The importance of being edible

More and more cities are engaging in urban gardening. Nothing new, you might say. Hasn’t there always been flowers hanging down balconies in cities? Of course, yes, but this new trend isn’t limited to the old “flowers on the balcony” anymore.

As climate change is marching forward, food sources are becoming more of an everyday question than before and the urge of going back to the roots of life grows bigger within us. Growing plants in the city has become a thing.

The question is, now that we stand here, with hands ready to get dirty; what should we plant? Which vegetables and flowers can give us the ultimate outcome, both for ourselves and smaller individuals around us?

Vegetables and flowers which provide food for us, and for insects, are the ones we should focus on. At least if you want to have vegetables and fruits in the future.  I guess you already know how important insects are for humans.

So which food plants would be a good choice to plant for the best outcome? I know there is a lot of information out there about which plants are good for insects. These are the ones that work the best from my own observations: Tomatoes, Strawberries, Broccoli and Kale (leaf cabbage), Chives and Onions. Herbs are also great. They are easy to grow, nice looking and most of them attract insects. However, a safe card would be; Lavender, Thyme, Oregano, Dill and Sage.

Of course, flowers for esthetics can still have a place in the cities. Though, I would like city gardeners to think about what flowers they are puchasing and planting in parks and other green areas. Why the same kind of red tulips, when there is such a great and beautiful variety of other flowers that not only attract insects, but also are edible.

How about growing Calendula, Red clover, Cornflower, Dandelion (the yellow buds), Borage, Oxeye daisy, Indian cress, Rose and Tagetes in public parks? They attract a variety of insects and are very decorative in sallads and cakes.

Fun fact: Did you know that you can make syrup from the flowers of dandelion? You better hurry up to pick them, or your neighbor will. But please leave some for the bumble bees 🙂