Edible Flowers

       If you think the idea of eating flowers is new, think again: you’ve probably been eating them since you were young. A few of our common “vegetables” are actually flowers, and though we usually eat the buds, they’ll bloom if left on the plant.      Broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes and capers are all flower buds, and though I’ve never eaten a caper or artichoke in full bloom, broccoli and cauliflower flowers are delicious. They’re a bittersweet treat for the home gardener, who – maybe after a few days away from the garden – comes to find their broccoli or cauliflower head blooming with tiny yellow or white flowers. Go ahead and pop one in your mouth – the mild flavor will surprise and inspire you. I love to toss mine on salads.      Other edible flowers in the garden are a little more intentional – nasturtiums, borage, chamomile, squash blossoms, and violets.  They don’t need to be relegated to garnish status and have as much of a place in a recipe as any ingredient. Don’t fret when your arugula, chives or mint flower either. Check out these recipe suggestions below: Arugula – press onto the surface of pound cake batter before popping in the oven; press into ravioli dough (HERE). Borage – shake flowers with ice, gin, tonic, add a squirt of lime and sugar to taste for a refreshing cocktail. Chamomile – steep in hot water for a mild herbal tea Chives – sprinkle chive flowers on your mashed potatoes Nasturtiums – blend with softened cream cheese and spread on crackers for a nice, peppery twist Squash blossoms – mix softened goat cheese with herbs, stuff into blossoms and dip in a batter. Fry until golden brown. Violets –...

Fearless in 14

PGP is five years old this month… what started as a public lecture and a crazy idea on March 28, 2010 has turned into an amazing, award winning organization impacting lots of people, changing neighborhoods and offering skills that will last lifetimes. This happened because of you… our original grewbie gardeners who are now teaching others, our block captains who step up to help with their local garden, our leadership team and board members. People like you who garden with us, attend (and teach!) classes, and just support us with feedback and great ideas, year-after-year. Together we’ve always been pretty fearless at Peterson Garden Project. From starting that first garden based on nothing more than a photo on a butcher shop wall and some WW2 Victory Garden inspiration to putting together two major exhibits at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, opening a Learning Center, and not to mention, the eleven gardens we’ve installed together in just four growing seasons, (including two new ones for 2014.) One of the great ideas that’s been on the table since year one is the idea of teaching people to cook what they grow. It is a good idea that we’ve believed in more and more over the years as we’ve seen lots of people eager to grow food with little clue what to do with it once it is ready to harvest. Well, guess what! 2014 marks another big milestone for our organization. We’re going to start a home cooking program to teach people how to cook what they grow. But, more importantly, provide a place to celebrate culture, family and community around the table. The “Fearless Food Kitchen” will be located at the Broadway Armory in Edgewater; mark your calendars for May 29 for a big...

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