Culinary & Medicinal Herb Gardens
When you visit Jug Handle Farm and Nature Center take time to walk through the culinary and medicinal herb gardens and indulge your senses with the array of herbal essence. Here you’ll discover common herbs and local native plants that are used medicinally and in food preparation. In addition to familiar culinary herbs and medicinal native plants you’ll find unusual varieties of both.
As you browse the paths notice the variations in color and differences in foliage, the varying size of plants, and their blossoms. Crush a leaf between your fingers and see if the scent triggers a memory. Test yourself… “how many herbs you can identify?”
Both the culinary and medicinal herb gardens are always in transition…some plants are bursting with blossoms, others are putting on new growth, some are ending their life cycle, and many plants can be harvested year round. The mild coastal climate allows herbs such as rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme, as well as mugwart, stone crop, comfry, and white sage to maintain even during the cold and rainy months.
Visitors can easily tour the garden on their own. A list of culinary herbs and a list of medicinal herbs and their uses are available in the farm house kitchen and on this site. Overnight guests are invited to pick and use herbs during their stay. A Featured Herb recipe, highlighting an herb from the garden is available in the farm house kitchen and online (box right).
The herb gardens are designed to be educational and useful. Being able to identify culinary and medicinal herbs and learning how to use them is the first step towards incorporating them in your cooking and life style. Herbs are also ideal companion plants in vegetable and ornamental gardens.
Culinary and Medicinal Garden History- Past and Present
Herb gardens have always been a tradition, a valued necessity, as well as a source of beauty and enjoyment at Jug Handle Farm.
The herb garden was renovated in 2009. The terraced herb beds established in the 1980′s on the eastern slope were weeded, mature plants nurtured, and new plants added.
In 2013 a well-spring of interest in the herb gardens emerged. New paths were added, herb beds were expanded, soil cultivated and mulched, plants pruned and divided, new plants introduced, signage updated, and a reflection bench installed at the top of the slope as well as a resting bench on the second terrace.
A small culinary herb garden just off the deck of the farm house was created making it easier for guests to access and use fresh herbs in their cooking.
Help Us Keep the Herb Gardens Beautiful
Garden maintenance is always needed and there are various ways volunteers can help. There is a list of suggestions, “How to help in the Herb Garden,” posted on the farm house kitchen bulletin board. Additionally, staff and veteran volunteers are always happy to direct volunteers who are eager to help.