There are new herbs open this week! Please look for yellow circles at the same location as the label of the plant. Newly opened this week:
Sages – These rows are side by side and 2 different varieties of sage. Try some of each and see what you like in different ways. Look for the longest stems and cut 1/3 of the way down with scissors only or pinch back the top cluster of leaves. For the shorter sage, use the pinch/cut with scissors top cluster approach. 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 in a hot bath to feel its soothing and relaxing effects.
Chives and Garlic Chives – Use them as an alternative to onions or scallions in any way that your creativity offers. They make a nice vinegar, especially when the flowers emerge and the garlic chive flowers will be here in the coming weeks, for us and the bees! Please do not cut them all the way to the bottom!
All varieties of basil: regular, Thai, purple, etc. Cut top clusters only so the plants will continue to get bushy.
In the paths of the Culinary Herb Garden here and there, you will find some common herbs we would like to call to your attention. They are purposefully growing in the herb garden, emerging where they want and providing them the space to grow and thrive wherever they want to be! Feel free to try a leaf or two, or a small cutting for an experiment for your tea or otherwise.
Plantain is a premier field treatment for bites and stings, poison ivy and nettle stings – just chew some up and apply to ease the sting. It’s also helpful for inflamed mucous membranes of urinary and digestive system, and a soothing expectorant for dry coughs.
Dandelion leaves are a wonderful spring tonic. They have a delicate, bitter taste that stimulates digestion and are very nutritious. The leaves, stems and seeds are all edible, with seeds being high in protein. We ask to not harvest the dandelion roots however, so that they can continue to grow in their ‘chosen’ spots.
Purslane: A Weed You Can Eat
Purslane is a low-lying succulent plant with a lemony flavor. It grows as a weed in the fields and in the culinary herb garden. Pull it up and try it! Low in calories and fat, purslane 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 also has one best sources of Vitamin A among all green leafy vegetables. It’s 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).
Try juicing the fresh, raw leaves; include tender leaves in salads; sauté and gently stew the stems and leaves to serve as a side dish with fish and poultry; add to soup and curry preparations and eat with rice, as in South Indian regional cooking, or stir-fry and mix with vegetables and other leafy greens such as spinach.