Tag Archives: Herb Garden

Peg’s Picks: September Gardening Events in Washington DC Metro Area

Here are Peg’s Picks for September 2015 gardening events focusing on edible gardening in the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Arlington Central Library hosts the “Garden Talks” series of free presentations every Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm. The website lists the topics and provides gardening resources for gardeners in the area. 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington VA; (703) 228-5990. http://www.library.arlingtonva.us/events/garden-talks/

  • September 2: Putting the herb garden to bed for the winter
  • 9: Cover crops and crop rotations
  • 16: Extending the season: cold frames, row covers, etc.
  • 23: Inside Arlington kitchens: tasting our cultures
  • 30: Preparing the garden for winter: tool and garden bed care

3, Thursday, Using Fresh Herbs in Summer Cocktails, 6 to 8 pm with a rain date of September 4, 6 to 8 pm, National Herb Garden, U.S. National Arboretum. Must register via e-mail, fee is $59 or $47 if a FONA member. Fee includes food and drinks, a garden tour, and demonstrations. 2400 R Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002. http://www.usna.usda.gov

11, Friday, Garden Talk: Edibles: Mix It Up. Green Spring, 1:30 to 2:30 pm. Must register; $10 fee.4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA 22312. (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/events.htm

12, Saturday, Fall chores in the garden: clean up, plant division, soil preparation, fall cover crops in the cooks garden, MGPW plant sale, 9:00 am to noon, “Saturdays in the Garden” at the Teaching Garden at St. Benedict Monastery, presentations are given by VCE Prince William Master Gardener Volunteers. 9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow, VA 20136; Free but must register (703) 792-7747. E-mail: master-gardener@pwcgov.orghttp://pwcgov.org/grow

12, Saturday, Friends of Brookside Gardens annual plant sale, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Brookside Gardens Service Hill, follow signs on Glenallen Avenue, Wheaton, MD.  (301) 962-1435. http://www.friendsofbrooksidegardens.org

12, Saturday, Fall Herb Faire, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Free admission, parking, classes and tours. Lavender Fields Herb Farm, 11300 Winfrey Road, Glen Allen, VA 23059; (804) 262-7167; http://www.lavenderfieldsfarm.com

14, Monday, through October 5, Landscape for Life (sustainable gardening practices), Monday evenings 6:30 to 9:30 pm with a field trip on October 3.  Crossroads United Methodist Church, 43454 Crossroads Drive, Ashburn, VA 20147. $60 and must register, call Sharon Hines (703) 729-5100 to register or e-mail instructor Nan McCarry at landscapeforlifeclass@gmail.com for more information. http://www.landscapeforlife.org

19, Saturday, Fall Garden Day & Plant Sale at Green Spring, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA 22312. (703) 642-5173. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/events.htm

26, Saturday, Hot! New! Plants! Walking tour. 9:00 to 10:30 am, meet in visitor center at the U.S. National Arboretum. Hot: thrive in hot humid weather; New: creative designs include new cultivars; Plants: incorporated into striking designs. Free but registration recommended. Call (202) 245-2708 to register. 3501 New York Avenue, NE, Washington DC 20002. http://www.usna.usda.gov

9th Annual Heritage Harvest Festival, September 11-12, at Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia

The 9th Annual Heritage Festival is presented by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello in partnership with the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Each year the Heritage Harvest Festival honors Jefferson’s legacy with this fun, affordable, family-oriented, educational event promoting gardening, sustainability, local food, and the preservation of heritage plants. Participants enjoy tastings, workshops, hands on demonstrations, interpretive walks, and a variety of garden tours and exhibits.  Friday and Saturday offer more than 100 programs and workshops, 90 vendors and exhibitors, and sample food from local farms and restaurants. On Thursday, September 10, from 1 to 4: pm, there is a special presentation with Craig LeHoullier author of Epic Tomatoes; Nan Chase, author of Drink the Harvest; and Ira Wallace, author of the Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast. Afterwards, there will be questions and answers, book signings, and a tomato tasting. For more information, including ticket information, see http://www.heritageharvestfestival.com.

New Book: Homegrown Herb Garden

IMG_5811Homegrown Herb Garden: A Guide to Growing and Culinary Uses serves a dual purpose: the book is an introduction to 15 culinary herbs for gardening novices and is an inspiring cookbook for experienced gardeners to incorporate herbs into meals, desserts, and drinks.

Ann McCormick, an herb expert and long-time Texan gardener, relays her experience with growing basil, bay laurel, chervil, cilantro, dill, French tarragon, Italian parsley, lemongrass, mint, onion chives, rosemary, sage, sweet marjoram, thyme, and winter savory. For each herb, she describes common varieties, care and feeding, harvesting, and tips on growing the plants in small spaces. To use basil as an example, Ann recommends ‘Spicy Globe’ for an “extra flavor kick,” Thai basil for Asian foods, and ‘Purple Ruffles’ or ‘Red Rubin’ for vinegars. For planting in smaller pots, small-leaf varieties such as ‘Windowbox’ or ‘Italian Cameo’ work well.

A graduate from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles, Chef Lisa Baker Morgan describes the culinary uses for each of the 15 herbs. She prefaces the recipes with combinations and cooking techniques but these are not just traditional combinations one would see in an herb book. Chef Morgan describes how the herb pairs with vegetables, meats, seafood, fruits, dairy products, oils, sauces, and other herbs. For example, basil is “wonderful with hydrating fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and melons …” and “balance the sweetness of grilled or pan-fried fruit with a simple syrup.” Several recipes are listed for each herb from a wide variety of cuisines. Instead of the usual pesto, basil is used in “kobocha and coconut soup with Thai basil leaves” or “zucchini and basil soufflé.”  It is a joy to see how the herbs can be used in novel ways and with different cuisines.

Ann and Chef Morgan have done a wonderful job of pairing herbs in the garden with dishes in the kitchen. Published by Quarry Books, Homegrown Herb Garden: A Guide to Growing and Culinary Uses is designed to inspire people to grow culinary herbs and try new recipes. To learn more about the authors, visit their own websites: Ann blogs at http://www.herbncowgirl.com and Chef Morgan writes at http://www.chefmorgan.com.