Radio Park Garden Herbs
The Radio Park Garden has a number of herbs inside the garden in the long raised bed closest to the baseball field. There are also others scattered in other beds. Some of these herbs are annuals and some are perennials. A short list of what is planted in 2011 includes chives, lemon balm, angelica, dill, cilantro/coriander, pineapple sage, parsley, and several types of mint. OH - and there is basil - lots of basil - in one of the raised beds, and that is grown and planted yearly. Check out the Recipe page for easy recipes using some of these Radio Park herbs!
Angelica (Angelica archangelica)
Angelica is an impressive-looking biennial (meaning it sprouts one year and produces seeds the next) and can get to be over six feet tall. We've had one plant which produced one seedling. Typically, angelica stems are candied, forming a hollow candy tube. We haven't tried this yet. It is also fragrant and used to add the color to Chartreuse.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil is one of the most extensively used herbs in the garden, and really needs no introduction. At Radio Park it is primarily used to make pesto. For home use, we use it to makea caprisi salad along with fresh mozzerella and tomato slices, with a little salt and olive oil. We also freeze the mix of olive oil and basil in ice cube trays for use over the winter.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
Chives are another herbs that needs little introduction. We use them snipped in salads and on baked potatoes. The blossoms are also edible and a great addition to salads - but they have an even more concentrated chive taste!
What would salsa be without cilantro? We grew quite a lot for just this purpose, and let it blossom and reseed so we get two crops each year.
Usually used for pickles, but a beautiful plant, and a host for swallowtail butterfly caterpillars.
2012 will be our first year with garlic. There are a number of cloves planted in front of the asparagus plants. We'll let you know how they are doing in the Spring! Good for sauce and roasting whole. Also, the scapes, or immature flower heads, should be cut off before they bloom, and are an excellent addition to stir fry dishes.
An herb that sows freely in the garden. Less than foot high, this herb is used for tea and had lemon-scented leaves.
We have many types of mint at Radio Park, and a totally out of control mint patch. We''ll be reworking the patch in Spring 2012, planting in large pots embedded in the ground to attempt to keep them more organized. For teas and for nibbling.
We use this herb extensively in cooking. It is also a host plant for black swallowtail butterflies. It is pretty cold-hardy, and still doing well outside even in early January.