How to get the most out of your CSA’s herb garden.

 

Dear CSA members,
Novice herbalists, curious cooks, and those of you whose little bundles of herbs end up in the compost each week. I invite you to further explore the possibilities of what the CCCC student farms herb garden has to offer. Not only are many of these plants tasty, they’re also useful, easily dried, frozen, or turned into crafty gifts. Here are just a few examples;

Herb Vinegars,
Salves,
Tea’s,
Spice rubs,
Potpourri,
Tinctures (medicine),
Fragrant additions to a bath,
or even, for you culinary adventurers, jellied!

Although these projects may seem ambitious, most of them are quite simple, and totally worth the 5-10 extra minutes of consideration.

Herbs vinegars require only your washed herbs, a bottle, and your choice of apple cider or white vinegar. Try rosemary, thyme, oregano, tarragon, or a combo, and add it later to your favorite soups or salads!

On a hot day make a chilled rosemary or hyssop tea for an energizing kick. Simply steep herbs in hot water, add honey or agave, and ice. Or just throw some fresh mint or chamomile in a pitcher of water for a refreshing herbal tea. One of my favorite combinations for late summer is basil and mint (extra friendly for after dinner digestion).

Salves, tinctures, and potpourri may require a venture to the library, or a workshop with Kim Calhoun. But are well worth the effort. Many simple tinctures can be created involving herbs steeped in alcohol or vinegar to make a power medicinal extraction. Some interesting and more uncommon things you may not know are growing are motherwort, st.johnswort, and comfrey.

One of my favorite herbal ventures is to make herbal jelly! Surprise, its way better than you think! Rosemary and mint are the favorites. Marinate chicken or roast for a special kick. Or just spread on your toast in the morning!

I’ve had quite a bit of luck drying sage, oregano, and chives to crush up later for spice rubs on the grill.

Here’s a running list of interesting and wonderful herbs found in the garden. Feel free to stop in and snag a bundle.

Lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint, sage, thyme, lemon thyme, oregano, garlic chives, common chives, comfrey, tarragon, st. johnswort, motherwort, wormwood, chamomile, hyssop, rosemary, Egyptian onions, and on occasion new and exciting things like epazote and tea hibiscus!

 

Happy Herbal Adventures

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s