PO Box 2458, Tijeras NM 87059

Mountain Gardens--finding success with plants for the high desert and East Mountains of New Mexico

Friday, February 3, 2012

Herbs Popping Up

 If all goes well on the heat mats, we should have a nice selection of herbs this year including some unusual ones. We'll have the standards: flat & curley parsley, three kinds of basil, borage, dill, fennel, thyme, oregano, marjoram, lemon balm, spearmint & peppermint, rosemary, rue, pennyroyal (not culinary, but it was really nice in containers last year), and stevia if we can surmount germination issues. Chives of course, both onion and garlic. They're nice in flower beds too. Lavenders if we can find them. Like the creeping thymes, they're hard to keep in the greenhouse, so we buy them locally.

We're experimenting with angelica, an old fashioned herb that grandma candied. It has a sweet aroma, and has been used for centuries as a flavoring and vegetable good for digestion. It's harvested in its second year, and can reach six feet tall!

Roselle is in the mallow family, a vivid yellow hibiscus type flower. It's used to make refreshing drinks among other things. The calyces, the fleshy bottom part of the flower, lends a deep red color. Roselle is used extensively in Asia, India, the middle East, and Europe for food and medicine.

Marsh Mallow used to be the base for, what else, marshmallows. It's been used for thousands of years both for medicine and food. It has a showy pink hibiscus type flower.

Papaloquelite is a native South American annual. It's used in Mexican recipes for cilantro flavor. Always fresh, never cooked.

We had a number of folks ask us for epazote or Mexican tea, another seasoning for a variety of Mexican dishes, so we'll have it too. It's often used in beans and is believed to prevent flatulence. Guess it's used a lot. It has a pungent aroma. The newer leaves aren't as strong as older ones; use sparingly. Can become weedy. Used by the Aztecs.

Space is always an issue for us so some of these will probably be available in limited quantities.

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