Although balcony container gardeners don’t have enough space to grow prize-winning pumpkins for their county fair or perfectly round pumpkins for carving jack-o-lanterns, small-space container gardeners can grow pumpkin plants for another reason: flowers. Pumpkin flowers are edible and are delicious. You can eat the whole flower (just rinse them under water and trim off any stamens) and eat them fried or even more simply, place them into a quesadilla. Pumpkin flowers are a rare food item that can’t be found in your local supermarket. And the best part is that you don’t need a lot of space to grow and harvest pumpkin flowers in a kitchen garden.
To grow pumpkins for their tasty flowers, you can use a relatively small plant container and keep the pumpkin trimmed down to a manageable size. Let it spread somewhat and go to flower. When you trim off the flower to eat it, you are essentially deadheading the flower, and the pumpkin plant will send out even more flowers trying to make fruit. Pumpkin plants are easy to grow as long as they have full sun in your kitchen garden.
Balcony Container Gardening Recipe: Pumpkin Blossom Chips
Makes 6 servings
2/3 cup all-purpose flower
1 teaspoon baking podwer
½ teaspoon basil
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of cold water
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups of oil for frying
12 pumpkin flowers
Mix together the flour, baking powder, basil, Parmesan cheese, water and eggs until smooth. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high. When the oil is hot, dip the pumpkin blossoms into the batter and coat them well. Place the coated flowers gently into the oil. Fry the blossoms on each side until they are crisp and golden. Drain them on paper towels and eat once they’ve cooled down!
So try growing a pumpkin plant for the experience and for the rarely eaten flower. Make pumpkin blossom chips for your next pumpkin-carving party!