The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Summer flowers

Opening sunflower

ZinniaI don't leave much room for entirely ornamental flowers in our garden. Which isn't to say that the space isn't vibrant with color at certain times of the year. Sunflowers, for example, are one of Artemesia's favorite concentrates. Zinnias? Well, they're just around to be pretty, I guess.

Elderberry flowers

The elderberries I have here and there are technically both edible and medicinal. But I mostly just let the plants grow because they were here first and they're awfully tough to root out. Both bees and birds enjoy the plants at different times of the year.

Corn flower

Bean flowersThe flowers I watch more carefully aren't nearly as pretty...but they're going to be much tastier!

The first corn and bean flowers popped up this week, promising summer vegetables in the near future.

Squash flower

And then there are our crookneck squash plants, which combine beauty and edibility with their massive yellow blooms that turn into copious fruits. If the petals weren't so fleeting, I think city dwellers would plant these in their front yards.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I've been taking the blossoms of the volunteer patty pan squash and tempura-ing (? is that even a word?) them. As Homer Simpson would say... "Mmmmmm... tempura!"
Comment by NaYan Sat Jun 18 09:17:38 2016
I've actually found (since my kids love planting flowers) that I get more fruit/veg if I interplant flowers among my food plants. Cosmos daisies attracted so many pollinators that I got tons of butternut due to the best pollination rates I've ever had. Plus, the flowers tend to crowd out weeds with their shade. It's a win/win for us.
Comment by AmberC Mon Jun 20 15:52:46 2016

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