Sustainable Spices: Harvesting Culinary Herbs from the Garden

Culinary Herb Garden

If your idea of living sustainably involves becoming more self-reliant, growing and harvesting your own food may be part of the plan. While most garden crops (lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes) have their own short seasons, culinary herbs, once well-established, can be harvested repeatedly from spring through late fall. Read more

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Growing food…and sharing it

Spring garden

Spring garden in the Delaware River Valley

Are your flowers getting crowded out by zucchini, lettuce and heirloom tomatoes? If you’re growing more of what you eat these days — whether to save money, enjoy fresh ingredients or ensure your food is healthy and chemical-free — you’re far from alone. Surveys conducted a few years ago by the Garden Writers’ Association and the National Gardening Association found that approximately 40 million Americans are growing food in backyard or community gardens. As edible gardens multiply, so do opportunities to share surplus harvest with friends, neighbors and the rising number of individuals in need.

A boom in edible gardening

The two surveys tracked a significant increase in the number of U.S. households growing food. For example, 19% more households expected to grow vegetables, fruit and herbs in 2009 than in 2008. (Updated survey results are expected soon.) The economy was a big factor for many of these edible gardeners, who hoped growing food would help lower household grocery bills while also improving the safety and taste of their food. – Read more

Local Herb Sale at Holcombe-Jimison Farm, May 19-20

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Herbs for sale 009 (Photo credit: tomylees)

Fresh herbs harvested from the backyard garden can make a big difference in the flavor of everything you cook. Whether you’re just starting an herb garden or expanding an existing one, consider marking your calendar for next weekend’s Herb Plant Sale, an annual event held by the Delaware Valley Unit of the Herb Society of America. The sale is an opportunity to purchase a variety of culinary and non-culinary herb plants directly from the knowledgeable local gardeners who cultivated them. In fact, if you have questions about a particular herb, the grower is likely to be on hand to provide answers. – Read more