Before or after you pick up your share under the pavilion, take a few minutes to explore the Culinary Herb Garden, located between the greenhouse and the farm fields. Sara, our herb gardener and volunteer coordinator, will be sharing information throughout the season on how to harvest the many herb varieties we grow and how to use them to enhance your meals.

In general, the herbs in the Culinary Garden are available for you to pick yourself. As with other pick-your-own crops, they can be harvested on the day you pick up, or one day later. All of the herbs in the garden are labelled. Any herb ready for harvest will have a yellow circle placed next to the labelled sign to indicate that it is ready to be picked. Please only harvest where you see the yellow circles! Whether herbs are ready for harvest depends on a variety of factors and each herb will have its chance during the season.

The perennial herbs that are ready to pick this week include marjoram, oregano, thyme and chives. These herbs have been waiting all spring for you!

  • Marjoram has a scent and flavor similar to oregano and can be used as a milder substitute. Marjoram aids in digestion. It can also help protect against common illnesses, reduce inflammation and relieve stress. Try it fresh or dried in soups, sauces, salads and stews.

  • Oregano has a strong aroma like sage and thyme, with a warm pungent taste. This herb has strong antiseptic properties and acts as a highly potent antibiotic.

  • Thyme has a piney and peppery taste with slightly lemony and minty notes. It is frequently used in Mediterranean dishes and pairs perfectly with fish, chicken, beans, tomatoes, lemons and wine. Thyme has been long known for its antiseptic properties and can relieve head and chest congestion. It has been used as a gargle to relieve sore throats and mouth ulcers.

  • Savory – The winter variety is less sweet and has a more earthy flavor than its summer counterpart. Fresh or dried savory is used in cooking to flavor vinegar, butter, beans, salad, soup and tea. It can also help relieve indigestion and other digestive upsets.

  • Mint  – This herb can be used in a variety of dishes, including salads and sauces. It also makes delicious beverages like hot and iced teas. Mint has been used to help relieve respiratory issues, aid in digestion and provide relief to sore muscles. And chewing a few leaves makes your breath minty fresh!

    Mint: Peppermint

  • Chives are a milder version of scallions rich in antioxidants with many benefits to your health. The flowers have mostly gone by now though feel free to pick them. They are wonderful in vegetable dishes and for chive vinegar. Pour heated vinegar in a jar filled with flowers and let sit a few weeks in a dark place for a wonderful infused vinegar to flavor your foods! The stalks are a bit tougher now though you will be able to harvest chives throughout the season where the ‘leaves’ will be more available.

  • Lemon balm – Named for its lemony aroma/flavor and its ability to heal and soothe (which is the definition of balm), this unique mint family member is a wonderful go-to herb selection. This plant is simply amazing and good for so many things: stress and sleep, cognitive health, thyroid and heart health, a modulator for inflammation, immune support, pain and digestion. It is also good for bug bites, completely safe for children and quite soothing (along with chamomile). Try it for making tea – on its own or in combination with any other plants you choose. It makes a lovely herbal-infused vinegar or honey and even lemon balm ice pops. Don’t forget to use it in your foods, as you would other more common culinary herbs.

Herb Harvesting Guidelines

As when harvesting any plant, picking herbs requires care in order to preserve them and enable them to continue to grow. Follow these instructions to harvest your herbs while ensuring the plants remain strong and keep growing through the entire season.

  • Please always use scissors to cut a small amount from each of several different plants. Bring your own pair!
  • Snip individual stems no more than 1/3 of the way toward the bottom of the plant. Think of harvesting as giving the herbs a trim so you are always leaving plenty of the plant behind to keep it healthy.
  • Never pull or tug at herb plants with your hands; you might pull out the roots with the stem and prevent the herb from growing more leaves.
  • For the marjoram and oregano, please be mindful at this time to trim the tops several inches down to keep the herbs from flowering. We want to avoid these herbs in particular from going to flower so early in the season!

The herb garden will be open frequently so you can pick fresh. Please only harvest what you can use in a given week. If you’re hoping to dry your herbs for the winter, pick a little every week so that over time you collect enough while still leaving fresh herbs for everyone to share. Please be mindful as you harvest and always supervise your children very closely in the gardens. If you ever need assistance or are unsure about how to pick a herb, please ask a farm staff member for help.

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 We look forward to to meeting you in the Culinary Herb Garden!