Thursday, May 14, 2009

25 herbs

I am teaching a workshop this weekend on herbs. I want to...

get herbs into folks hands
share my love of cooking with herbs
encourage all that they can grow them
so, I just made a list of all the herbs I have grown over the last ten years, and 25 made the list. Not counting varieties... of say basil... lime, lemon, sweet.
Some on the list I have done little with other than enjoy their presence and share a story of why they are in the garden.

Just outside the school's greenhouse are some tall perennial herbs, one is Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), a relative of Bee Balm. You see I am a lover of Earl Grey tea and so when I saw bergamot in Johnny's seed catalog, I thought "how cool."

Later I realized how wrong I was... the flavor in the tea comes from a tree, Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) which is a small citrus fruit. Word on the internet is that the fruit of this cross between a Seville Orange and Pear Lemon, is far from edible, but the oil from the peel is what makes the tea what it is. I love that some how someone decided to add this oil to tea.
Wild Bergamot, a native to North America, can also be used in a tea. Maybe this summer I will finally make tea from my bergamot.


  1. How come I wasn't invited? Sounds really cool!

  2. As a coffee die-hard, I haven't spent much time on tea. My favorite garden herb is tarragon. I love that flavor - works with chicken, fish, rice, tofu (most commonly at my house), and is delicious. It comes back every year and this year, I have shoots to share.

    I think this workshop sounds awesome!

  3. I can almost smell the herbs in this post! I had tea with orange peel and rose petals yesterday that made me feel less stressed even before I drank it -- scents are marvelous things.

  4. msklem--- you and everybody else.

    Kathryn--- researching herbs has my list up to 31, but no tarragon

    Michelle--- scents are amazing even with our lousy sense of smell... can you imagine what most mammals experience... I have samples of many of the herbs (just harvested fresh) for the folk to smell.

  5. The first year I got nto working in Spec-Ed, the lady who taught the class took one day a week where she would bring in herbs, leaves of the plant, as I recall, and would crush them up and let the kids experience the aromas in one way or another for a sensory exercise. Some were more pleasant than others to this old man's olfactory appetites....

  6. Jim--- some of my students have gotten quite into the smell given off by our plants. I agree some are better than others.

  7. Meet another Earl Grey tea lover... and all this time I thought I was drinking a flower!! Please update us on your experience with the herb.

  8. Beryl--- I will try to get to that update.


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