One of the tenets of permaculture is to grow to use. Of course, if you are growing vegetables then de facto you hope to obtain a yield. But what about ornamentals? Do they have a place in the permaculture landscape?
Even before the concept of permaculture had come to my conscious mind, I had heard that nasturtiums were edible but it took a small leap of faith to actually try them out. In the event, I found that the flowers added a certain je-ne-sais-quoi to boiled rice. My daughter is a bit harder to convince but I now wait to see if the flowers I grew this year have self-seeded and I can try her again with the rice. I might also even try the flowers in salad or something!
In the meantime, I have picked one rosehip. I’m going to dry it and then make a herbal tea – I reckon one hip should be enough for a cuppa… This doesn’t require quite the same leap of faith, since rosehip tea is a beverage I have bought from shops before. At the same time, when I did that I had no idea what rosehips really were, so part of me is unsure that any I produce will be the real thing.
Leading on from that, I had always been baffled that some children did not know that meat came from a previously living animal, for example. It seemed too incredible to be true. Considering my rosehip experience, though, I can now see how the meat concepts might be.
Have you ever had trouble getting your head round the provenance of any food? If so, what was it?