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Growing edible flowers in Ukraine

A couple of years ago there appeared dishes with edible flowers on restaurants’ menus. Some Ukrainians have used this trend to build a new source of income, they grow edible flowers for sale. Manager of TM Zelen Mr. Yuriy Roman (Kamenka of Cherkasy region), has shared the details of the business development.

Why eat flowers? Some flower consumption is good for your health as they contain a lot of vitamins and microelements. The dishes decorated with flower petals also look very attractive.

There is almost no limitation as to flower consumption, the only exception being people with allergies to flower pollen. All the rest can add as many flowers as they want to salads, meat dishes, decorate cakes and desserts with them. One cannot eat too many flowers.

While cooking such dishes one should take into account several factors. First of all, all flowers have a different aroma and flavor. I tasted most of them myself: some have a rather neutral flavor, while others can add bitterness or sourness to the dish. This has to be taken into account while thinking over the recipe, as the flavor of the flowers should match other components.

Second, it is important to know how to present the flowers in the dish. Some flowers can be eaten as a whole. Some like violets or begonias do not have a bud as such. With calendulas, it’s best to consume leaves only as the buds have rather a harsh and bitter flavor.

Also, it is important to remember that flowers are a perishable product and their shelf life is seven days only.

Our enterprise is located in a clean area. The employees constantly maintain the required level of humidity, temperature and light in the greenhouses. We do not use chemical additives in the production process. Currently, we grow five varieties of edible flowers: violas, violets, begonias, geraniums and nasturtiums.

As edible flowers only appeared in the market not so long ago, our first clients were high-end restaurants, currently, this fashion has spread much wider.

The business is not the most popular one in Ukraine but we keep conquering the market. For instance, we have been selling microgreens for more than eight years and now they have appeared in the biggest trade chains too. We believe edible flowers will have a similar fate.

It is a year-round business as we grow our flowers in greenhouses and in winter the sales increase. We have now built a chain of permanent clients in the major cities of Ukraine.


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