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Poppy Seeds

Name: Poppy Seeds

Location: Gardens, Parks, Sidewalks

Months: June, July August

Edible Parts: Seeds

Caution: Make sure you correctly identify the poppy flower before proceeding.

11707669_10153431218346774_2369336470591199918_nPoppies of all sizes and colours make wonderful nutrient rich seeds to add a little extra to your cooking.

11009351_10153431218326774_1672489493683074233_nAfter the flowers have bloomed the pod develops and then dries out. All you have to do is tip it over and the seeds will pour out of the holes at the top of the pod.

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Camomile

What at first glance looks like a barren field with a few daisies actually turns out to be a little field full of camomile.

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Name: Camomile

Location: Grassy areas

Months: April, May, June July

Edible Parts: Flowers

 

They look like tall slender daisies with feathery leaves. The yellow center is bulbous and smells strongly of camomile. Smell some camomile tea if you are unsure of what that smells like! The smell is very distinctive and unmistakable.

 

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Fuchsia Berries and Flowers for Foraging and Permaculture

Fuchsia

Name: Fuchsia (that’s ch-s not s-ch)

Location: Mostly gardens or public garden spaces

Months: Flowers and berries in summer/Autumn

Edible Parts: Flowers and Berries

Non-Edible Parts: Leaves, Stalks

 

Fuchsia is a great flowering plant to have in your garden or allotment. For one thing the BEES love it! So if you are adding it to any area, bear this in mind and place it away from seating areas and preferably in the middle of crop plants to encourage the bees.

There are lots of different varieties of fuchsia – some have large flowers, and large berries and others are light pink or purple or fuchsia coloured! However, none of them are poisonous. Each different variety has it’s own flavour and sweetness so try them out and taste for yourself what kind of berry they produce before you buy to make sure you get a strain that suits you. Some are super sweet and some are a bit bitter and have an after taste.

Fuchsia

I purchased this plant here for my new permaculture allotment because of the following key reasons:

  1. You can eat the berries fresh or make them into jams etc
  2. You can eat the flowers or use them as food decorations
  3. They attract bees to your plot
  4. They look pretty and add an extra edible dimension to a standard plot

 

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Dandelion Flower Wine

Dandelion Flower wine is best made when the dandelion flowers are in full bloom in the spring and fully open on a sunny day. The wine requires acidifying for the yeast so it tends to become a very citrus flavoured wine. For this reason we called this batch the Citrus Bang. We aren’t usually very fond of overly citrus flavours so we may change or ignore this recipe next year or use it as “Filler” wine only (wine we make only when we have made everything else available and have spare drums/demijohns).

Dandelion Flower Wine Dandelion Flower Wine

Minimum Equipment Requirement

  • 1 Gal Demijohn or Drum/Tub
  • 1 Airlock
  • 1 Siphon Tube

Ingredients for 1 Gallon Dandelion Wine

  • 1.136 Litres of pressed dandelion petals (follow the instructions for how to prepare the petals in our post on dandelion cordial if you are unsure)
  • 340g Raisins
  • 907g Sugar
  • 3 Lemons
  • 3 Oranges
  • Water as required

Method

 

  • Sterilise your equipment
  • Boil the Petals
  • Allow petals to steep for a minimum of 2 hours (we did overnight to increase flavour)
  • Strain the flowers – keep the liquid but not the flowers themselves
  • Add raisins, Lemon Juice, Orange Juice, sugar and orange/lemon zest to the liquid and place on a low boil for 30 minutes.
  • Allow to cool.
  • Mix thoroughly and add to the Primary Fermentation Bucket/Demijohn and top up with water.
  • Allow the mixture to cool until it reaches around 21C
  • Add yeast and yeast nutrient
  • Cover and place airlock
  • Keep in a warm dry place
  • After 8 weeks, test the mixture with a hydrometer. Add sugar according to taste if it’s ready to bottle.
  • Add a crushed Campden tablet to clear according to the tablet instructions and allow to settle
  • Rack Off up to three times, or less if you don’t mind it cloudy. Top up with water and bottle when finished.
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Dandelion Flower Cordial

This recipe makes a great light flavoured cordial and makes 1-2 bottles. Enjoyed best over a slice of lemon and ice cubes this is a perfect spring and summer drink. The flavour is very mild and sometimes outweighed by the syrupy nature of the cordial so those who have a sweet tooth may really enjoy this one.

  • Due to no preservatives or additional ingredients, this cordial has a high sugar content to prevent it from going bad.
  • Dandelion flowers can be collected around March to April when the sun is in full swing to ensure the flowers are out and full of goodness.

Ingredients

  • 100 Dandelion Flower Heads or more
  • 1kg sugar estimate
  • half a lemon

 

Method

Collect at least 100 dandelion flower heads fully opened and trim off the green bases. It’s okay to get a few green bits in with the petals and they usually get in the way.

dandelion flowers

Give the petals a quick wash/rinse but be careful not to loose all the flavour!

 

dandelion flowers

Boil the petals with roughly 1 pint of water and allow to cool and steep overnight in a covered bowl.

Add the juice from a half a lemon and strain out the petals thoroughly.

Weigh the liquid (a bit tricky I know) and for every 1g of liquid you have created add 0.95g of sugar. You can use different sugar types if you prefer but they will affect the flavour, for a clean basic flavour use white granulated.

Stir in the sugar and gently heat until dissolved (do not boil).

Pour contents into bottles and seal.

 

dandelion flowers