kitchen is the garden jewelweed, impatiens Glandulifera. Like the malva moschata above, the flowers and seeds are edible. The flowers can be used to make wine or jelly and the seeds, when dried, taste much like walnuts. Use them in baking in place of nuts or sprinkled on a sundae.

The pink garden jewelweed grows to be 6-8 feet tall and blooms all summer long! Its a beautiful annual. Once you have it, you always have it, as it reseeds generously! It has "touch-me-not" seed pods, like it's cousin, the wild impatiens Capensis. When the wind blows, a bee lands or it gets shaken, the seed pods burst and spray the seeds everywhere. You have to close your entire hand over the group of seed pods to catch them as they burst. Be careful, it's a bee magnet. Mine are always full of the big, yellow fuzzy bumblebees. It does well in shade and likes wet feet.

Violets are another plant that can be used in the kitchen. Violet jelly is a nice purple colour when made with purple violets. I grow the purple violets, white ones and yellow ones. The leaves are mild tasting, good in salad and high in vitamin C.

The flowers are edible and can be sugared for cake decorating!

Violets like to grow in the shade and make a good ground cover.

Also in white for your moon garden!

*****You can purchase the malva moschata, pink or white and the impatiens glandulifera from my seed store. See the column on the left.


Carol said...

Beautiful photos and great information.

dilli and the manthing said...

i didnt realize that the whole jewelweed plant was edible.. i knew the seeds were... now I hafta go and fetch me some to try some of these things out

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

The flowers are good. The leaves of the large pink ones are big and tough. I don't know if the wild jewelweed, with the little orange blossoms is edible or not.

I love that the seeds taste like walnuts!

Granny J said...

Great information.

Patrice said...

Stop by my blog when you get a chance. There is an award for you.

The Japanese Redneck said...

Good information! Never tried any edible flowers, will have to one day.

Michelle's Green Thumb said...

Am glad to see photos of the jewelweed - will now have a better idea of where to plant the seeds! Thanks!

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Thank you so much, Patrice!

Michelle, your other seeds are going in the mail today! Thank you!

Ramona, we like the jelly made from the red bee balm, monarda didima - violet and lavender jelly too.

I think making new and unusual things is fun and interesting!

Goose Hill Farm said...

BEAUTIFUL pictures!

Michelle's Green Thumb said...

I've been meaning to ask you, Sheryl, if you've ever made anything with red geranium blossoms. I was tempted to make a jelly - maybe blended with some other fruit jelly... Have you ever heard of this??

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Hi Michelle! Are you talking about red pelargoniums? I have not heard of that but I'm going to Google it and see what I find out!

Thanks for the idea!