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In the Garden, edible flowers.

October is traditionally the month of the year that the vegetable garden is at its leanest. The season is between slow-growing winter vegetables going to seed and the yet to be warm enough to plant out the summer crops.

I’ve been thinking about this and how I ‘think’ that there’s not much in my kitchen garden. The only thing is I forget that I pick and cook something out of it every day. 

I thought I would start writing down a list each month of what I’m eating from the kitchen garden, focusing on one type of edible plant. Even though October is a little lean, by way of vegetables, there is one plant that I have more than enough of … flowers.

October is the middle of spring and spring means a lot of flowers. Because I like to use everything in the kitchen garden, I’ve planted a lot of edible and companion flowering plants over the years. 

The Flowers

You can walk around the garden and snack on any of these flowers, this October …

apple geranium

 
Apple geranium

I would really snack on this one, as it doesn't really have any flavour.

It would go wonderfully in a dry flower thing and it a great companion plant for the kitchen garden. 

borage

 
Borage

I never planted the borage. It just moved in from the neighbours. Now it's all through the kitchen garden. The flowers are rumored to taste like oysters, but I think they just taste like green!

elderflower

 
Elderflower

Pick a large bucket of it. Ferment with lemons and oranges, cover with water for 5 days. Strain and measure how much liquid you have.

Add a third of the volume of sugar. Stir to dissolve. Bottle and save for later.

Now you have Elderflower cordial. 

fennel

 
Fennel seed

For a while, I couldn't get fennel to set in the kitchen garden. 

I brought some from the plant person at the farmers market. She said that if I planted it out and let it go to seed, I'll have fennel forever. 

For the time being this means that I have a lot of lovely seed and pollen to use in salads, cakes, desserts or with pasta. 

nasturtiums

 
Nasturtiums

Another plant that I struggled to grow in the first few years at Jacican. Now it grows like a weed (and I pull it out like a weed)

You can eat the mustard flavoured leaves and flowers. great in a salad. I think back in the day, they where eaten in white bread as a sandwich! 

pineapple sage

 
Pineapple sage

Use a lot on those competition cooking shows. In my kitchen garden, it grows by itself. Loves a hard prune.

You can just pull the sweet flowers off and eat like a lolly. I like to bake them into a vanilla butter cake for something a little fancy.  

rosemary

 
Rosemary

Lovely with lamb, you can use the cakes in cakes for a savoury flavoured dessert. Sprinkled on top of ice cream for something a little different. 

sage

 
Sage

it's everywhere in my kitchen garden. And what lovely flowers. 

I seem to add sage to many things. The flowers are great in salads or served as a garnish with beef. 

 saltbush

 
Saltbush

An Australian native that grows in dry coastal area. In dry times it is feed to sheep or these days, so they can charge more.

I cook the leaves under lamb for a very salty jus. You can use the flowers just like salt. But they come with a warning ... they are very very salty. 

thyme

 
Thyme

Thyme, thyme, thyme .. what's become of me!

Bake these tiny flowers into a vanilla cake or flavour ice-cream 

Now for everything else I have to eat out the kitchen garden, this October ...

The vegetables

Vegetables that are coming out of the Jacican kitchen garden this October are …

Rhubarb

Very young potatoes

Horseradish

Young garlic (you use it like spring onions)

Last year’s shallots

Cauliflower

Cabbage

Brussel sprouts

The greens

Green leafy plants that grow pretty much by themselves in the Jacican kitchen garden and you can eat this October …

Sorrell

Warragul greens

Kale

Silverbeet

The herbs

Never by herbs from a shop when you’ve got these growing in the kitchen garden this October ...

Parsley … so much parley

All the thymes you can think off

Lemon & lime balm

So much mint and in 5 or more flavours

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