Friday, November 4, 2016

The plant that keeps on giving

My raised beds runneth over. While the calendar says November, my nasturtiums are rioting like it is mid-summer.  I've come to a whole new appreciation for this feisty flower.

For the past several years, I've ordered seeds from Johnny's Select Seeds and planted them in the front of both my raised beds. Without much coaxing, they grow, and grow, and by July are spilling out of the cedar boxes.

This year, I watched them especially closely as I wanted to the raised beds to look nice for Maggie and Nate's wedding. Mid-summer, they were looking a bit spent, but then perked up as August and September came along. They were glorious on the wedding day.

They are fun to have in my garden and young children's eyes get huge when I show them they can pick and eat the blossoms. They usually go home and tell their parents that they "ate flowers" at Farm Dover.

Yes, the flowers (and leaves) are edible and I tend to put them in most every salad I make in the summer time. They look beautiful and add a bit of peppery flavor.

But it is only this season that I've come to fully appreciate their many uses.

From tiny arrangements
to peppery pesto
to pickled seeds (a.k.a. poor man's capers)

to compound butters. they would be beautiful mixed in a soft goat cheese.
And I've just come to understand that the seeds can easily be harvested, dried and planted next spring.

It's the plant that keeps on giving.

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