Today we spent the day in the greenhouse harvesting edible flowers and herbs along with many different types of vegetables. We started off picking snap peas for the Via Organica store and filled up a 5 gallon bucket just from a few rows! The produce for the store is picked fresh daily and sent to the store before 9 am. Once that was completed, we made our way out into the garden where we proceeded to pick rue, dill flowers, arugula flowers, borage flowers, margarita flowers and calendula.
We harvested these flowers for local restaurants that use them to add beauty and color to their salads, as well as unique flavor.
Pansies (Flores del Pensamiento) are fleshy and have a mild, minty flavor.
Arugula (rúcula) Flowers taste like arugula leaves but they are spicier and more pungent.
Borage (borraja) flowers are edible and taste like cucumber. Borage is a good companion plant and said to improve the flavor of other plants. Medicinally its leaves can be used to regulate metabolism and hormones, as an anti-inflammatory, to alleviate head colds, respiratory infections and bronchitis.
Rue flowers have a very interesting scent, very aromatic, strong, and sweet. A bit musty, but pleasant overall. It is native to the Mediterranean, the national flower of Lithuania and used by Italians to flavor liquor and beer. A rue plant can live for hundreds of years and is referred to as a plant of patience and endurance.
In addition to these, we also harvested some arugula, cilantro, rainbow chard and lettuce.
Once everything was bundled and sent to the store we began to plant carrot seeds in one of the greenhouse beds. We did this by turning up the soil and slightly compressing three rows in which the seeds were planted in a zig-zag pattern about and inch apart. This is done to utilize as much space as possible in the beds.
After planting the seeds, a garden tour arrived and Luke and Thalia gave them an explanation of what was happening in the greenhouse. The visitors seemed really excited to be learning about organic gardening and were impressed with the work Via Organica has been doing. The tour moved outside where they were shown the outdoor gardens and compost pile that consisted solely of fruits, veggies and hay.
We also recieved a large delivery of organic waste that would otherwise most likely be sent to a landfill. We are going to begin composting it next week. Hopefullly film a bi-ligual compost tutorial as well.