I once used nasturtium flowers in salads, and I still will from time to time. However, once I discovered the proper use of the seeds for making capers, I have been pleased to leave the blossoms to the bees. We have always saved seeds to growing flowers, gradually developing our own locallandrace. Now the production is much increased to allow caper production!
The green seeds are stored as a standard lactoferment with basil and black pepper. Flowers from leek blossoms are added for their amazing flavor when available. The nasturtium capers are amazing and the bees seem to appreciate all the flowers, especially late in our season when other nectar sources are lacking.
Leek flowers are another accidental discovery of a planned seed production experiment. Now I overwinter a few plants in the house and replant in the spring to have a supply. These go well in a variety of ferments or fresh in salads.
Great idea Christine!
Leeks are one of my all-time favorite permaculture plants. I planted 100 pencil lead sized leek plants 15 years ago and got all you can eat leeks. I moved 1/10 of them to my new house and now I have all you can eat leeks here too. I just chop the clean, top, green leafy part of the plant so the bulb, which is hard to clean, stays in the ground and multiplies.
I have to try the flowers now.
We have been growing nasturtiums for years. Capers are hard to grow here because they hate moisture. I want to try those capers. People here have recommended Scotch broom capers because it's an invasive (yet nitrogen fixing) plant. I just thought they were tiny and not good tasting. I want to try nasturtium capers now.
I also think that nasturtiums are a great permaculture plant. Eat the leaves in a salad. They aren't related to your fruittrees, so they give the garden biodiversity. They also don't create lots of shade.