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Nasturtiums



One of the goals of this years garden adventure was to start getting into edible flowers. I had read that lilacs were edible and we have a ton of them on our property. The problem to this point has been the overabundance of rain and the flowers were never really able to stand up to the damp weather and quickly died out.

Our nasturtiums on the other hand are just beginning to bloom! This is the first time we are attempting to grow these beautiful little treats. Doing a little research on these edibles I have found some interesting information. Most herbs and garnishes originally made their way over to the Americas via the Mediterranean nasturtiums were already being widely used by the natives of Peru. They used these hardy flowers to treat coughs and colds as well as menstrual and respiratory issues. They were also used for minor cuts and scratches thus early English herbalist used to refer to the plant as "Indian Cress".

Nasturtiums contain Vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, as well as calcium, phosphorus and manganese. I should note though that I have read that women in the early stages of pregnancy or who are trying to get pregnant may want to stay away from this flower.

The flower and the leaves are edible and have what would be described as a peppery taste. Another interesting note is that the amount of sunlight they receive has an effect on the amount of "bite" so to speak and if your plants are grown in the shade they are a bit more mild.

They can be used as an addition to creamy soups, salads, butters and vinegars just to name a few.

Tobias Whitaker blogs for Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine. Click on the Mother Earth News logo at the bottom of the page for all of his post. You can also find him on Facebook at Seed To Harvest: Bossy Hen Homestead  https://www.facebook.com/seedtoharvestbossyhenhomestead/ which is a central location for his homesteading blogs and his homeschooling blog, A Mile In Her Shoes: Tales Of A Stay-At Home Dad found here https://amileinhershoestalesofastayathomedad.wordpress.com/

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