AU: Farm swaps vegetables for edible flowers

It's hard to miss Elsa and Damien Hughes' farm in Queensland's Lockyer Valley — it's the pretty one. When tomatoes weren't paying the bills at the start of the year, they knew it was time to diversify, and now they have Instagram-worthy crops of edible flowers. 

"The impact of the crops is quite striking," Mr. Hughes said. "It's actually very nice to be able to grow something that looks as nice as that."

Demand for edible flowers has grown as fast as the blooms. "We went from nothing at the beginning of the year to having about 1,500 punnets a week," Mrs. Hughes said.

Once, edible flowers were mainly considered a culinary treat only found in expensive restaurants, but the couple says they have found their flowers to be popular at food markets, and some end up at bakeries. The varieties are similar to those found in gardens of old. "We grow dianthus, violas, pansies, snapdragons, marigolds, and fuchsias," Mr. Hughes said.

But he was quick to warn people not to go nibbling on just any colorful flower in the nearby park or garden. "We've done a lot of research into edible flowers," he explained.

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