Garden, Plant, Cook!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fun Lectures at the Lavender Herb Farm - And a "New" Herb To Check Out!

Dear Folks,

My 2 day lecture event,  "Let's Talk Culinary Herbs" at the Lavender Herb Farm in Chino Valley, AZ this past weekend was by all measures a fun success.  The audience enjoyed the herb-inspired light menu, I had great questions from the folks, and I believe many left inspired to try some new or more herbs in their garden and kitchen.

Linda Nedblach hosts a tea and a luncheon each month at her beautiful farm and I would encourage you to join her "club" of happy guests by signing up at her website to receive the regular emails on the next events, teas and luncheons.  She tells me the lavender should be blooming in June, so try to take advantage of one of her events.  NOTE:  She is only open the days of the events and asks that you take note of hours and guidance on participating in the events.  She CANNOT take reservations via email, you must call to arrange your reservation.  This is a working farm and there are NO handicap facilities.

Linda attended one of my lectures quite a few years ago and she told me when we met several years when I came up for a tea, that lecture inspired her to grow and do more with herbs.  How wonderful is that, that my lecture inspired, at least in a tiny part, this beautiful farm.

I can't take credit for the incredible effort Linda has put into the farm.  The pictures hopefully give you a little idea of this piece of tranquility.

Thank you to Lee Ann Aronson, who is with the Arizona Herb Association, for taking the picture of Linda and I.

I will be giving a talk on Stevia and Za'atar at the June 2nd meeting of the Arizona Herb Association, following their business meeting.

If you are not familiar with the AzHA and are wanting to find out more, consider joining them and participate in their meetings and events.

A "New" Herb To Try

Lamb's Ears Stachys byzantina, is a petable and edible herb.

After more than 30 years of my trowel & error gardening with all things edible and my insatiable desire to try new-to-me edibles, I discovered over the weekend that this member of the prodigious mint family is not only useful (I knew that part) but also edible!!  I am also always learning new-to-me edibles and I love that!

And it was a kismet moment after Friday's lecture and a question from an audience member about Lamb's Ears and reading an issue of Island Homes in my guest room, that I learned about Lamb's Ears edible status.

The question had to with whether this velvety soft-leafed, pretty plant was edible because it can be "VERY" happy in their, and your gardens.

I have grown Lamb's Ears in my garden, but not currently, the picture is from some years ago with a Lamb's Ears (the gray velvety leaf) next to my Dark Opal Basil.  I knew from my research that the anti-bacterial, and soft, leaf was used as wound dressing during the Civil War.  What I did not know until this weekend is the leaf is edible.

"In Brazil it is used as an edible herb, called lambari." -- Wikipedia

Later that evening as I was relaxing in my room, reading an Island Homes article by Richelle Directo, where Directo describes the leaf as having a rosemary flavor and use.

Various blogs and references on the internet indicate the culinary use as possibly raw in salads (some say not a great taste), steamed, made into a tea or battered and fried up (the preferred method in Brazil).

I can tell you it is an easy plant to grow here, somewhat drought tolerant and will re-seed in your gardens.  The flowers are a lovely purple contrasting beautifully with gray leaves and produces tall spikes of the flowers.  Toward the end of the flower cycle the flower heads can get prickly, so just a note of caution to the little ones and you, who may love petting the leaves and soft stems.

. . .

My Next Free Seed Share is at the end of June, watch for the details.

Also I will be giving a free lecture at Mesa Urban Garden at the end of June, watch for the details.

Have a best day!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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