We have some new additions ready for harvesting in the Culinary Herb Garden. Look for the gold stars and please be VERY mindful about how you harvest your herbs.
Steep lemon verbena as an herbal tea or use it to flavor cocktails, mocktails and other creative drinks. It can also be used to infuse a simple syrup made with sugar and water. Harvest the lemon verbena by snipping a 2″ sprig or two with scissors, right above where you see the next leaves growing, maintaining healthy plants.
Sage is a favorite culinary herb. Its name comes from the Latin salvia, meaning “to be healed”. It is excellent with meats, poultry (including stuffing for turkey), cheese and vegetables – it is especially delicious with winter squash. Medicinally, sage helps relieve coughs, sore throats and digestive issues. It also makes a calming tonic to relieve muscle tension. You can even add sage leaves to a hot bath and feel its soothing and relaxing effects.
To harvest sage, look for the longest stems and cut 1/3 of the way down with scissors only or pinch back the top cluster of leaves. Only the sage that grows lower to the ground is open for harvesting. The other bed is not ready yet.
Have you tried any of the flowers growing near the cilantro and basil?
Dress up your salads 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. Once 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.
Courtesy of Sara Abramovitz. If you ever have questions or comments about the herbs or would like to help out in the garden, please feel free to get in touch with Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org.