It may be the 22nd of July today but it sure doesn't look like summer in Vancouver. Of course, this has quite an impact not only on ourselves but also on the lovely plants everyone has been nurturing for the past few months and looking forward to enjoying and harvesting during the summer. While you may be finding, as we are, that your sun-lovin' plants such as tomatoes are shy to peak out in this chilly weather, many of our rooftop plants are showing their bravery and growing beautifully. We have had incredible success with our beans, peas, kale, lettuce, and many others. Luckily, it is not too late to plant many of these varieties and still have success with them.
One of the most striking plants for our rooftop this year has been our nasturtiums, which are on display in the pictures shared here. With both edible leaves and flowers, it's no wonder these garden beauties are popular in home gardens. If you like the look of the red, orange, and yellow flowers that can catch an eye or two even on the most dreary days, it is not too late to plant them. And if you're wondering what their use is, that is completely understandable. In an edible garden they are great because they can add a little colour to what can often be an otherwise boring landscape. If you have an aphid problem--or are afraid you might--you will find that they love nasturtiums and may leave your other plants alone. Our beans were saved by having nasturtiums in and around them. Of course, these nasturtiums we do not eat.
Once harvested and out of the garden, nasturtiums are still great! We have been using the leaves on sandwiches in place of lettuce to add that bit of crunch. They have a flavour that is subtle but nice. For example, we used them in a tuna sandwich served during one of our Community Lunches. The flowers are also great in a salad for colour and flavour. If you are interested in the use of nasturtiums or cooking with others from the community please join us at our Community Kitchen next Wednesday, July 27, from 5-8pm. In the plans? A nasturtium pesto! This is bound to be fun and interesting. Please call to register at 604-435-0323 ext 237.