We’ve opened many additional beds in both the Culinary Herb Garden and Penelope’s Garden. Edible flowers, garlic chives, tarragon, lemon thyme, chamomile, lemon/lime balm, and a variety of mints are all available to harvest along with any other herbs in beds that are marked with a sparkly yellow star.
To ensure herbs are available for everyone who wants them, please take only what you will use during the week and observe the instructions below.
In the Culinary Herb Garden
Dress up your salad with colorful flowers.
- Nasturtium blossoms have a sweet, spicy taste, adding a peppery tang to salads.
- Bachelor’s Button has slightly sweet to spicy taste
- Pansies have a slightly spicy, lettuce-like flavor that is reminiscent of wintergreen .
When you pick edible flowers, cut the stem along with the flower. When you get home, bathe them gently in a bath of salt water to remove any dirt or grit, then perk up the petals by dropping them in a bowl of ice water for 30-60 seconds and drain on a paper towel. Store the flowers with stems whole in a glass of water in the refrigerator until you use them. They do not keep long.
Garlic chives are similar to chives but with a garlicky flavor. Use in place of parsley or any other herb in cooking. Cut stems one third of the way from the top of the plant, as if you’re giving the plant a haircut
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. Please take only one or two sprigs.
Use this lemon-scented herb in marinades, soups, sauces and salads. It also makes a great tea. Like the more familiar common thyme, it’s packed with minerals and vitamins.”
Harvest as you would common thyme. Hold a small handful and cut no more than 1/3 of each stem with scissors.
In Penelope’s Garden
We grow tea herbs in Penelope’s Garden, located on the far side of the Children’s Garden
Pick a flower or two to add to your tea, or use in your salads, atop an appetizer, or with your avocado toast. Calendula is an economic alternative to expensive saffron, though not quite as pungent. You can find calendula in the Culinary Herb Garden.
The flowers and leaves of this familiar herb make delicious, relaxing tea. Harvest by cutting stems 1/3 of the way down with scissors.
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.
We grow peppermint, spearmint, and our own “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.
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.
“Stearns Mint” is a mixture of mints in one bed that is part of Penelope Turton’s original garden. Use as you would any mint. Try some!
To harvest any mint, cut stems 1/3 of the way down the plant, using scissors.