Friday, April 20, 2012

Ornamental or Edibile? Guerrilla Gardening Landscapers?

I saw this flower bed the other day, it had some nice "ornamental" plants planted along the border.  The home owner only thought they looked nice, I believe their landscaper planted them.  When i looked closer they turned out to be a type of kale.  Kale is a very nutritious plant, it has anti-oxidant properties, full of vitamins and minerals.  It is very high in Vitamin K,A & C.  Eating 100 calories of kale provides you with 25-35% of they Omega-3 fatty acids you need daily.  It also provides you with fiber and protein.  It is usually steamed or include in stir fry's.  I have heard that kale chips are just awesome, a great alternative to potato chips but packed with good nutrients.  I will work to find some kale chip recipe's and test them out.

To answer the question ornamental or edible?  The answer is yes.  There is no reason not to work in edible plants into our ornamental gardens.  The Zoo in town plants all sorts of cabbage and kale's in their ornamental gardens.  I hope they utilize it for more than just decoration, I'll have to ask next time I am there if they ever harvest it and use it for feed.  There are allot of places around here where they plant a lot of sweet potato vine in planters.  By the end of the season these are full and lush, that is a lot of food potential, especially if the right types of sweet potatoes are planted.

 Landscapers could really become a type of guerrilla gardener, planting edibles in the yards they take care of regularly.  And harvesting later, they are already tending the gardens, the homeowner/business owner pays for the watering etc.  There some obvious limitations on what could be planted that are not obviously food but still very attractive.  Pairing the right types of plants also would help to "hide" the edibles.

Kale plants, planted for their looks but are a very nutritious green

I found this website full of kale tips and recipes, its worth a look check it out.

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