Not only do we love growing fruits and vegetables up at the farm, but edible flowers are another passion of ours! These edible flowers are considered a triple threat as they can help keep away pests in your yard naturally, look beautiful on a dinner plate, and have amazing health benefits. Right now I am going to teach you about Calendula, also known as the Pot Marigold!
HISTORY: Calendula are actually some of the oldest flowers used by humans on our planet, having been cultivated as early as 3rd Century BC. Its name originates from the latin word, Calendae, which means first day of the month. It's other name, Mary-Gold, derives from an old English story about a little girl who went missing in a field. When they went to go look where she had been sitting, they found Calendula flowers growing in her spot. They came to the conclusion that Mary-Gold herself had been turned into a flower, and thus the name came to be!
HEALTH BENEFITS: As you can see from the image above, Calendula can do a whole lot more than just look good on your plate. In history it had been commonly used as a healer of wounds on the skin. This can help with all kinds of wounds ranging from bug bites to blisters to cuts. It actually promotes the the production of collagen, which in turn helps the skin look healthy and strong. This means it can help with the healing of scars and reduction of wrinkles! Not only can it help with external issues but internal ones as well. It can soothe heart burn and ulcers by helping repair the gut wall.
1. Plate Garnishing: The main reason we grow these plants is to add a colorful garnish to our plates at the restaurant. Every part of this flower is completely edible!
2. Tea: If you dry the flowers you can actually use this to make your own tea! Drying the flowers is easy, but does take some time. Key trick is to not wash the flowers and place them flat face down on a dish towel or news paper. Do not try to dry in the oven as it is harmful to the flower to be exposed to high heat and you will lose a lot of it's health benefits. Leave them in a shaded area away from the sun and continue to flip them over every so often throughout the day. It should take about 2 to 3 weeks to get it to completely dry. It is very important that they are dry for storage otherwise mold will grow. Once you have your dried flowers, you can steep them in hot water for a healthy and tasty tea!