Monday, May 31, 2010

Harvest Monday - 'Blue' Berries & Flower Power

I could post AGAIN about greens but you may either be sick of eating them (impossible) or have moved onto fruits like zuchinni or the cherished tomato.

So, instead I thought I'd treat you to a selection of edible flowers among the greens.


Thyme, mustard, sage, Enligh daisy (bellis perennis), violas, dianthus and roses with garlic chives, mustard, anise hyssop leaves, green sweet cicely leaves, magenta spreen, ginger mint, honeyberry and one alpine strawberry. I only got that one because the children weren't outside yet today.

Sprinkled liberally in the middle are berries, mostly haskaps, a 'blue' berry for spring.


Also known as honeyberry or edible blue-berried honeysuckle.

I had read such mixed reviews of Lonicera caerulea edulis so it took me several years to plant it. This is year two in the garden and the harvest was pretty excellent. The berries have a complex flavour but were a bit more sour than I would have liked. They may not have been quite ripe yet. Sprinkled with something sweet, they'd make an excellent dessert. Maybe a haskap/rhubarb/sweet cicely pie?


Honeyberries on the bush.


Positive press on Honeyberry / Haskap from DNA gardens
The Haskap Canada Association:

Note on edible flowers:

It is difficult to find a comprehensive list of edible flowers for many reasons including there the fact that there are so many flowers! Make sure you triple check references to edible flowers and are absolutely sure about their identification. It is a good idea to remove any pollen producing part as it may induce allergy unless you are sure about your reaction to it and the preparation of the pollen - cattail pollen is used a flour adulterant for example. When trying new foods, it's always best to go slow. Nibble a bit then spit out to see if you have any swelling or strange reaction. Next time, eat a bit and see how you react. Finally, eat a small meal. Of course, your level of comfort with a new food will depend on how familiar with it you are so you may skip some steps. Also, never eat a new food unless you are sure it is edible and you are positive about its identification (I know I already said that). These are not tips to trying a mystery plant. Certain plants are quite safe in small quantities but can cause upset in larger doses and this may vary from person to person and plant to plant. Okay now that you are too scared to eat anything other than carrots, relax.

Culinary Herbs of Canada by Small is a great resource.

List of Edible Flowers by Glen Brook Farm


Don't Miss This Reminders

June 1 - Hida Manns to give a talk on Organic Agriculture as a Buffer to Climate Change. June 1st at 7pm in the Grey Room at the Bronson Centre, 211 Bronson Avenue. Come out and say hi (I'll be introducing her)

June 5 - Native Plant Sale at the Wildlife Fletcher Garden


Craig said...

I am finding that the honey berries do sweeten up a bit. I find that if there is any resistance at all when picking, they will be tart, but if they fall into your hand with a simple nudge they are delicious, and have the most blueberry like flavor at that time.

And best of all, nothing seems to be beating me to the harvest yet. Lets hope the wildlife doesn't develop a taste for them.

villager said...

Those edible flowers are beautiful! I never heard about the blue-berried honeysuckle. It's amazing how many unusual fruits there are out there!

Angela said...

I look forward to your monday's post to learn about new edibles, and this one didn't disappoint. Thanks for gardening off the beaten path :-)

Ottawa Gardener said...

Good to know Craig. I will wait a little longer to see if they sweeten up a bit.

As for typos: In my defence, I suck at editing... wait that's indefensible. Um, I was busy this morning... but if you are a regular reader of this blog then by now you'll be used to the bad spalling, ingrammatical sentences and omitted . I promise to work harder.

Mac said...

So beautiful, I love the colors and they are edible too!
I'm with Angela, look forward to your edible post.

Anonymous said...

Those edible flowers are beautiful! This must be most colorful harvest this Monday!
I have never experimented with eating flowers.

Flowermania said...

Edible flowers , this is amazing information to consider. I like to know more , come up with new posts .

Flower lovers you can check Ottawa florist Folowermania at

Daphne said...

I've heard mixed reviews about them too. I guess that is why I plant blueberries. I know I love them. With seed however I'm willing to try anything.

Ottawa Gardener said...

The great thing about haskaps is how early they are and this may have been what tipped me over into buying them. I grow blueberries too but they are much slower in my experience to mature and certainly to fruit. Anyhow, I got them as barter for some work I was doing for someone. So far, I don't regret the space they are taking up in my garden!

Dan said...

Now that is a pretty harvest!

Ottawa Gardener said...

Craig, just had what I think is a thoroughly ripe haskap and less sour, pretty decent if you ask me!