What are the reasons to grow it in your garden? Its flowers have a refreshing taste that is reminiscent of cucumber. Although they can be cooked eating them raw is not recommended due to the ‘prickles’ it is best not to. A cover crop of borage could help to improve the soil quality before other crops are grown. By planting bee-attractant plants like borage, we can make sure that pollinators are around to pollinate our crops. Borage is also used to make a soothing tea. Women of the Victorian era used borage in claret cups to raise the spirits and lift ones mood. Remove weeds. It also improves the soil quality, reduces weeds, and aids in water retention. You can eat the leaves, raw or cooked, and the flowers, raw, as a garnish or in drinks. She graduated from allotment gardening to organically managing 1/3 of an acre of land, including a mature fruit orchard,which she has turned into a productive forest garden. Since moving to the property she has also rescued many chickens from factory farms, keeping them for their eggs, and moved much closer to self-sufficiency. Her young leaves are sweet, cooling, and have a cucumber flavor. It is vital that we protect biodiversity whenever we can. Borage is considered a good companion to squash, tomatoes, and strawberries, deterring tomato hornworms and improving the flavor of tomatoes … Elizabeth Waddington is a writer, permaculture designer and green living consultant. Borage can be beneficial as a mulch around a range of common crops, and may be particularly beneficial for flowering and fruiting plants. The leaves can of course be used as a salad green and the flowers as edible decorations, but to stop there would be an insult to the wide variety of uses for borage. Borage is the common name for Borago officinalis. Borage, when left to set seed, will generally self-seed very readily. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. As mentioned above, borage can also be a useful edible crop. It is also known as starflower. Borage flowers makes an attractive edible garnish and may be added to any green or fruit salad to taste. Borage is a hardy annual edible that is known for its beauty. Borage is a fairly common domestic herbal remedy that has been used since ancient times[244]. Leaves and flowers can be harvested as soon as plants begin to flower. Wild food can help treat various medical conditions. She has filled the rest of the garden with a polytunnel, a vegetable patch, a herb garden, a wildlife pond, woodland areas and more. Without these insects, we would not be able to grow much of our food without immense effort. These can be used for cooking though. They are covered with whitish bristles that can feel rough-hairy. Borage can grow up to 1 metre tall but tends to average at about 80 centimetres. It is also a cultivated herb that many people grow in their gardens. 10 Liquid Fertilizers Made From Weeds & Plants @ RuralSprout.com. Borage, (Borago officinalis) is an annual herb that is found throughout the Asia Minor, the Mediterranean region, Europe, North Africa, and South America.Borage flowers and leaves are edible, commonly added to salads and used in cooking. When she is not gardening, Elizabeth spends a lot of time working remotely on permaculture garden projects around the world. Both the borage leaves and flowers of this distinctive plant are edible herbs. Your feathered backyard flock will also enjoy eating borage. Fresh borage flowers and leaves have been used in wines and salads since ancient times. Affordable and search from millions of royalty free images, photos and vectors. Borage is often mentioned in organic gardening circles. It can be a useful addition to your hens’ foraged diet, or can be chopped and tossed into their run to give your chickens a healthy treat. Whether or not borage really does repel these pests, it could be worth a try planting it as a companion plant for vulnerable crops. The plant is hairy all over its stems and leaves. This is a warm-season herb that has a long harvest period. and leaves that have a cucumber-like flavor, borage is considered an herb, but is often grown in vegetable gardens, where its star-shaped blooms attract pollinating bees. Read on to find out. Because it is a tonic plant for the adrenal glands, borage provides an invaluable support for a stressful lifestyle. As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to give borage some space in your garden. And wild birds are not the only creatures which could benefit. It is also used in the regulation of female cycles and to promote good heart health. An ornamental bed or border in your garden. Can also pick young fresh leaves, but skin contact with leaves may irritate Water in prolonged dry weather. To support our efforts please browse our store (books with medicinal info, etc.). Borage is a somewhat gangly plant, but because the star-shaped flowers are so vibrant, this isn’t really noticed. Young finely chopped borage leaves may be added to any green salad, but do not add too much because of their hairy texture. in length. This can help reduce nutrient leaching and make sure that nutrients are gathered and stored. As the plant matures the stalks and leaves become covered with prickly fuzz. You can make a poultice to sooth the skin. While the evidence is largely anecdotal, some gardeners swear that borage can also repel or deter certain pests, such as tomato hornworm, and cabbage moths, for example. It flowers from around June right through to October in most temperate climates, and grows to around two feet in height at a medium rate. It has been used as a cure for jaundice. And can be grown in full sun, or light or dappled shade. Many bee species and other pollinating insects are endangered. She has long had an interest in ecology, gardening and sustainability and is fascinated by how thought can generate action, and ideas can generate positive change. In medicinal use today it is limited, but the seeds are a source of linolenic acid. And having these beneficial bugs in your garden can help maintain a balance in the garden ecosystem overall. Borage is an Edible Crop One of the main reasons to grow borage in your garden is as an edible crop. Here are a few examples demonstrating the different ways that the leaves and flowers can be used: Cucumber Salad With Borage Flowers @ allrecipes.com. Its delicate flowers stand out against a sea of green, and can add to the visual amenity of your space. Borage is native to the Mediterranean region and has naturalized elsewhere. Borage tastes just like cucumber. As gardeners and growers, one of the things we can do is make sure we have flowers in bloom for pollinators throughout the year. But, they can also help create jellies, sauces, drinks, and more. The first and most common way to use borage in your garden design is as a companion plant. You may not immediately think of this as a good thing. Tall stems may need staking (often when in more fertile soil). Liquid fertilizers can be made using a range of different weeds and garden plants. The whole plant has a cucumber odor and flavor. Borage flowers and young leaves are a wonderful, edible treat with a mild cucumber flavor. She is a practical, hands-on gardener, with a background in philosophy: (an MA in English-Philosophy from St Andrews University). This post may contain affiliate links. The flowers are a great addition to salads and summer drinks. Identification, health, In 2014, she and her husband moved to their forever home in the country. Borage flowers provide delightful splashes of blue for your garden. And no one should make borage a major part of their diet, as it does contain small quantities of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in tiny quantities. Borage is such a useful plant in the garden, while growing and when harvested, that you may not immediately turn your attention to its uses elsewhere on your homestead. (Though if you plan on using herbal remedies on a regular basis, it is always best to work with a qualified herbal medicine practitioner.). The leaves are broadly ovate and stalked and measure between 4 and 10 cm. Some people use the leaves or flowers in salads, as they have a taste similar to cucumber. So why not get some seeds and plant some in your garden this spring? While self-seeding plants are not always ideal for very neat and tidy gardeners, borage is such a useful plant that gardeners are often happy to let it naturalize around their gardens. So once you have planted some in your garden, you should find that it seeds itself and pops up all around your growing areas year after year. Borage is a hardy annual edible that is known for its beauty. The dried stems can also be used for flavouring, and the seeds yield an … Some people use borage as a substitute for valerian as it dispels melancholy and induces euphoria. That said, you will generally find that borage is a useful addition to your home-grown diet. And by self-seeding prolifically, borage can help to cover areas of bare soil and fill in patches in your growing areas. The leaves, and to a lesser extent the flowers, are demulcent, diaphoretic, depurative, mildly diuretic, … Additionally, borage releases calcium and potassium into the soil, which can help oth Not only does it taste great, it is also a common ingredient in herbal medicine, and can be great for your health. The flowers are star-like, with five, narrow, triangular-pointed petals. The flowers are generally a deeper blue when the plants are grown in poorer soil conditions. A Companion Planting Trio @ thespruce.com. While we strive to be 100% accurate, it is solely up to the reader to ensure proper plant identification. Borage (Borago officinalis) is an large herb with hair stems and leaves. It has a particularly good reputation for its beneficial affect on the mind, being used to dispel melancholy and induce euphoria[244]. The leaves are … Borage Cucumber Salad Dressing @ tasteofhome.com. In herbal medicine, an infusion is taken internally to treat fevers, chest problems and kidney problems. It can survive with very free-draining soils and is relatively drought tolerant. Borage flowers are also used in potpourris or … Bees are also attracted to borage flowers in preference to those of many other plants. Some people use borage as a substitute for valerian as it dispels melancholy and induces euphoria. Another way to incorporate borage into your garden plan is to use it as a green manure or cover crop, which gathers nutrients, protects the soil and attracts beneficial wildlife before being chopped and dropped to feed the soil ready for the next crop in rotation. Visit her website here and follow along on her Facebook page here. Borage, therefore, can be a good choice in regions prone to compaction. Older leaves become hairy and have a more pungent flavor. Adding borage to your compost heap can also help make sure you have a nutrient-rich and well balanced compost at the end of the process. The leaves may also be cooked and served as for spinach. Not everyone knows that the borage plant is edible. Borage, also known as a starflower, is an annual herb in the flowering plant family Boraginaceae. They attract loads of pollinators, have edible leaves and flowers, and are a medicinal herb. Both the leaves and flowers of borage are edible with a flavor much akin to a cucumber. In later times there are references to the flowers being embroidered into medieval tapestries . To aid pollination, borage can be a great addition all around your property. These beautiful flowers are generally blue, though pink flowers are occasionally also observed, and there are also white-flowered cultivars. You can use borage alone, or combine it with other weeds from your garden for a nutrient rich weed tea that provides other plants with a wider range of different nutrients. Borage is best grown from seed. The more you can cover soil, the more you will protect the fragile and essential ecosystem it contains. nutrition, recipes, history, uses & more! You can also simply add a few leaves or flowers to a number of other soap recipes, such as the one below: Cucumber and Borage Soap @ thenerdyfarmwife.com. It has limited culinary use in today’s foods, but the borage flower is often used as a garnish. Borage can grow wild in woodlands and pastures. Some wild plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. An edible blue dye can be obtained from the flowers; some people use it to colour vinegar however it turns pink on contact with acids. Click. But since it draws aphids to it, this plant can serve as a useful trap crop. It is most commonly used as a bright, flavorful addition to salads, dips or cocktails. Borage flowers are edible and can be used to decorate plates Borage contains high amounts of vitamins, especially vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin B Vitamin C and vitamin A are two of the best antioxidants, capable of neutralizing the negative effects of free radicals, which can cause many diseases of degenerative nature, including cancer. Bees tend to be attracted to purple/ blue flowers, and the simple structure of borage flowers means that the nectar is easy for bees and other pollinators to access. Planting borage with strawberries attracts bees and increases the yield of fruit. Its flowers are even edible, although you should speak to your doctor about the amount safe to consume. Harvest borage leaves when they are young for the best taste and texture. Blooming over a long portion of the year, borage can bring a cheery splash of blue to your garden. If you don’t mind the hairs (some do, some don’t), you can cut the older leaves and add them to salads. Borage Leaves as a Vegetable Wash young borage leaves and remove stalks. It is up to the reader to verify nutritional information and health benefits with qualified professionals for all edible plants listed in this web site. Use the young leaves in green salads, seafood salads fruit salads and even fruit drinks. This beautiful plant works well as a companion plant as it deters tomato hornworm and Japanese beetles; it also stimulates the growth of strawberries. It grows very well in gardens across Europe and is also common in kitchen gardens across North America. As chopped plants, you can also add borage to your compost heap or other composting system. Sow seeds under cover and plant them out once weather has begun to warm, or direct sow seeds where they are to grow after the last frost date in your area. So are borage flowers. But whatever else you choose to do with it, it is worthwhile keeping a few plants aside to use in your kitchen. Both the flowers and foliage of the plant are edible. It grows satisfactorily in gardens in most of Europe, such as Denmark, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, remaining in the garden from year to year by self-seeding. While scientific evidence on dynamic accumulation is often scant, it could be worthwhile considering borage in this capacity. EdibleWildFood.com is informational in nature. We are currently in a worrying period of mass extinction. The dried stems can also be used for flavouring, and the seeds yield an oil that is particularly high in gamma-linolenic acid. We’ll talk a little more about how you can use borage as an edible crop a little later in this article. Another way to use chopped borage is to make your own liquid fertilizer or liquid plant feed for your growing areas. A couple of caveats to mention, however: people with liver problems would be best to avoid eating these plants. Both the leaves and flowers of the plant are edible and commonly used as a garnish, dried herb, or vegetable in a variety of drinks and dishes. Growing borage is also a magnet for pollinators and birds. Borage is relatively unfussy when it comes to growing conditions. So how can be use it? The color of borage, that special deep blue, was symbolic of goodness and caring. Sow once, this annual will then readily self-seed if left to its own devices. It’s a domestic herbal remedy that has been used since ancient times. This article takes a closer look at the benefits, uses, and potential side effects of borage. Traditionally the borage plant was used to treat many ailments, from jaundice to kidney problems. Borage, (Borago officinalis), an edible and ornamental plant with loose drooping clusters of starlike bright blue flowers, in the family Boraginaceae.Borage is native to the eastern Mediterranean region and is cultivated in various parts of Europe, Great Britain, and North America.The leaves and flowers are used in salads, and in Europe the leaves are cooked as a vegetable. Mulching with organic plant material adds to the nutrients available in the soil for the uptake of other plants. So, now you have a much better idea of the reasons to grow borage in your garden, let’s take a little time to explore in a little more depth how you might use it. Deep blue, though pink flowers are generally a deeper blue when the plants ideal. A Vegetable Wash young borage leaves when they are young for the glands. Drinks, and can be a good ‘ nurse ’ plant throughout your garden this spring can! 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