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They say that April showers bring May flowers, and we’ll see if that’s right this week! Friday is May Day, which has been celebrated with flowers since Roman times, when it was known as Floralia, a 6-day long celebration in honor of Flora, goddess of flowers. One May Day tradition from my childhood which may be due for a revival is making May Baskets, simple woven paper baskets filled with flowers, often dandelions or other blooming “weeds” we found in our yard. We would, as tradition required, sneak up to our neighbors’ doors, place the basket, knock, and run away with much excitement.I can’t help but think this would be a fantastic way to stay physically distant but socially close. Who doesn’t love getting flowers!

In honor of May Day, this week’s Fresh Five is all about Flower Power.

Forage for Edible Flowers

Flowers are beautiful, but did you know they can be delicious, too? Our Edible Flower Field Guide will help you identify some of the many tasty, colorful flowers you might find in your neighborhood. It includes sustainable foraging guidelines, and an Edible Flower Bingo card you can bring with you as you go looking for treats. Please forage responsibly!

Edible Flower Field Guide

 

 

Find Flower Friends

While you’re out looking at flowers, slow down and keep your eyes peeled for bees, butterflies, and more! We’ll have a whole week dedicated to pollinators, but this is a great time to start looking for them. You can help scientists track what species are living where using the Insight Citizen Science iPhone app. Don’t have an iPhone? Bumble Bee Watch (based in the US) lets you take pictures with any device and upload them to their database. Both of these projects are meaningful ways you can contribute to scientific knowledge in your community!

Insight Citizen Science
Bumble Bee Watch

 

Dissect a Flower

But why do pollinators visit flowers? And why do flowers want pollinators to visit them? Check out this Flower Dissection lesson from the great folks at SPEC to learn about the different parts of a flower and their functions, and see why pollinators are so important to plants, and to us! It’s part of their Green Thumbs at School lesson book, which is full of other great lessons. 

Flower Dissection Lesson

Press Flowers

If you have blooms that are too pretty to eat (or just not edible), you can press them and turn them into lasting decorations! This site has great descriptions of many different ways to press and dry flowers. Did you know you can press your flowers in the microwave? I sure didn’t!

Flowering Pressing

Roast Cauliflower

Is cauliflower really a flower? Yes, it is! The tight, white head of the cauliflower is actually its immature flower buds. If you left it on the plant, it would bloom! Broccoli is a flower too. Coating anything in butter and roasting it is sure to make it even more delicious, and cauliflower is no exception. You can substitute the curry powder with any of your favorite seasoning blends. Adding a colorful sprinkle of cilantro or dandelion petals takes it from everyday to gourmet.

Roasted Curry Cauliflower Recipe

Happy Flowering!

Kat

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