“Eat Me!” said the rose.


Eat me.  From an Ecuador rose? Here is a funky business idea.

Rose-Petal-Jam

Rapid change and inflation make micro business ideas important sources of needed, extra income.

Here is a micro business idea worth our Funky Micro Business Hall of Fame.

A Reuter’s article about Roberto Nevado entitled “Ecuador wants you to smell the roses, and eat them” by Hugh Bronstein shows how out of the box micro business ideas can be.

Here is an excerpt:  Ecuador has long been a major exporter of big bulbed, colorful flowers that please the eye and the nose. Now its farmers are exploring a new idea — roses that you can eat.

Restaurants from New York to Barcelona, looking to attract customers with novelty dishes, have started to serve food containing organic rose petals grown on farms like Roberto Nevado’s in Ecuador’s central highlands.

Nevado is a spritely septuagenarian who moved here from his native Spain to start a plantation in the perfect rose-growing conditions offered by this part of the country, and his Nevado Ecuador farm now has three million bushes under cultivation.

Only 100,000 of them are grown without pesticides and meant for eating.

“But we believe the market will grow,” he said over lunch at his plantation featuring starters, main dishes and desserts containing red, pink and white rose petals that left a bitter-sweet sensation on the palate

“It’s new, it’s interesting, and that’s what everyone wants,” Nevado said, his green eyes flashing as he rolled a dollop of passion fruit mousse over his tongue, crushed rose petals adding a tangy juxtaposition to the sweetness.

“They are the same species as non-edible roses, but the fertilizers have to be organic and  no chemicals can be sprayed on them, which means they need more human care,” Nevado said.

Many bugs that can damage roses do not like garlic, he explained, so workers spray garlic solution onto the organic bushes and plant garlic around his edible rose greenhouses.

Restaurants such as Per Se in New York, Zazu in Quito and El Bulli near Barcelona have started experimenting with rose petal dishes and desserts such as “Rose Souffle”.

The restaurant’s rose martini, made with petals soaked for a week in vodka, is becoming a favorite at Zazu’s bar.

Edible roses account for only about 1 percent of flower exports, but growers say the market needs to be encouraged as the country pulls out of the economic doldrums of 2009.

The petals are certified by European Union authorities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for import. Nevado is pushing the idea of edible roses at food shows. He says one challenge is to convince potential buyers that they are safe.

This is the type of  combination one should look for in a micro business.  Look for a product that is rare… has high margins and contains a problem… like convincing consumers of its safety or using hand labor creatively.

Next time someone tells you that your zany business ideas are crazy, far fetched and can’t work. Just say “Eat me” and go for it.

By the way eating roses is not new. Rose petal jam, one of my favorites… (I have this jar in the fridge right now) has long been a favorite in the East.

Rose-Petal-Jam

Photo from my fridge.

Rose petal jam is delicious!  To make matters better, rose petals jam is really good for you also (like everything sweet in moderation). Merri and I incorporate this into our super thinking nutritional program… especially in the summer.  We drink it with milk, hot or cold,  on toast and and in a rose lassi… (yoghurt, rose petal jam and boiling water all mixed together).

A form of rose petal jam called Gulkand is an ancient Ayurvedic herbal preparation.

Rose petal jam is a cooling food especially idea for summer meals. It is a natural digestive, blood purifier and helps balance acidity, a world wide health problem created by refined food, preservatives, spicy food, junk food, over eating, eating too much fat and eating in a hurry, skipping breakfast and stress.

It helps reduce constipation, water retention, improves the memory, eyesight and reduces anger, as well as skin blemishes. itching and pimples.

Rose petals are rich in calcium and antioxidants.

They can sweeten body odor and heal mouth ulcers if dissolved in water and gargled as it strengthens teeth and gums.

There are numerous other benefits even various cardiac problems as it acts as a catalyst and facilitates uptake of various heart medication.

For full details, contact an Ayurvedic physician.

Here is how to make Rose Petal Jam.

Here is how to make a good rose petal mix if you cannot find rose petal jam at the health food or Indian store and do not want to order it online.

Wild roses are best as they have more essential oils and richer flavor. Use either dark red or small pink roses. Use only organic roses and make sure no insecticides have been used.

Add equal amounts  by weight of panela (dehydrated sugar cane juice… look in the Latino section at the store for brown blocks of it) and fresh rose petals.

Separate rose petals and wash with bio wash.  Let dry overnight. No water should remain.

Make alternating layers of rose petals and panela in the jars, about 1/2 an inch thick per layer.

Close lid and allow to stand in full sun for a few weeks, with lid closed. This converts the sugar into thick syrup. Shake every few days.

The sugar will melt and the mass will begin to look like a jam in a few weeks depending on amount of sun and temperature.

When you have a micro business idea, it can take many forms… and they can be pretty far out like chocolate covered roses to rose petal jam. And how about Rose Petal Ice Cream?

Those could create sweet micro business inflation beating opportunities.

Learn how to get Edible organic rose petals from Ecuador.

Gary 

Interested in writing and publishing to sell a micro business?  Learn about our Self Publishing course and how to save $597 here.



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