Lavender and several tea herbs, including chamomile, lemon/lime balm, several types of mint are available to harvest in Penelope’s Garden. In addition, we have tarragon available to harvest in the Culinary Herb Garden. 

Sara, our herb gardener, has information below about how to use these delicious, nutritious herbs. Harvest herbs only from beds marked with sparkly yellow stars. Note that the star for tarragon is located directly between the two beds of tarragon.

In Penelope’s Garden:

Penelope’s Garden is located to the left of the Children’s Garden when looking toward the fields from the pickup tent. It’s named for Penelope Turton, a long-time farmer of the Stearns Farm land. If you are interested in learning more about this area and helping to tend it, please contact Sara at


This familiar herb makes delicious, relaxing tea.


Lavender is an incredibly versatile herb for cooking.  Flowers and leaves can be used fresh, and both buds and stems can be used dried. Culinary Lavender is a member of the mint family and is close to rosemary, sage, and thyme.  It has a sweet, floral flavor, with lemon and citrus notes. It is best used with fennel, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and savory.

English Lavender has the sweetest fragrance of all the lavenders and is the one most commonly used in cooking.  The uses of lavender are limited only by your imagination.   The potency of the lavender flowers increases with drying.  Lavender is also wonderful for your skin.

Lemon/Lime Balm

In addition to making flavorful tea, lemon/lime balm can also be used in salads and salsas, or with chicken or fish to provide a hint of lemon. This herb also has medicinal uses.

Peppermint/ Spearmint/Stearns Mint

Peppermint makes wonderful beverages, including tea. It can also be used in a wide variety of dishes to impart a refreshing and distinct flavor.  Medicinally, peppermint can be used as a pain reliever, and it can have a relaxing effect on smooth muscle tissue. Peppermint leaf contains vitamin A and C, iron, potassium, and fiber. Some people  chew peppermint leaves as a means to naturally freshen their breath. To harvest peppermint, cut stems 1/3 of the way down the plant, using scissors.

Spearmint is similar to peppermint, but it has its own distinct flavor and nuances. It contains an array of vitamins and minerals, and it can be used in a variety of dishes, or medicinally to aid respiratory health and digestion. Harvest spearmint as you would peppermint, by cutting stems 1/3 of the way down the plant using scissors.

We coined the name “Stearns Mint”  due to the mixture of mints in one bed that is part of Penelope’s original garden. Use as you would any mint, and try some. Take a chance!

In the Culinary Herb Garden:

The Culinary Herb Garden is located behind the greenhouse.


Tarragon is typically used in French cooking. Use it fresh or dried to season vegetables, chicken, fish and vinegar. Tarragon  is high in vitamins, potassium, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Medicinally, it can be used as an appetite stimulant and digestive aid, as well as for toothache relief. Harvest tarragon by cutting a stem 1/3 of the way down the plant, using scissors.