Friday, July 29, 2011

Edible Calendula for Color and Taste

I sow calendula seeds almost every summer because they are easy to grow, edible and last until a hard frost in the fall. This year I planted the seeds in July, and they'll be blooming in August through at least early October. I use the petals in herb vinegar, and salads, plus I cut some blooms to bring inside, but I leave most of them in my flower garden for their pretty colors. What I don't cut or harvest for using, I deadhead until late in the fall, then I allow the seeds to form. There are always plenty of seeds to dry and save for next year. I store them in envelopes and keep them in a basket with my other seeds.

I've found calendula grows best in full sun, with regular soil, and watering when it's extra dry. I don't fertilize, and they always do well. If you do add anything to the soil make sure it's organic, and don't use sprays if you plan on using the petals in recipes.

This is one of the salads I've made with calendula petals. It's delicious and especially pretty if you are having a tea or luncheon.

I used a mix of organic greens and lettuce plus:




cilantro and basil leaves, stems removed

First, I tossed the basil and cilantro with the greens. You could use other herbs as well, but I like these two together. I topped the greens with the sliced cucumber and tomato and put the carrots off the the side. I picked two large calendula blooms and carefully pulled the petals off, leaving the center because it's bitter. After the salads were on the plates I sprinkled them with the petals. I used a raspberry vinaigrette, but Italian dressing is good too.

On OFL we have tips and recipes for nasturtiums, which are also easy to grow:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave us a tip, a comment or just say hi!