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Friday, August 1, 2008

Homeade Teas & Edible Flowers


(Getty images from Country Living)

While you are waiting for your produce to ripen, or like us here in Texas your summer garden begins to burn up and fall garden ideas start creaping into your head, here are a few ways to reap benefit from your edible backyard?




Plants that are safe to eat — and drink



EDIBLE (AND DRINKABLE) FLOWERS
Alliums (flowers and young shoots), bee balm, carnations, hibiscus blossoms, hollyhock, honeysuckle flowers (the berries are highly poisonous), Johnny-jump-ups (flowers and leaves), lavender (blossoms and leaves), nasturtiums (flowers, buds, leaves, seedpods), pansies (flowers and leaves), roses (petals, leaves, and rose hips), violets (flowers and leaves).


EDIBLE (AND DRINKABLE) KITCHEN HERBS
Basil, chamomile flowers, chives, dill, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, peppermint and other mints, rosemary, sage, thyme, verbena.


EDIBLE (AND DRINKABLE) BUSHES AND TREES
Birch leaves (especially when young), blackberry leaves, citrus blossoms (lemon, orange, grapefruit, etc.), elderberry flowers and ripe berries (the leaves and unripe berries are poisonous), gardenia, hibiscus flowers, honeysuckle flowers, pine needles (white and black), raspberry leaves.


EDIBLE (AND DRINKABLE) WEEDS
Chickweed, chicory (flowers and buds), dandelions (flowers and leaves), goldenrod, good King Henry, kudzu, lamb's quarters, plantain (or white man's footsteps, as the Native Americans called them), purslane, stinging nettle.


How to Steep Herbal Tea :


Gather your plants and place them in your tea pot. Pour boiling water over them and let them steep for 3-6 minutes.




(Photo from Herbs for Texas)



Obviously you should NOT eat flowers or plants that have been sprayed with pesticides. But hopefully this sheds a new light on harvesting in your backyard.

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