Eat Clean, Green, and Sustainably!

Elderberries, one of our native fruits 
A guest post and a request for recipes by Kari Ruder of Naturewise:

This past May during the FNPS state conference, I went on the very interesting and informative native yards tour around Orange County. One of the things I noticed then and at other native yards is that owners of native yards are also very interested in growing herb and vegetable gardens. We grow native plants in our yards to preserve our natural communities and wildlife without the use of pesticides, and we grow vegetable gardens to feed ourselves healthy food, also free of pesticides. It was my interest in both native and edible plants that led me to start my native and edible plant nursery Naturewise, and partner with other local farmers to create our farm and garden co-op, The Green Marketplace, located in Cocoa, FL.

Meadow garlic, a florida native.
See our post on FNPS blog: A Native Herb ...
One of the really fun things about my job is sharing recipes with customers for using various fruits and vegetables as well as recipes that use native plants. We've been able to experiment making food from native plants like salads with edible native flowers, tea from leaves of dotted horsemint, pennyroyal, and Brown's savory, and even root beer from the root of those weedy smilax vines. This year I even tried making wine from beautyberries and it smells like it's going to be really good! I just have to wait for it to age a bit again before I can try it!

Catbriar tubers were the basis for Sasparilla and root beer.
Given the growing number of people wanting and supporting local food and native plants and incorporate edible landscaping in their yards, we decided we would publish a cookbook with recipes that are made at least in part from locally grown and native ingredients. We concluded that if people had more ideas on how to use traditional as well as lesser known ingredients that we grow here, such as calalloo, roselle, muscadine grapes, etc., more people would eat healthier and more sustainably. The goal is to encourage people to "eat clean" or make the switch from processed food to making more food from scratch, with simple, locally available and diverse ingredients.

Do you have a recipe that utilizes one or more ingredients that can be grown in central Florida? Then please submit your recipe for our cookbook!
Anyone can submit recipes, and every time you do (up to 5 recipes), you will be entered into our drawing for prizes from The Green Marketplace. You will enter your recipes online. Read the submission details on our website at:

Elderberry flowers are edible, too.
Just make sure you submit your recipes by Saturday, August 27th!

Once published, our cookbook will also be for sale on the FNPS shop website, helping to raise money for the society too!
Here is an example of a recipe that will appear in our cookbook:

Mixed Berry Crumble
5 cups mixed berries, such as blackberries, red mulberries, strawberries, blueberries, or elderberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. If fruit is frozen, thaw and drain. If fresh, chop strawberries if using those, otherwise place all fruit in an ungreased 2-quart baking dish. Stir in the sugar. In a mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles crumbs. Sprinkle topping mix over the fruit. Bake at 375 degrees until fruit is tender and topping is lightly browned. Serve warm with ice cream or fresh cream from your local dairy!

Kari Ruder, M.S.
(321) 536-1410


Unknown said…
do you have a list of plants that are naive to florida?
Hi Brandy,
Yes we do! It is on the organization's website and organized by county. Go to the following link for that info:

Popular posts from this blog

Australian Pine: One of Florida's Least Wanted

Native Trees and Plants You Will See Nearly Everywhere in Florida