Author Topic: What 5 Herbs?  (Read 7860 times)

Offline herbdoc

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What 5 Herbs?
« on: February 09, 2010, 07:00:18 AM »
Just a question that we were bantering around here at work (Western Botanicals). 

If you were limited to just 5 herbs, what would they be?  This question quickly disintegrated, because much of the food we eat are herbs.  Is garlic a food or a medicine.  The answer is both.  And if you tend to grow your own herbs in your backyard, when the world unravels you will still have those. 

So the question is:  What 5 herbs should you stock that can't grow on your own? 

And then, what herbs should you be planting and begin growing?

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: What 5 Herbs?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2010, 09:48:47 AM »
+1 for the question.  I was thinking this myself.  I got the chives started already in the house (Just couldn't wait any longer :) ).  But was wondering what others are handy.  It was suggested to me by kydoomer to plant some Dill,  My family LIVES off garlic but I know nothing about growing it.


Offline Greywolf27

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Re: What 5 Herbs?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 10:05:03 AM »
a quick list, that doesn't have a lot of thought put into it... (didn't want to cloud my post with too much thought)

1 garlic
2 borage
3 thyme
4 cilantro/corriander
5 mustard

I figure this should get me through just about everything I do.  The borage is a friend of tomatoes and has medicinal purposes.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: What 5 Herbs?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 10:12:40 AM »
Basil, oregano, rosemary, mint and thyme are the 5 you have to have... all easily grown.

I can grow whatever herbs I need - it's the spices that are tougher. I'm not growing tumeric, corriander, peppercorns, anise or nutmeg.

From a flavor standpoint, red onion easily replaces garlic or shallots.

I also grow sage, lemon verbena, horehound, 3 kinds of mint, marjoram, 2 kinds of parsley, dill and cilantro.


Offline KYdoomer

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Re: What 5 Herbs?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010, 10:45:01 AM »
Wow, you guys are making me want to dedicate even MORE of my garden to herbs.

Like Doc said, I love the dill, especially if you are growing cucumbers, there's nothing like it.

I like basil, oregano and I echo was Doc says about garlic.  Vampires would hate our house.  I can't put enough in homemade spaghetti sauce.  Trying rosemary and corriander (for biltong) for the first time this year.  Want to try mint but can't decide between pepper or spear.  Which is best?

Medicinally, I'm trying echinacea for the first time this year.  We'll see how that goes.  I've got a lavender patch in the backyard I can't get rid of.  I guess that's a good thing.

I think its great that many of the herbs that taste really good are also good for you.  Unlike many of the wild medicinals which seem to be better for certain things but I am told are bitter as hell.

J

Offline Ann

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Re: What 5 Herbs?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2010, 01:36:31 PM »
KYd, mint is a personal preference.  Try either, try both, just don't put it in the ground, keep it in a pot.  Granted, it smells LOVELY, but is invasive as hell and a bidge to get rid of.  There is also a "chocolate" mint out there, but it's not easy to find.

Garlic is absolutely essential.  Will be trying to grow that this next year, but I've missed the fall planting season.  In our house, if the neighbors don't think THEY are having italian for dinner, there isn't enough garlic in use.

Rosemary is great both as a bee attractant and an herb.  Also makes a great hair rinse.

Echinacea also attracts bees.  Just don't be surprised if you don't get flowers.  They don't flower until their second season.  Have yet to process for medicinal purpose though.  I keep the flower heads going to attract birds.

Essential: garlic, rosemary, oregano, thyme (disinfectant), basil, parsley
Excellent: cilantro (cumin), dill, chives, mint

borage (? never thought of that as an herb)

Sorry, I AM getting cloudy.  The ones i have trouble growing are dill and cilantro.  Texas heat.

Offline Greywolf27

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Re: What 5 Herbs?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2010, 01:46:12 PM »
yup, borage...
the leaves taste like cucmber, but you have to get them when they are young and tender, otherwise you may get a couple of the little spines in your tongue.  The leaves once dried along with the flowers can be steeped in hot water (a bit of a natural antidepresent)

Offline herbdoc

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Re: What 5 Herbs?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2010, 06:45:30 AM »
Great answers!  Since I have so many herbs growing in and about my garden. Garlic as the king of herbal medicine, echinacea, valerian, heal-all,all kinds of mints, elecampane for coughs/lungs, scullcap, motherwort, lemon balm, oregano, thyme, comfrey, cayenne, lobelia, etc.  My focus on this question was those that I can't grow but would really miss if I didn't have.  Peppercorn is a great one suggested that I didn't get.  But my five are:

1. Turmeric - a great anti-inflammatory, second only to garlic in my book, great for cooking indian food (yum)
2. Ginger - great digestive, stimulates circulation
3. Cinnamon - good for so many things - triples the effectiveness of insulin in diabetics, digestive and tastes well, like cinnamon
4. Vanilla - not especially known for its medicinal properties, but baking and cooking desserts without it is just not right
5. Cacao - life without chocolate would just be sad

I've got a nice stock pile of each of these.  I'm an ardent believer in food as medicine.

Offline Greywolf27

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Re: What 5 Herbs?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2010, 08:14:32 AM »
AHA!!!
I see!!!

my wish list:
all spice
nutmeg

I imagine there would be a couple others, but can't think of them at the moment.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: What 5 Herbs?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010, 10:54:41 AM »
Regarding the pepper vs spear mint debate - I prefer peppermint for no real reason. However, the red stem peppermint is seen as essential for proper mint juleps.

I do not contain my mint, and I constantly find little patches in my yard. Makes mowing grass smell even nicer.

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: What 5 Herbs?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2010, 12:39:46 PM »
Regarding the pepper vs spear mint debate - I prefer peppermint for no real reason. However, the red stem peppermint is seen as essential for proper mint juleps.

I do not contain my mint, and I constantly find little patches in my yard. Makes mowing grass smell even nicer.

Nice.  In my time here, I've heard of a few herbs and plant that run wild.  I'm gonna plant them in the forest at my BOL and HOPE that happens.

J

Offline joeinwv

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Re: What 5 Herbs?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2010, 10:55:22 PM »
I don't know any of the technical terms, but mint grows roots underground laterally and then pokes up it's vertical stems. When we moved in to our house 3 years ago, I had about 6 small plants - each one about 6" tall. I encouraged it to spread. Last year I had 4 beds full of mint - each sprig about 3' tall. At the end of July I was mowing and cutting it back with a string trimmer.

The cool thing, is if you want it to move - just bend over a piece and cover it with dirt. It will then root and branch out.

It will easily grow under, around and through landscape fabric. It does come back every year. The rabbit (pet) will eat a little mint, but not much. He will eat a lot of parsley and of course, clover. When the mint blooms it draws bees - I would not mind finding some mint pollen honey...

If you're in WV around May / June and need some mint plants - I can hook you up.

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: What 5 Herbs?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2010, 09:39:12 AM »
Much appreciated!

J

Possenti2264

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Re: What 5 Herbs?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2010, 09:45:10 AM »
Maybe not as essential, but a nice addition would be lavender.  It's good for drying and hanging as an air freshener.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: What 5 Herbs?
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2010, 09:51:58 AM »
Maybe not as essential, but a nice addition would be lavender.  It's good for drying and hanging as an air freshener.

Love lavender. I have a plant that is about 3' in diameter in front of my house pretending to be a bush/shrub. Really nice to have some aromatics in the yard.