Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Favorite Edible Flower

Each fall, winter and spring I grow 'Dwarf Jewel Mix' nasturtium in mass plantings for cheerful color, fragrance and to toss into salads. Plus they hearken me to my childhood in Michigan. I buy the seeds by the pound CHEAP at Applewood Seeds in Golden. Colorado. But this winter, like last, my first two sowings, which should be in full glorious splendor by now, were zapped by the freezes. So I just did a third mass planting in four beds. I love capers and for years have read of people salting and pickling immature flower buds and green seeds as home made capers substitutes and IF this sowing survives I will give it a try on a smale scale. Has anyone done this?

I was given an electric food dehydrator and will dry and crush and store in jars dried nasturtium leaves to sprinkle on summer salads to add piquancy. Since basil loses most of its "oomph" when dried I will be curious to see how nasturtium leaves fare.

I love to pick small bouquets of nasturtium blooms mainly to make it easier to smell their incredible perfumes. In Denver and here I've grown other strains but without a doubt, 'Dwarf Jewel Mix' is my favorite hands down, in part because it often self sows very well for the following autumn and winter. John

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