3 GREAT HERBS 4 u 2 GRoW
Article and Photo BY ELIZABETH FIEND
SALAD BURNET makes an awesome home-grown herb because it’s practically evergreen. Do you realize the implications of this? Well, the pilgrims did when they brought it to America from its native Europe. It means you can grow something GREEN to eat practically year round, even in cold climates. It tastes yummy, like chicken. Oh, no that’s rattlesnake. Salad burnet is tangy with a hint of cucumber. It makes an attractive edging plant and is easy to grow.
PERENNIAL CHIVES is a must have herb not only for cooking but also for the garden as it’s a great companion plant which repels problem insects. In the Middle Ages chives were used to ward off evil spirits. Today we appreciate their high content of vitamins A, B and C plus the minerals iron, potassium and calcium. Like all alliums, chives reduce blood pressure. The purple flowers are edible and very good tasting. Sprinkle some snipped chive stalks and a crumbled chive flower over rice, or other food, and you’ll have a strikingly beautiful presentation of green and purple confetti.
FLAT-LEAF PARSLEY is a biennial herb that’s easy to start from seed. Parsley contains more vitamin C than an orange! Because if its high chlorophyll content, parsley gently clears toxins from the body thus combating inflammation and high blood pressure. The ancient Romans gave parsley to gladiators to promote their fighting skills.
TO GRoW Salad burnet and parsley are biennials, which means the plant has a two year lifecycle. They’ll grow like gangbusters the first year and you should harvest plenty. The next year they’ll “bolt” or “go-to-seed” producing flowers, than seeds and then they commit suicide. It’s a good idea to “deadhead” or pinch off the flower head and replant the seeds. Plant new seeds every year to ensure a steady supply of these nutritional powerhouses. Chives come in many varieties. I recommend a perennial chive which will live forever, giving you more bang for your buck. There are also flavors of chives like garlic chive (you can recognize it by its flat leaf). Buy plants or seeds. Reseed and make more plants as needed.
TO HARVEST For salad burnet and chives, simply cut off the stems about 1 inch from the ground. Parsley grows in individual stalks. Cut them right above a set of leaves. Always make sure to leave at least 1/3 of each plant intact. Best eaten fresh (not dried).