Grist for the Mill – Spring 2017

Flowers. Flowers. Everywhere!

Blooms abound in this issue of edible SOUTH SHORE & SOUTH COAST. Whether it’s eating them, growing them, pollinating them, or using them for lead removal . . . huh? Yes, flowers possess more than beautiful petals and faces that brighten your garden or the vase in your living room. Flowers provide enticing noshes and libations, medicinal salves, and sometimes eliminate toxic waste from soil.

In these pages, we discuss how a variety of plants, native and otherwise, help build the foundation of sustainability. Designing or adding to your garden can be based on individual desires and needs—pollinating plants to attract bees and hummingbirds, chamomile for teas, hops for beer, and daylilies for an edible, striking garnish. Getting the idea? En route to learning about creating a sustainable garden and growing your own hops, you will get a literal “birds and the bees” primer, the mechanics of which produce 75% of our flowering plants and almost the same percent of our crops.

Our writers share various ways to eat flowers from your garden above and beyond their garnish capacity. Many native cultivars, including herbs, are just begging to be utilized as a comforting tea (chamomile), to aid digestion (ginger), to ease muscle pain (arnica), or to relieve a scratchy throat (marsh mallow or thyme). Sunflowers, too, get plenty of airtime, flaunting their chipper faces and unusual attributes.

The review of Lottie Muir’s book will reveal a garden apothecary of cocktail recipes using ingredients that grow in your own backyard. This issue also offers the reader insights into how The Slow Flower Movement is gathering momentum on the South Shore and South Coast, and how “A Budding Enterprise” grew from one row to over 60 varieties of flowers.

Along with blooms and blossoms, we offer up some tempting ideas on new places to eat, such as The Tasty in Plymouth and Fork in the Road’s new 2nd location in Norwell. We’ll also tell you where to find the South Coast’s latest brewery, Skyroc in Attleboro, and how the Empty Bowls pottery fundraiser helps feed the hungry in our area.

As you’re doing your spring cleaning, we encourage you to look at your garden and flowers in a new light—a utilitarian as well as an aesthetic and sometimes edible pleasure. In fact, as you’re pondering your crops, make a nice cup of tea from one of our many recipes in this issue, and sip while you peruse this copy of eSS&SC. We love flowers, and we hope you do too! In the words of Luther Burbank, famed Massachusetts-born botanist, “Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful. They are sunshine, food, and medicine to the soul.”

Terry Vandewater, Assistant Editor

Eat thoughtfully,

Laurie Hepworth & Michael Hart

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