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GROW YOUR OWN GREAT-TASTING CULINARY HERBS
White Flower Farm's Top Picks
It's rare that a recipe calls for dried herbs over fresh herbs, but sometimes that's all you have on hand. Fresh herbs can be hard to find, expensive, and short-lived when stored in the refrigerator. White Flower Farm (www.whiteflowerfarm.com) says you can save money and cook with flavorful, fresh herbs by growing your own this summer. They've selected the best-tasting, easy-to-grow herb varieties for home gardeners.
Savory herbs bring out the best in full-flavored dishes of game, fish, meat and poultry. White Flower Farm's "Herbes de Provence" has something for each type of dish, including sweet marjoram, winter savory, French thyme, rosemary and culinary sage. The plants arrive in the spring, along with a set of elegant terra-cotta pots from France. Each herb has its own pot – allowing you to water them individually according to need -- and the pots nest together in an attractive terra-cotta bowl. Place your herbs in full sun and harvest throughout the growing season. The entire set can be brought indoors for the winter.
For that recipe workhorse, basil, White Flower Farm offers six varieties that will satisfy a range of tastes and uses. The "Basil Trio" includes 'Genovese', whose tender, fragrant leaves are a favorite for pesto; 'Spicy Globe', a compact form with small, spicy leaves that can be used without chopping; and 'Siam Queen', an aromatic Thai basil with large leaves, spicy flavor and ornamental purple stems. Basil needs full sun and you can harvest frequently.
How about some fresh oregano with your basil? Both herbs are a pizza lover's delight. Try White Flower Farm's 'Hot and Spicy' oregano for an intense pungent flavor. Or go with the traditional Italian oregano for a milder taste. Greek oregano is robust and zesty and a particular favorite at the Farm. All oreganos can be grown in pots, and combine well with colorful annuals in full sun.
Other best-selling and easy-to-grow herbs include:
"Thyme on the Patio" – a collection of 'Golden Lemon', 'Orange', 'Doone Valley', and 'Hi-Ho Silver'. This quartet of thymes will spread and fill your favorite patio pot with fragrant leaves to snip for recipes. They're also good companions for annuals that like full sun.
The "Lemon Duo" combines spiky lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) with vigorous, aromatic lemon balm (Melissa officianalis). Use their leaves dried or fresh to flavor teas. For an all-natural drink, add leaves from the Stevia plant -- the natural sweetener that really does taste like sugar, but has few calories. It grows well in full sun, too.
For more herb suggestions, as well as a panoply of other edibles, please visit www.whiteflowerfarm.com.
Barb Pierson, the nursery manager at White Flower Farm, is available for interviews upon request, as are other experts.
Please contact: Deborah Broide,
Deborah Broide Publicity,
White Flower Farm is a family-owned nursery located in northwest Connecticut. Since 1950, they have been gathering, evaluating, growing, and selling a wide range of annuals, perennials, shrubs, vines, bulbs, and houseplants representing the very best varieties from around the world. Plants shipped are true to name, free of disease, and in prime condition for growing. While in the area, stop by White Flower Farm with its five acres of display gardens, or visit www.whiteflowerfarm.com, where you will also find helpful gardening information including a how-to video library. Join our E-mail list for gardening advice and tips, From the Farm monthly newsletter, announcement of events at the White Flower Farm Store, and special offers not in our catalogues or on our Web site. White Flower Farm -- we make your garden grow.