FLX Garden: The Incredible Edible Calendula

There is so much to love about edible flowers like the calendula!
Photo provided by Petra Page-Mann

By Petra Page-Mann of Fruition Seeds

There is so much to love about edible flowers like the calendula! They are the best of all worlds, feeding us in ways beyond beauty, beyond calories, that allow us to grow our ability to see beyond what we’ve known.

As we seed our vegetables for the season ahead, now more than ever we sow the seeds of these edible flowers with a vast appreciation for their power to transform, with love, the world around them.

We are what we eat. So, let’s make it beautiful! There are so many edible flowers you can grow, but for today’s post, we are going to focus on the colorful calendula!

Easy to grow in any soil, any container and even limited sun, calendula is beautiful, edible and medicinal. Pluck the petals from the center calyx to toss in salad and strew across cakes! They have a mild marigold scent and flavor, which is heavenly 🙂

Just over one foot wide and tall with a rainbow of colors, calendula is also a favorite of pollinators and is easy to save the seed of, in fact re-seeding herself if you don’t harvest all her flowers and seeds, first.

The more you harvest your calendula, the more she’ll blossom. Undaunted by cold, we’ve had calendula blossoming here on our farm in Zone 5 til December!

We’re especially proud of our Remembrace Mix, which we selected in collaboration with Remembrance Farm just outside Ithaca, to bring more beauty and abundance to their signature edible flower salad mixes.

We’re also endlessly fond of Zeolights, an exquisite selection of Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed in Oregon.

All calendula is both edible and medicinal, but if you’re wanting to make the most potent healing salves, grow Resina. Named for her medicinal resins so abundant her flowers and stems are sticky, she’s not as lovely to eat, but your skin will know all the difference 🙂

8 Calendula Planting Tips:
1. Direct sow after snowmelt or start indoors anytime after snowmelt to harden off and transplant once 1 to 2 sets of true leaves have emerged

2. direct seed or transplant as you prefer

3. sow with one foot between plants

4. full sun / partial shade

5. 16″ tall

6. readily self-sowing annual

7. easy to save seed

8. thrives in containers

Petra Page-Mann, Finger Lakes native and lifelong gardener, believes each seed — and each of us — are in the world to transform the world. She co-founded Fruition Seeds in 2012 to grow and share the seeds as well as inspiration we need to surround ourselves with abundance in short seasons. Download her planting calendar or join the online Seed Starting Academy for free at www.fruitionseeds.com.

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