Sage Hill Gardens

Uncommon Herbs in the Kitchen

I'm often asked "what it tastes like" when in conversation about most any herb.

Cilantro is an herb many don't even want to try. At some point in time someone said it had a soapy character, it stuck and has followed down through the culinary ages.

Actually it has a bold citrus overtone and a slightly sharp character. The aromatics are a blend of pepper and mild rosemary or pine.

French Tarragon is another not-so-common-on-the-dinner-table herb.

Mint, anise, and licorice all merge with a mild numbing effect when tasting true French tarragon.

Fenugreek: Over 4,000 years ago this herb was grown for the feeding of livestock. Over time it has graduated from barn to the kitchen.

The fresh leaves taste spinachy (is that a word?) with distinct slightly spicy notes of peanuts and caramel. Dried, the green essence is muted and nutty flavors dominate.

Turmeric Root: Fresh turmeric has intense, mustard like overtones and a light peppery character.

Dried forms exhibit these flavors when fresh, but tend to lose potency quickly.

Gilroy Garlic: If you haven't had this garlic roasted you are missing a delicious event. Notably, ot's more pungent than other types. Gilroy can be sharp, almost hot, when eaten raw. The sweetness blossoms when roasted.

Planting has not yet begun at Sage Hill, lots of recent rain and the soil is too wet…I can’t stress enough…’Do Not Work the Soil When Wet!’ Yes, it is easy to work when wet, yes, weeds are easier to pull when soil is wet, and yes! If you work it when wet it will dry hard and clumpy…can take years to break down again….Be patient, any action in the gardens is iffy until early May…we have plenty of time.

Anything that has been started in seed trays can be planted into the ground after your last frost date…for us here in the SE that April 20 I believe. Check your growing zone.

This is the time to prune your roses…do so immediately if you have not….

Any early blooming shrubs can be pruned as soon as the last blooms are gone…this will set the bloom status for next year…Do not prune until you are sure they have bloomed the last round….you will cut off next year’s blooms.

Asparagus in my gardens is spearing already…first cutting today….. If you would like to start your own asparagus (or other garden) bed-you can find instructions here…

You will also find the blog there…. We are in the transition period of moving it from BlogSpot….explains why you find no updates at the old location.

Look for the follow-up to this newsletter “ On Second Thought,” around the 15th of April…it will have the new schedule for up coming classes and activities at Sage Hill for the 2015 spring/summer season.

Until then….

Bea Rigsby-Kunz
Sage Hill Gardens

32 Old Petersburg Pike
Petersburg, Tn. 37144