Have you ever wondered about the large fuzzy, flannel plants growing at the ends of some rows in the Culinary Garden? If so, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce you to the mullein plant! This biennial herb tends to grow just about anywhere. 

This plant has great medicinal properties, including providing relief from respiratory ailments of all kinds. You can harvest both the flowers and leaves, as both contain mucilage, which is soothing to irritated membranes and makes coughs more productive. Mullein is both a strong anti-inflammatory and antiviral agent. You can add the leaves and flowers to teas you make with all the other herbs from the Culinary Garden. Some people might be sensitive to the leaves, so be sure to try a bit to start.

Purslane is also now growing in the Culinary Garden so feel welcome to harvest it, since it is not always where we want it to be! A low-lying succulent plant with a lemony flavor, purslane grows as a weed in fields. Low in calories and fat, it is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals. Fresh leaves contain more omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid) than any other leafy vegetable plant: 100 grams of fresh purslane leaves provide about 350 mg of alpha-linolenic acid.

Purslane is one of the best sources of Vitamin A among all green leafy vegetables. It is rich in Vitamin C, carotenoids and some B-complex vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin and pyridoxine. It also has many dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese. Note that purslane also contains oxaclic acid, in case that is a concern.

As a reminder, always check the Culinary Garden for gold stars. They will always be present once an herb is open. When you harvest, makes sure to take the outside of the plant and never cut all the way to the base of the plant. Presently the chives are closed to allow for regrowth. Please reach out to saralarry@verizon.net if you have any questions or would like to share information about the herbs! Looking forward to seeing you in the Herb Garden!