Flowers are no doubt beautiful to look at and sweet to smell, but did you know that many varieties of flowers can be eaten as well? Foraging for flowers can be a fun hobby and a way to add some flavor to your meals! There are a few important things you should know if you are interested in foraging for flowers. Look below at 7 tips for foraging for edible flowers and see how fun it can be to go on an edible flower hunt.
1. Chose areas that you have permission to pick on
There are lots of places that edible flowers grow including forests, fields, and your own backyard! Always make sure you have permission to look on the property you are searching and have permission to pick. Many state and national parks have no pick policies, so be sure you know the rules beforehand.
If you have a lot of parks with no pick rules, don’t worry. You will be amazed at how much you can find right in your own neighborhood.
2. Only pick plants that haven’t been treated by chemicals
It can be dangerous to eat flowers that have been treated by insecticides or other chemical fertilizers. Only pick plants that have been treated organically or not treated at all. This way you don’t need to worry about getting sick from chemicals.
3. A small produce bag is ideal for carrying your finds in
Take a small and netted produce bag to carry your flowers in. This way they won’t get crushed and will continue to drop seeds and spores while you carry them. An empty orange bag or even onion or garlic bag is perfect for the task.
4. Always identify your florals thoroughly before eating
Don’t eat any of your plants on the hunt. Instead, wait until you get home and have the chance to inspect them. You want to be sure you properly identify all plants before you dive in. Some excellent resources for identifying your plants includes one of the many apps provided by the national parks department to help you identify local flora.
5. Wash well
You can rinse flowers in a cullender and lay them to dry on a paper towel before preparing. This is an easy way to get any dirt or grit off the plants so they are suitable for eating. More delicate flowers can be rinsed by hand.
There are many ways to enjoy your flowers once they have been picked. Flower such as pansies can be sugared and added to cakes, while flowers such as lilac can be added to honey or jelly. If you wish you can eat clover just as it is or in salads, while dandelion leaves can be steamed just like mustard greens.
7. Know your other varieties
Some of the other edible flowers you can try include:
– wild violets
– red clover
The next time you head out into the wild, try these tips for foraging edible flowers. It is a fun way to get out and enjoy nature while trying something new.