As you can see from the photo above, the community garden at Persimmon Park is growing lush and strong! Soon we’ll be inundated with tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, and eggplants. Feel free to stop by the garden and see what’s growing at the next DIG IT class on Saturday, August 6th from 1-2pm. The topic of August’s class is The Herb Garden, where we’ll be talking about how to grow, harvest, and cook with all your favorite herbs from tarragon and basil to thyme and oregano. As always, the class is free and open to the public, so please bring friends, family, and fellow garden enthusiasts to join in the fun. And if you can’t wait for August 6th, please read on for a few tips of some fun herbs to grow and how to use them in the kitchen.
One of our favorite herbs to grow in the garden is berggarten sage, known as the true culinary sage. Not only does this variety have beautiful silver-green foliage, but it will also produce pretty dark blue/purple flowers that are irresistible to hummingbirds, bees, and other pollinators. What’s more, those flowers are edible! Tuck them beneath the skin of your turkey with a few sprigs of rosemary before roasting, or toss them in a salad of orange slices and slivers of fennel.
There are many wonderful varieties of oregano available at your local nursery, but we recommend the creeping oregano pictured above. This spreading low-to-the-ground variety is great for lining pathways or filling in the borders of your raised beds. It also produces mats of small, densely packed purple flowers that are an excellent addition to scrambled eggs or folded into cream cheese. As a rule of thumb for herb blossoms, they taste like a milder and slightly sweeter version of the herb they’re growing from.
If your cilantro has bolted, don’t pull it out! Those pretty white flowers are butterfly magnets and are edible to boot. Their pungent flavor is a great addition to salads, bean dishes, and cold soups. Furthermore, if you let the flowers dry into seed heads, you’ll then have coriander for all your cooking needs. You can click here for more information on how to harvest and store coriander seeds, as well as a recommendation to use the young green seeds heads to infuse your favorite vodka!
We hope this blog post will inspire you to grow and harvest your very own herbs. You don’t need an enormous garden to enjoy fresh herbs – even a small pot on your stoop, balcony, or window sill can do the trick. For more information on growing herbs and any other gardening questions you may have, we hope to see you at the next DIG IT class on Saturday, August 6th from 1-2pm!
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Residents and friends of Bay Meadows are invited to join us every Thursday from 5-6pm for our new dog-friendly community event, Twilight Tails. Kick back in our new lush park, Landing Green, while your pooch plays with the other dogs around town. Or join us on Mondays afternoons for Momdays in Paddock Park for everything under the sun – live music, puppet shows, crafts – the events change monthly. Every Monday from 3-5pm, make your escape to the great outdoors with other parents of kids from all around the city.