Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Herbal Garden: Savories

   On this family homestead, our savory herb garden is the perfect compliment to the main vegetable crops. The best part of planning the family meal is roaming among the herbs, brushing over them ever so slightly..their fragrance sparking inspiration and creativity.

   Basil: A basic staple to our cooking plan, basil is very versatile and extremely easy to grow. Spring seeds are set in the greenhouse until the soil warms, but fall plants are direct set in the soil once the summer heat wanes. This herb is abundant in production and is excellent for propagating cuttings.

   Dill:  It took me a while to find a happy place with dill...we didn't hit it off right away. My only experience with dill was in dips for veggies, and I had a terrible time getting it to grow. The feed co-op introduced me to 'Bouquet Dill' - specific for my area; now I love it. I cast the seed direct in the soil in spring and fall and wait for the beautiful 'lace doilies' to blossom.

  Oregano: This creeping tangle of dainty leaves is amazingly potent and spreads like an ant hill. I divide it out every season to keep it going..Greek, Italian..this herb has some interesting varieties and makes a wonderful presence in the garden.

  Parsley: Growing parsley in the south is a little crazy; it doesn't have long to survive here. A cold climate herb, I purchase plants because the seeds never quite worked out for me..and being a short term herb, it wasn't worth the effort. I dry plenty while it grows for use in dressings and in my smoothies.

   Rosemary: This herb is hardy and pungent! We have a plant that is nearly my height and quite bountiful; you can brush by and just breath it in. I purchase a plant but take cuttings from it regularly to propagate and share. Being a great herb for many Italian dishes, it also is a perfect complement to roast meats. It likes well drained soil, so raised beds or a potting is best.

   Sage: It isn't just for stuffing, ha! Sage is delightful and easy going..fragrant and quite beautiful in its varieties. For me, seeds never grew well, so plant it is..several varieties every year..variegated, pineapple, many.

   Thyme: Oh, thyme..never enough in my garden. I love it in soups and salads..vinaigrette and  even a summer tea. This herb loves rock gardens and very well drained soil; we keep it in pots and harvest often. I haven't had success with seeds or I purchase it when I find it.

   After a long day of homestead work it is such a joy to brew a cup of tea, grab a hand made throw, and stroll over to the herb garden..stirring their leaves as I go..take a seat there on the bench..and watch the sun set over the barn. Tranquility and peace bring rest to our busy bodies, and solace to our souls.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Thanks so much for this thoughtful post. I really appreciate the background on the herbs. I am new to growing herbs. This is my first year for anything more complicated than mint and lavender so I appreciate every word. Have a great week.