Volunteer Plants


Our urban garden right now is a garden of “volunteers” which has created an eclectic mix of hearty edibles like bachelor buttons and even a big pumpkin plant! We surely do not have the real estate to grow pumpkins, but I’m keeping this guy for the flowers once they bloom and before they fruit. They are bright yellow and are so long that they can be stuffed. Remember THIS recipe from a long time ago where we fill them with burrata and fry them?



“Volunteers” means that seeds were not deliberately planted, but rather came from our compost (that’s absolutely where the pumpkin came from) or have been dropped by birds or the wind into our healthy and rich soil.



Borage is a big friend to bees as you see here and it is a strong self-seeder, so if you plant it once, it will multiply the next year sometimes even growing out of cracks in the pavement! Borage flowers have a delicate cucumber flavor and so we love them for our Heirloom LA kitchen. The leaves, once steamed, have a spinach like quality, but they also are really great ground cover to help retain water in the soil.



Pineapple sage leaves have a joyful pineapple aroma that I wish I could bottle and wear. Is somebody doing that? And oh how hummingbirds love those red flowers. They are edible and don’t wilt so these too are favorites in our kitchen. All of these plants have low water needs once established, and I’ve noticed that when they “volunteer”, they are stronger than any kind of transplant. And they are free! Hey, and did you know LA Sanitation offers FREE compost workshops? Check it out HERE.



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