C.S.A. Murder and Intrigue…plus Edible Flowers

Cooking is one of my my primary passions, and if you follow my blog you know that I think we should all be trying to eat seasonal, local, and organic as much as possible.  Two of my other great loves are gardening and reading, so I am taking a break from the recipe routine to introduce you to a great summer read that combines all of my favorite things.  The book is A Tine To Live, A Tine To Die, by Edith Maxwell, and I received a review copy to read and enjoyed it so much I wanted to give you a chance to win a copy (giveaway details are at the end of the post).

A Tine to live a tine to die COVER

Edith is a former organic farmer and an early C.S.A. provider, so I asked her a few questions about the connections between her writing and her interests in local, organic foods.  She was drawn to farming because, “I’ve always loved the idea of growing my own food, and had a small garden from college on. I subscribed to Organic Gardening Magazine and learned about compost and the no-till method. When the chance came to grow food on a slightly large scale when my children were young, I embraced it. It’s different from the way my protagonist, Cam Flaherty, got into farming, but it’s a lot of fun remembering the details of my life back then.”

Edith in her farming days.
Edith in her farming days.

Since I am such a fan of C.S.A.s (Community Supported Agriculture), I was also interested in Edith’s early experiences with that process: “I had an early CSA twenty years ago. It’s a win-win for farmer and customer alike. The farmer gets the money up front for seeds and seedlings and other spring expenses, and then has a guaranteed customer base. The farmer also no longer has to take twenty gorgeous heads of lettuce to the farmers’ market and bring home five unsold and wilted. The customer has a selection of fresh produce each week and also has a vested interest in the farm. In one version of the CSA model, the customer shares in the bounty as well as the failures of the farm. If the early tomatoes are flooded out, there are no early tomatoes in the share. But if the strawberry crop is extra fruitful, customers take home a few extra quarts of berries. Customers tend to think of it as, “my farm.” Cam Flaherty has a CSA and the book opens on the first pick up day. She worries, as I often did in early June in Massachusetts, if she has enough produce for all the shareholders!”

In the book, protagonist Cam starts her first C.S.A. pick-up by providing shareholders with a salad made with edible flowers, and after reading that section I made my own, floral salad.  Many varieties of flowers are edible, just make sure you use flowers that you have grown yourself or are from a known source–do not use florist-purchased varieties, as they are probably treated with things you don’t want to eat.  For this salad I used rose petals, violas, pansies, and tiny thyme flowers.  Nasturtiums are wonderful on salads, but mine are not blooming just yet.

Edible flowers

To add flowers to a salad, pick them fresh and gently rinse them off, then add to your favorite greens.  Herb flowers especially add flavor, so if your basil starts blooming, snip off the flowers and toss them in your salads. Colorado State has a good list of both edible flowers and those to avoid, if you want more information.

If you would like to enter to win a copy of Edith’s new book, A Tine To Live, A Tine To Die, just follow the directions below to enter.

Giveaway Rules:

Giveaway has ended!  The winner was Linda–congratulations!

-Giveaway ends July 10th, at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.  For one required entry, leave a comment below this post.  I would especially love to hear comments about your experiences with C.S.A.s and Farmers’ Markets!

-For a second entry, “Like” Edith Maxwell’s Facebook page, and then be sure to leave a separate comment below to have it count as an entry.

-For a third entry, “Like” Seasonal and Savory’s Facebook page, and then be sure to leave a separate comment below to have it count as an entry.  If you already “like” the page, post that as your third entry!

-U.S. Mailing addresses, only, please.  I will select a winner using random.org, and contact that person via the email provided.  If I do not receive a response within 48 hours, I will select an alternative winner using the same method.

Happy reading,


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  1. There is a weekly farmer’s market near where I live. Love to get the fresh vegetables. Yummy. Would love to read and review your book.

    1. Farmers’ markets are wonderful! Thanks for your interest, Cheryl.

  2. Hi! I volunteer at our Community Garden (15 years) and just started a Children’s Garden with activities and guest speakers and food samplings… xo Colleen

    1. I also go to a big farmer’s market on Fridays in downtown La Crosse, WI…. My 4 grandchildren love going to the farmer’s market and to our Community Garden… we all volunteer at the garden and bring home free organic produce!

    2. That is so cool!

  3. I love mystery and intrigue novels. I’m not that familiar with C.S.A.s although we have many farmer’s markets in our area. However, out in Arizona, where my daughter and granddaughters live, I believe they are prevalent. In fact, my granddaughter I believe is or was involved. She teaches urban farming in a college out there.

    1. Pat, I did not know that–that’s pretty wonderful.

    2. Urban farming is becoming very popular, and rightly so!

  4. I liked Edith Maxwell’s facebook page! ox

  5. I just liked Seasonal and Savory’s facebook page! xo Colleen

  6. Hi… I just liked Seasonal and Savory’s facebook page! Thank you! xo Colleen

  7. I often shipped the local farmers market in north Texas area, but not so much here on the coast. If I travel towards East Texas I do stop at some of the roadside veggie & fruit stands.

    1. I’ll bet Texas roadside stands have some fabulous fruit. And thanks for liking my page, Linda!

  8. I’ve already liked Edith’s FB page.

  9. I just liked Seasonal and Savory’s facebook page!

  10. Love this read and enjoy fresh vegetables and seeing all the feedback!

  11. Denise in Michigan

    I love my CSA deliveries! I forwarded the email copy of this Seasonal and Savory issue to my CSA farmers in case they are interested in reading a mystery involving a CSA farmer!

  12. Denise in Michigan

    I liked your page. In fact, I may have done so at least twice (by mistake). Never thought to put roses in my salads. Don’t get enough to part them from the bush, but my lawn gets tons of those pretty shasta daisies that will look great in a salad!

  13. Denise in Michigan

    I also liked the author’s page too. Maybe it was there that I clicked too many times by mistake? Love the title of the book too. I’m sure I’m not the only one who misread it at first!

    1. Denise, thanks so much! I hope your CSA will like the book. Yes, when I say the name of the book out loud to anybody I have to enunciate Very Clearly. And have had a couple of people say, “What’s a tine?” Hmmm. “You know, like the prong on a fork?” When you read the book and see what the murder weapon is, the title will make even more sense. ;^)

  14. Love our farmer’s market – a Saturday morning must! Fresh local tomatoes are now arriving, along with peaches, cucumbers, squash, etc. Culinary heaven!

    1. Janice, thanks for stopping by. I totally agree about a culinary heaven!

  15. Living in Oklahoma, springtime trips to the Farm Market can be quite disappointing, as too many produce items are brought in from other states and even Mexico. But, there’s a bounty of greens and asparagus and plenty of flower and herb plants to plant in your own gardens. I’ve alway wanted to live where you could garden year-round because I love growing SO much and wish my own diet could be totally locavore!

    1. I know what you mean, Sandi. In New England, I sure would miss coffee and chocolate, though!

  16. I grew up on a farm so gardening was definitely part of life! After I got married and we bought a house, we had a nice garden for most of the years we owned a house. We now live in a condo. I have a basil plant that travels with me in my car. I love to go to Farmer’s Markets. Produce is so much better than what one can buy at the local grocery store.

    1. So true, Elaine! And basil – a queen of herbs, in my opinion.

  17. I have liked Edith Maxwell’s page.

  18. I have liked Season and Savory’s page.

  19. Great post Angela – Thanks! I keep meaning to join a CSA – and missed the boat again this season! UGH!! I received a few shares from a CSA when some friends were on vacation and couldn’t use their – it was so much fun – kind of like Christmas!! Next year I am on board!!
    Have a good one!! ( :

    1. Enjoy the CSA when you join, Tina! It is fun.

  20. I’ve not joined a CSA but did have a produce delivery service for a while. Unfortunately I kept getting things we don’t or can’t eat, so growing my own favorites was a better deal. Sugar snap peas are my new favorite veggie.

    Thanks for featuring Edith and her book today. I love mysteries that provide good information as well as a good story. And thanks to you for that picture of the salad…I always grow a lot of pansies, but never knew I could eat them.

    1. Thanks, Patricia! Love sugar snap peas, and edible flowers are the best.

    2. I used to candy violets and pansies–so pretty, but too much sugar for me now. I loved Edith’s book.

  21. Would love to win! I grow herbs and edible flowers…and always enjoy a good mystery! We have several farmer’s markets near us. We buy berries, flowers, honey, okra, corn, green beans, lima beans, black eye peas, tomatoes, yellow squash…all the delicious flavors of summer!

    1. Mmm, okra. Love it! Thanks for stopping by, Daricia.

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