foodlove, gardening, nature, photography

borage flower ice cubes

Enjoy borage flowers as a super easy and super beautiful treat to share with your friends or enjoy solo on ye’s patio! Borage is a really neat plant, with very little pest issues. Some self-seeded borage plants are growing all around  my garden, which is great, because it is a great companion plant for a lot of other plants. It is said to protect or nurse legumes, spinach, brassicas, and even strawberries. (source: wikipedia) It is also said to be a good companion plant to tomatoes, which, in my garden, it is most definitely sharing space with my tomato plants, and they are looking rather delightful! Check out the blurry bee in mid flight in the picture below! Now multiply that bee by fifteen and you might have a good chance of borage in your yard! 😉

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Bees seem to LOVE borage….and they will fight for those baby blues! I learned that the flowers actually produce a substance called pyrrolizidine alkaloid, which acts as a defense mechanism against insects who love munching on plants. This bee juice has a sweet honey-like taste and it helps attract bees to your garden space!

As one of the few truly blue-colored edible substances, lots of folk like to add flair to their desserts or garnish a plate to add POP! As a fresh vegetable, borage kind of tastes like cucumber and it is often used in salads. (And some of the most beautiful uses of the borage flower can be found during lunch time at the Thyme Garden in Alsea!)

I decided to pick a few flowers, and since I didn’t have the makings for a beautiful salad, I made pretty ice cubes! There’s really nothing to it — you plant/find borage, sweetly thank the bees for sharing the sweetness, cut off a few flower heads, and set them in an ice cube tray to freeze…

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…well, I thought it was a “nothing to it” sort of project.  As you can see, the lady bees were not having it. They held on tight to those flowers, even as I moved the flower heads to the bowl. They did not want to share, and took every opportunity to dive bomb my large target of bright white skin. I was for sure I would get at least one sting from my first borage mission, but luckily, the stingers let me off the hook this time. I’ll take it as a free-card warning. The little bee above was the last to leave the bowl, and only after I had carried it onto my porch, taken a few photos, and shook it out with a nice big shake…then quickly ran inside as to escape revenge!

With what I gathered, I placed into an ice cube tray and enjoyed a few lemonades in style! They make for a beautiful addition to a summer cooler. My intention was to use them during my weekend BBQ, but I completely forgot about them amongst the bustle. 🙁

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Aren’t they so beautiful? I love the bright blue color and the radial symmetry. And it just makes for a happy drink. 🙂  I think I will collect some more to add to a nice summer salad with some of the delicious vegetables and greens that Sylvie gets from work– and I can serve my boarge-ice lemonade to complement! I just need to think of something I can give as an offering to the garden bees in exchange….
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