Please look for yellow circles next to the labeled sign. When you pick, take a look at how the plant is growing and never take more than 1/3 of the plant. Sometimes that means the tips right above where two more leaves come out, or taking outside leaves. PLEASE do not take the whole middle of any plant! Thank you for your mindful attention to these instructions to ensure all sharers can benefit all season from the herb gardens.

Smaller 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.

Holy Basil/Tulsi: Please reference Tina’s Penelope’s Garden entry from 6/24 about this delectable adaptogen! It is also available in the back of the culinary garden. To harvest, pinch the top with the flowers emerging approach no more than 1/3 of the way down.

Sorrel: Please see Weronika’s description of sorrell in the 6/24 newsletter. This herb contains antioxidants, high in vitamins, minerals and proteins and promotes digestion, heart health, and healthy skin. When picking, please pick outer leaves, not the middle ones, and always make sure you are leaving at least 2/3 of the plant to generate regrowth. 

Shiso: A member of the mint family, known as Japanese basil or perilla. It has large, teardrop-shaped leaves with a slightly prickly texture and pointy, jagged edges. Its flavor is pungent and grassy, containing strong notes of spearmint, basil, anise and cinnamon. Slicing shiso into long skinny strips really brings out these flavors. Use shiso pretty much any way you would use basil or mint.

It pairs well with a wide variety of foods and flavors, including rice, noodles and pasta, tofu, avocado, cucumber, mushrooms, tomato, ginger and soy sauce, sesame, fish (it’s great with tuna) and shellfish, pork and many fruits (especially plums). In Japanese, Korean and Southeast Asian cuisines, shiso is most often used as a wrapping or to flavor soups and rice. It can also be tossed into a stir-fry, ground up into a pesto sauce, tossed with some sesame seed oil and soba noodles or used in cocktails such as a shiso julep. Health benefits include alleviating nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. It can also bring relief from coughs and headaches. When picking, this is a pinch tops approach method.

Cilantro: This wonderful herb imparts a pop of freshness and a piquant touch to any foods to make them delectable. Great health benefits from this herb include: lowers blood sugar, supports heart health and digestion and has antioxidant effects, only to name a few! Right now plan to cut about 1/3 of the way down as you gather a small handful, and please eat the flowers.

Some Edible Flowers
 – Johnny jump ups and nasturtium to start– add a pop of gorgeous colors and unexpected flavors to summers salads. 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.

Now for some herbs that were not officially planted!

Purslane: This 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.


Yarrow: This is a sweet “volunteer” plant at the edge of the thyme that is flourishing and we love to make it available to harvest and experiment with! Great for wounds and to stop bleeding, yarrow is also an antimicrobial and antiseptic. This plant is great for colds and influenza symptoms, urinary symptoms and digestion. The leaves and flowers can be used when making tea but it can be helpful to mix with other herbs, as its flavor is quite strong.