You've been asking about it week after week, and now the time has finally come. The theme for this Sunday is... HERBS!
I've got both medicinal and cooking herbs that I'll be bringing to the market. Some are common, and some are very unique.
You may have noticed that I wasn't at the Wilson Barn farmer's market last Saturday or today. Simply put, I was getting far too overwhelmed with gardening and had a few nervous breakdowns. I needed a couple of days to get my mind straight about what still needed to be done and to organize myself more for the upcoming days at the market. I truly do work with gardening issues every moment that I am awake, and haven't taken a break in months. So, when you see my plants or produce at the market, you should know that they are bursting with love and are taken care of very well.
On a happier note, I got 3 new plants last weekend. My husband wanted to commemorate my quarter of a century birthday with, my favorite, plants. I am now the proud owner of a popcorn plant (a plant that smells like popcorn), a parrot plant (a very rare plant that I accidentally killed months earlier), and a starter peach tree (for my love of peaches). All are perennial, so I hope they last a long time. The parrot plant and the popcorn plant are tender perennials, so they will be coming into the house for the winter months each year. They were also all under $10 each, so I am truly happy that we were able to find such awesome things for such a low price. The peach tree should start to produce in only 2 years. I am very excited!
In other news, I tried selling at the Redford Township Market at the Marquee this past Sunday. It was really cool, and I am planning on being there for the rest of their season as well. The Redford market is on Sundays from 10 to 3. So, I will be selling at the Wilson Barn market on Saturdays and at Redford's Market on Sundays. Double Whammy of selling my awesome plants!
Now, for the list of what I'm bringing to the Redford market tomorrow (Sunday). If you haven't visited me before, check out Redford Township's Market at the Marquee to get directions and information. Since I missed today for Wilson's Barn, I will be bringing my herb plants along with me for next weekend instead.
HERBS (plants): Full instructions on how to harvest come with each purchase.
We are also bringing plenty of hand-picked and dried herb seeds. Yay!
Basil: $2 per pot, perfect for the fall and winter months on your kitchen windowsill!
- Cinnamon Basil
- Dark Opal Basil
- Sweet Basil
- Thai Basil
- Thai Siam Queen Basil
Sage: $2 per pot
Confederate Violet 'Priceana': $2, perennial, the common name of this violet refers to the resemblance of the color of its flowers to the color of Confederate uniforms during the Civil War (pale greyish blue). Good groundcover for under trees or in other shaded areas. The blooms are edible and rich in vitamin C. The flowers are dipped in egg whites and covered in sugar to make 'candied violets' used to decorate pastries. The leaves can be boiled and eaten as 'spring greens.'
Common Mint AKA Field Mint: $2, perennial, like the cultivated mints, it can be used to make a pleasant herbal tea using the fresh or dried leaves. An essential oil from the plant is used as a flavoring in sweets and beverages. The leaves of this plant may be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves are also often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its antiseptic properties and its beneficial effect on the digestion.
Common Milkweed: $3, this plant is an important food source for the Monarch butterfly and is a preferred host plant for them. The flowers have a great fragrance when blooming, somewhat like hyacinths. It's important to also note that it is not only a preferred host plant, but milkweed is the ONLY host plant for Monarch caterpillars. The Monarch larvae/caterpillars cannot survive without milkweed as a food source. These plants are edible for humans as well, but note that the plant is deadly if not prepared properly. The shoots can be eaten like asparagus when the leaves are still ‘hugging’ the stem, the flower bud clusters can be eaten like broccoli, and the immature pods (like okra) are edible. You can also eat the mature flowers as long as they haven’t started wilting. When harvested at the proper stage of development, you can eat these parts of the plant raw, steamed or boiled with no danger of being poisoned. Indians used to eat it as a vegetable. You MUST speak with a professional and know what you are doing, BEFORE eating any part of this plant.
Fern-leaf Tansy: $2, AKA Death Plant. Ornamental herb with lacy leaves topped with buttons of gold flowers that dry nicely in arrangements. The strong-scented foliage is used to repel flies, ants, moths and mosquitoes. Excellent for rock gardens and border edging. Eating tansy raw is deadly, but it is a safe culinary spice so long as it is exposed to sufficient heat, such as in a hot frying pan, or baked in a custard or quiche. It can be dried for just such culinary uses, serving as a substitute for nutmeg, cinnamon, or ginger. A traditional Easter custard, no longer popular, was spiced with tansy & feverfew, in imitation of the Jewish Passover tradition of bitter herbs eaten as reminders of hardships in the wilderness. Clumps spread by underground rootstocks and can spread relentlessly in rich soil. Give it plenty of space in the garden or plant it in containers. You MUST speak with a professional and know what you are doing, BEFORE eating any part of this plant.
Feverfew: $2, Perennial Medicinal Herb. Feverfew is a little known plant with small daisy-like flowers. It has been used for generations in herbal medicines very effectively. It’s not only attractive in the garden, but is a very potent medicine. It’s a great remedy for headaches and migraines, and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It lowers blood pressure, aids the digestive system and much more! This herb, unfortunately, doesn't seem to be of any help once a migraine has manifested. Its greatest benefit is through regular, preventative use.
Eyeball Plant 'Peek-A-Boo': $4, AKA Toothache Plant and Para Cress. Astonishing golden globes with rich red-bronze eyes perched on mounds of bronze-green foliage. A very unusual accent plant. Spilanthol, a chemical with effective local anesthetic action has been identified in the plant. This action works surprisingly fast. If you have a toothache and rub a leaf on the gum area of the toothache, the area tingles and then goes numb within a few seconds.
Balloon Flower 'Sentimental Blue': $3, a dwarf version of balloon flowers reaching to only 6-8". This heavy bloomer has very large blue flowers that begin in the shape of a balloon before opening, hence it's name. Forms a low, neat mound. 'Sentimental Blue' is the most disease-resistant variety of the species. The balloon flower roots are still widely used in traditional herbal medicine as an expectorant for pulmonary disease and as a remedy for respiratory disorders including bronchitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis, and suppurative dermatitis. It can be taken as a tea or a tincture. The balloon flower root has also been used to prevent obesity, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia. The root is also used in Korean, Chinese, and Japanese cooking for salads. The root is soaked in water before cooking to remove the bitter taste and to soften the fiber. The radical leaves are said to be slightly toxic so only the top leaves should be used for eating. Old leaves are powdered and are used as a flavoring. The roots can be eaten in soups as a tonic vegetable if it’s cooked. It is also peeled and pickled or preserved in sugar. You MUST speak with a professional and know what you are doing, BEFORE eating any part of this plant.
Daylily 'Stella de Oro': $3, by far the most popular Daylily selection of all time, because it flowers for months on end. Excellent for massing, edging, borders or in mixed containers and tubs. The flowers of daylilies are edible. They are slightly sweet with a mild vegetable flavor, like sweet lettuce or melon. Their flavor is a combination of asparagus and zucchini. Chewable consistency. Some people think that different colored blossoms have different flavors. To use the surprisingly sweet petals in desserts, cut them away from the bitter white base of the flower. Also great to stuff like squash blossoms. Flowers look beautiful on composed salad platters or crowning a frosted cake. Sprinkle the large petals in a spring salad. In the spring, gather shoots two or three inches tall and use as a substitute for asparagus. You can eat the roots and the flower buds too!
Celery 'Sedano Da Taglio': $2, RARE Italian Heirloom Cutting/Leaf Celery. Non-heading celery. Nice for cutting. Use like an herb. Use in soups, salads and garnish. The leaves are finely cut and resemble parsley.
Parsley 'Extra Curled Dwarf': $2, Biennial Herb. Wonderful flavor and an excellent source of vitamins. This variety has finely cut, curly leaves on very compact plants.
Chives: $2, Perennial Herb. Produces dense umbels, 1” across, of up to 30 bell-shaped, pale purple flowers in summer. Cut leaves for salads, potatoes, & soups. Good for growing indoors year-round.
Marjoram: $2, Perennial Herb. Use fresh or dried leaves in salads, dressings, meat, sausage, lamb dishes, beans & soups. The warm, sweet flavor of marjoram makes it one of the best culinary herbs. Perfect for edging or in rock gardens.
Rosemary: $2, Evergreen, shrub-like plant has gray-green, needle-like leaves and pale-blue flowers. Widely used to season meat, poultry, vinegars and to make sachets. Bring indoors in winter for a nice house plant. Annual if left outdoors, perennial if brought indoors for winter.
Lemon Bee Balm: $2, this bee balm has a citrus smell when crushed, reminiscent of the fruit of the actual lemon plant, and which has purple flowers that prove irresistible to both bees and hummingbirds. Sometimes, especially late in the season, the odor is described as resembling oregano more than lemon.
Ladybells: $3, Perennial flower. Excellent for borders or in open woodland. Hardy, strong stemmed, voluptuous producer of massed purple bells in summer. Foliage this year, flowers next year.
Oregano: $2, oregano's power to heal and preserve was well known in the ancient world. Today's use is to spice up various Italian dishes, tomato sauce, pizza, fish, salad dressing and meats.
Canna 'Indian Shot': $3, a nice ornamental Canna native to southern Belize and other parts of Central America. A stunning plant with large tropical-looking leaves and red flowers. Used as a landscape item, it will make a nice focal point to give any patio or courtyard a taste of the tropics.
Marigold - French Dwarf Double - Mixed Colors: $1 each, Annual Flower. Fully doubled flowers in shades of yellow, bronze, and gold. Plants are compact with attractive deep green foliage. Excellent planted in vegetable gardens as it’s a natural insect repellant.
PRODUCE: (Yes, we FINALLY have something to bring!)
Nature Sweet: $3/quart or 2 quarts for $5, a small variety of a cherry tomato that is twice as sweet as other tomato varieties.
Sweet Banana: $0.25 each or 5 for $1, Hungarian Sweet Pepper, rather thin-walled, but they have a nice, tangy flavor. They get sweeter as they ripen. Popular for salads, frying and pickling. A great way to boost your Vitamin C intake!
Serrano: $0.25 each or 5 for $1, a small fiery hot pepper with medium to thin walls. A favorite in sizzling hot salsas, sauces and Mexican dishes that is 5 times hotter than the Jalapeno.
Be sure to check my blog every Friday and Saturday night to see what I’ll be bringing on Saturday and Sunday.
If you’re not in the area, but would like to order from me, I am happy to ship nationwide. Just leave me a comment with your email and I’ll be sure to NOT publish your comment with your information. I’ll contact you shortly! Thanks!