Real Fine Food: Channel Edible Flower Power

Hello, friends. It’s that time of the year I want to encourage anyone reading these words to gather some dirt, water, sunlight and a seed or two and try growing some food! Fear of failure is a common reason not to get in the growing game but let me tell you – anyone can do this.

You don’t need lots of time, yard space, or knowledge to take the plunge. Last year was my first growing year. Gardening calms the mind & body, pleasures all the senses and rewards with beauty and delicious nutrition. First sprout? Life happening – excitement. A sprout turning into a little plant? Pride. Your plant bearing leaves, fruit or an edible flower? Hooked. True love. And, the best tasting food you’ve ever had.

Last year, with only a trail of dead houseplants to my name, I dove in with no knowledge and lots of hope. Armed with a couple of raised beds (purchased online from Home Depot), prime organic soil mix from Redenta’s and random seeds and starter plants which seemed cool … it began. And now, a year of eating fresh-picked-from-my-backyard later, sowing and reaping has become a part of my life I can’t imagine living without. When you are in control, you can grow unique varieties that can’t be found at a grocery or even a farmers market. The gorgeous colors and shapes available for tomatoes alone will make you swoon. I collect neat heirloom seeds from places like Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company and farmers I’ve visited locally and around the continent. This year, I’m adding in several types of edible floral to add color to my dishes, cut as decor for the house and attract bees and butterflies.

A little toe dip into “growing your own” only requires your willingness and a few supplies. Basil grows effortlessly here all summer. A pepper plant will thrive in full sun, easily. I have a rainbow chard plant I bought as a Thanksgiving 2014 table decoration, then stuck in a drain-less pot, which now lives largely ignored on my back porch and has never stopped producing.

There are lots of wonderful local gardening centers with top notch products and professional gardeners at your disposal for questions, encouragement and supplies. Redenta’s, North Haven Gardens and Gecko Hardware are a few great ones. Hooray for spring and new beginnings! Let (plant) love rule.

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