Eat your flowers!

We love growing and eating our flowers. We have over 60 species of herb flowers, fruit flowers, spicy flowers, veggie flowers of all colours, textures, shapes and sizes at the Maxwell garden this year and hoping to grow more for the next season. We are doing garden “Tour & Tea” events and one is “Edible Flowers in the Garden”. The next one will be on Tuesday the 8th of September to learn how to identify at least 12 edible flowers, the basics for preserving and cooking with them and tasting some flower based tea and cake! (Click on the link for the Facebook page).

Nadege has made a lovely little video from our last event:

Remember to only eat flowers if you are 100% sure of what they are. If in doubt, don’t eat. This is why its such a great idea to grow your edible flowers at home!

There are only a few common garden flowers that are toxic (for example clematis, hydrangea, morning glory, iris, anemone, bluebells, foxgloves, hyacinths…) but many many more that are edible, to add flavour, colour and goodness to your soups, salads, stir fries, in cakes, crystalized, infused, stuffed, in icecream, cocktails, sauces, jams…there are so many ways to have them!

Come and join us for the event or get in touch if you would like to visit us or volunteer. Call 01382802628 or email Manuela on mdmaxinfo@gmail.com.

Resources for successful seed saving

Seed Sovereignty

Great introduction to seed saving section and UK based organisation with Scottish Regional coordinators.

Click here for organic and biodynamic seed suppliers

Click here for their downloadable pdf chart with vegetable  crop characteristics for seed production

Seed Ambassadors zine

Great pdf downloadable zine, a good overview of why and how we should be saving and stewarding our seeds

Seed Alliance

Many relevant “how-to guides” for organic seed production, they have a good downloadable 30 page guide with how to best produce vegetable seeds.

Seed Savers

Excellent source of information with how to grow and save seeds of main vegetable varieties and the most important basics you need to know to get into seed saving for sharing with others.

DIY seeds

Short and sweet videos showing you how to save the seed of 32 vegetable plants. Will save you some time on Google and Youtube!

The Seed Site

Seedpod, seed and seedling images and where to find the seed, useful to confirm that your seed is what you think it is! Not many fruit and veg seeds though.

The Campy Growers 1st AGM

The Camperdown Growing project is taking a big step forward by setting up a new organisation in Dundee, the Campy Growers.

Everyone is invited to come along to its very first AGM (online) on Thursday the 10th of September at 6pm. Together, we’ll be working towards the establishment of a large community-led growing space in Camperdown. Please get in touch with Alison Goodfellow from the Maxwell Centre if you would like to join us (agmaxinfo@gmail.com).

How to make dolls with Poppy head flowers

It is the perfect time of the year to start collecting seeds.

How to collect seeds?

  • The flower head wouldn’t have any petals
  • The colour is brownish
  • If you shake the flower head, you will hear the seeds.

Put everything in a paper bag or tiny envelop with example with the name, the date and the place where you collected it.

Note: if the plant you are collecting the seeds from is hybrid (F1), your seeds might be fertile.

To make a doll, nothing easier!

Make sure the flower heads are dried and start painting, drawing!

Here are some ideas of what you can do:

  • Balloons
  • Funny faces
  • Labels for your garden

Have fun!

Lydia and her harvest box #2

Few weeks ago, Erin was telling us why she loved having access to fresh vegetables. Positive impacts for her mind and her body, she discovered new flavours and realised amazing meals with her harvest box and vegetables she grows on her windowsill!

Weeks have past and we have now made more than 150 harvest boxes! We are so happy to share vegetables, recipes and ideas with you. To celebrate this, we have a treat for your eyes: Lydia’s work.

Lydia is a photographer and stylist. She love shooting people, food and pretty things! She shot astonishing photos from her harvest box, we couldn’t keep that for ourselves!

⚠ Warning: amazing photos below!

Support local artist! Check her facebook and instagram page.

Please always give credit to @misslydiaphoto if using her artwork.

Do you have any favourite? The broad beans and the cabbage leaf have impressive colours!

Amanda and her painted stones: Thank you!

In the growing kits from July we’ve had an idea for one of the activities: painted wooden spoon. Well, it wasn’t really our idea, Amanda inspired us! And here is why.

Amanda had some free time and started to do stone painting. Patience, creativity and focus were needed. One day after an other, she improved her skills, achieved more difficult paintings and started to make lots of them!

We’ve meet Amanda at the centre, after one of the plant swap and it’s when she told us she wanted to support us. “The money raised will go to The Maxwell Centre in the Hilltown Dundee. They have a fabulous Community Garden and offer Monthly Free Growing Kits and Activity Kit to Families and every week they have a Harvest Box.”

She arranged everything and started to sell her painted rocks to “give a little something back”. A little something? After few days, Amanda raised £100 for the Maxwell Centre, inspired us for a great activity and spread her kindness and generosity.

Painting stones or spoons is a relaxing activity which will help you to focus. You can start by painting labels for your garden, faces, rainbows or becoming an expert in Mandala stones.

Once again, big thank you for supporting us.

Infused calendula oil

By turning your oil into herbal infusion you allow the oil to adsorb the beneficial properties of your plant! 🌸

Calendula is a powerful flower with its vibrant colours and amazing properties. Its main purpose is repairing skin such as eruptions, cuts, perfect after sun exposure.

Infused oil can be used for body care or for cooking depending on the plants you are using.

You will need:

  • A clean jar
  • Dried flowers/ herbs
  • Any liquid oil Any liquid oil will work, here we have used olive oil. We recommend to use organic oil whenever possible.

Method

  • Fill a glass jar 2/3 of the way full with dried calendula flowers.
  • Pour olive oil into the jar, making sure to cover the flowers
  • Stir well and cap the jar tightly.
  • Place the jar in a warm, sunny windowsill and shake once or more daily.
  • After 4 to 6 weeks, strain the herbs out using a thin cloth.
  • Pour the infused oil into glass bottles and store in a cool, dark place.

Different plants for different uses

🔸 Chickweed: This is an excellent oil to soothe irritated or dry skin, it also alleviates the itch and sting of insect bites.

🔸 Rosemary: it is incredible as a soother for aching muscles and joint pain and is a brilliant tonic for keeping your hair healthy and full-bodied.

🔸 Plantain leaves: A great healer for any form of damaged skin plus alleviates the pain from blisters and insect bites.

🔸 Lavender: used as a massage oil it will help you to relax. It also has a softening and conditioning effect.

🔸 Chamomile: calming properties (sorry for the misspelling in the video!)

🔸 Sage: Pain relief and anti-inflammatory.

If you want to start your first aid kit, here are some plants easy to find or to forage. When foraging remember to:

🔹 Forage in an abundant place

🔹 Leave plenty for the wildlife and for other people

🔹 It is forbidden up root a plant

Before trying herbal medicine, try a small amount first to establish if there are any allergies. They won’t replace prescriptions from your GP. Contact your GP for any questions.

How to hand pollinate your courgette (cucurbits)

The courgette is a wonderful vegetable with a distinct female and male flower. 🥒🥒🥒

🌸 The male flower will have a stalk and the female flower will have a fruit.

🌻 If the female flower is not pollinated, the plant will abort and you won’t have fruit.

That is why pollinators are extremely important. It is always essential to attract wildlife in your garden. 🐝🐞🦋🦟

If you are growing in a terrace, balcony or if you don’t see many pollinators around: this technique is for you.

👩🏻‍🌾 STEP 1: Take a paint brush (or cotton buds) and swap the inside of the male flower to get the pollen. The pollen will be on the stamen (male reproductive organs of flowering plants).

👨🏻‍🌾 STEP 2: Then, slowly add the pollen onto the pistil ( female reproductive organs) of the female flower.

And that’s you done! Courgettes are very sensitive to heat and water. Take good care of them!

We have tried the garden focaccia! EASY and DELICIOUS.

The garden focaccia is a perfect way to go around your garden for herbs, vegetables and edible flowers while enjoying a warm and homemade bread.

  • What to chose in the garden: 0’00” – 1’40”
  • Focaccia recipe 1’40”

You will need

  • 700g plain flour
  • 7g active dry yeast (1 sachet)
  • 1tsp salt
  • 450 warm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 120g olive oil Herb/Veg

Method

  • STEP 1: Mix the yeast, sugar and 130g of your warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes
  • STEP 2: In a bowl add 130g flour and pour your mixture. Mix all together.
  • STEP 3: Add in the rest of your water, olive oil (100g), the salt andflour (285g). Mix all together.
  • STEP 4: Keep adding the rest of the flour (285g). If it is too thick, add some oil. If it is too sticky add more flour. It is ready when the dough bounces back.
  • STEP 5: Place the dough in a clean mixing bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil at the bottom. Cover with cling film and let is raise for 2 hours.
  • STEP 6: Your dough has doubled! Lay it in a tray (oiled). Once it is stretched, cover with cling film and place in fridge overnight.
  • STEP 7 (day 2): Remove from the fridge and wait 30 mins
  • STEP 8: Decorate, have fun!
  • STEP 9: Bake for 20 mins in the oven (230C)

ENJOY!

Have you ever try? Please share with us some pictures!

Recipe from https://sugargeekshow.com/

EASY MINI CARROT CAKE AND EDIBLE FLOWER

Carrots as well want to be used in baking! This recipe is easy, yummy and you can decorate your mini carrot cake as you wish!

Ingredient

  • 2 large eggs
  • 150 g carrots
  • 165 g self-raising flour
  • 135 g brown sugar 
  • 150 ml vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 ⅓ tsp ground cinnamon

Method

  • Preheat oven 180C
  • Mix together the oil and brown sugar.
  • Add the eggs until combined.
  • Grate the carrot.
  • Add the self-raising flour, the bicarbonate of soda and the cinnamon
  • Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcake cases.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • To decorate your cake, you have plenty options: icing, more cinnamon, edible flower, icing sugar, lemon zest …

Recipe from Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen website!

Here a more edible flowers you can use to decorate!