Sunday, June 1, 2014

Designing culinary herb gardens for the Outagamie County Master Gardeners Learning Garden

Outagamie County Learning Garden
The Outagamie County Learning Garden is a demonstration garden in back of the UW-Extension facility. It is a 26’ X 30’ space, surrounded by an 8' tall chain link deer fence, that is intended to demonstrate what can be done in a small area.

The Learning Garden consists of:
  • a raised bed featuring beets and companion plants
  • a raised bed featuring Asian vegetables gown by the “square foot” technique
  • a lasagna bed
  • a vegetable bed
  • an herb bed subdivided into four areas growing herbs from different countries (French, English, Greek and Italian).
  • a perennial bed featuring deer resistant plants.
Projects planned for 2014 include:
  • a peach tree which will be trained into a espalier form
  • a grape arbor is planned for inside the entry gate
  • growing blueberries in containers 
  • labeling to communicate what we are trying to accomplish.
  • with approval to install a rain barrel on the grounds, plans to utilize that water source in The Learning Garden will need to be created & implemented
  • plans for installation of an irrigation system.
  • complete a path to the ephemeral pond to the south of the garden area
  • expanding educational programing

   Greek – bottom left                            English – bottom right

Golden hyssop                                  Chives
Citronella geranium                           Mother of thyme
Sorrell                                              Rose geranium
Greek oregano                                  Tarragon
Parsley - curly                                Sage
Dill                                              Rosemary

Little Trudy 

   Italian – top left                              French – top right

Hyssop Hyssop
Lovage Salad burnett
Winter savory Strawberry geranium
Greek oregano                                  Chervil
Basil Lavender
Parsley - flatleaf Arugula
Fennel                                              Basil

Herbs in italics to be added.

French &Italian
 Leaves that are used whole, chopped, or ground. Imparts a sweet taste with a refreshing bouquet.
Grown primarily in the United States, France, and the Mediterranean region but is cultivated throughout the world and it is easy to grow your own. 
Basil is a staple in Italian and Greek ethnic cuisine. It enhances the flavor of beef, chicken, eggs, fish and seafood. Basil blends well with capers, chives, cilantro, garlic, marjoram, oregano, mint, onion, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and savory. It can be used alone or along with other spices to enhance the taste of pasta. Serve basil with artichokes, eggplant, green vegetables, mushrooms, olives, pizza, grains and some fruits. 
A member of the lily family it has a mild onion flavor with faint taste of garlic.
Most of North America. Easy to grow and often grown as a window plant. California produces much of the commercial crop. Grown in many parts of the world.
Used in fines herbs, a traditional French herb blend, as a garnish, in mashed potatoes, soups, scrambled eggs, stews. Works well with asparagus, basil, cheese, cilantro, dill, fennel, green vegetables, horseradish, mushrooms, olives, paprika, pasta, parsley, seafood, and tarragon. Often served with butter and sour cream.

Both seed and weed are used and both come from the same annual plant. The weed is best used prior to flowering. The seeds come from the flower head and are pungent imparting a scent that is a bit like caraway, but lighter. Can have hints of anise or lemon depending upon the variety used. Has a bit of warmth to it.
Native to southern Russia. United States and India for commercial uses but it is easy to grow and can be found in many countries.
A common pickling spice. Often sprinkled on tomatoes, blended into tuna salad, enhances dips with rye bread. Often used in German, Russian, and Scandinavian dishes. Combines well with anise, basil, cabbage, capers, caraway, carrots, chives, coriander, cucumbers, cumin, eggs, fennel, garlic, ginger, horseradish, mint, mustard, oregano, onion, paprika, parsley, potatoes, seafood, tarragon, tomatoes, turmeric, veal, vinegar, and yeast bread. When cooking, add at end of the cooking as it looses flavor if over heated.
Have oval, green-yellowish brown dried fruit and are a member of the parsley family. It is reminiscent of anise but sweeter and less pungent.
Common Fennel (Meim fanindum) often cultivated in kitchen gardens.
Sweet Fennel (Famuulum dulcc) native of Italy and Portugal, smaller plant than the common fennel but the fruit is 5 times the size of the common fennel.
India and Egypt
Used in fish seasoning, blackened seasonings, Italian sausages, Middle Eastern cooking, curry powder mixes. Combines well with anise, artichokes, basil, beans, cabbage, cheese, cilantro, cinnamon, cucumber, cumin, dill, eggplant, fenugreek, figs, fish, garlic, lemon balm, lentils, mint, olives, onion, oregano, parsley, pork, potatoes, rice, sausage, seafood, thyme, tomatoes and veal. One of the spices in 5-spice powder and garam masala.
Grayish-green leaf. Can be mistaken for oregano. The species most frequently cultivated are the common or pot marjorum (O. vulgare), sweet or summer marjoram (O. majorana), and winter marjoram (O. herachoticum.) sweet with an undertone of bitterness.
United States, France, Mediterranean
A seasoning used in pasta blends, tomato dishes, vegetables, meat sauces, poultry seasonings, soups, and stews. Combines well with artichokes, basil, beans, beef, cheese, cinnamon, cumin, eggplant, fennel, garlic, mushrooms, onion, oregano, parsley, seafood, squash, thyme, and veal.
Greek Oregano is a dried leaf that is uniquely pungent, highly aromatic and a mixture of sweet and savory. The Mexican variety is more intense and has a wilder flavor.
United States, France, Mediterranean, Mexico, Turkey
Used in pasta seasoning blends, tomato dishes, vegetables, meat sauces, poultry seasonings, soups, and stews. A key ingredient in chili powders. Combines well with artichokes, basil, beans, beef, cheese, cinnamon, cumin, eggplant, fennel, garlic, marjoram, mushrooms, onion, parsley, pasta, poultry, seafood, squash, thyme, tomatoes, and veal.
 Light, fresh, slightly sweet and slightly bitter taste.
California grows a large amount commercially. Often found in windowsill gardens and in home gardens as it is easy to grow.
Curly parsley is often used as a garnish. Flat parsley, also called French or Italian parsley, is favored by chefs for cooking in soups and sauces, tuna salad, and eggs. It is often combined with other herbs and spices in prepared blends. Works well with artichokes, asparagus, basil, bay leaf, beans, beef, chives, dill, game meats, garlic, marjoram, mushrooms, grains, onion, oregano, pasta, potatoes, poultry, seafood, thyme, tomatoes, and yeast bread.
It is highly aromatic and is a bit peppery and woodsy at the same time. 1inch needle like leaves.
Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean and grown throughout that region. It is widely produced in the USA, France, Spain, and Portugal. It is easy to grow and is a often grown in herb gardens.
A staple in Italian cooking, it is also used in breads, lamb, pork, chicken, and pasta dishes. Combines well with apples, asparagus, basil, beans, beef, cheese, citrus, cranberry, fennel, game meat, garlic, grains, mushrooms, marjoram, onion, oregano, parsley, pasta, potatoes, poultry, sausage, seafood, thyme, tomatoes, and yeast bread.
There is a velvety texture to its long grayish green leaves. There are many varieties each with a slightly different taste. Some find it to be warm and pungent. Dried leaves much more intense than fresh ones.
Geographic Information: United States is a large producer of common sage, Mexico is known for its Mexican sage. Sage is known and grown throughout the world originating in the northern Mediterranean.
Uses: Poultry, soups, stews, bread, rice, Italian blended spices, sausages, pork. Often paired with apples, bay leaf, beans, capers, caraway, celery, cheese, citrus, beef, game meats, garlic, ginger, marjoram, onions, paprika, parsley, poultry, rosemary, savory, seafood, thyme and tomatoes.
Comes in two culinary forms: Summer and Winter. Most savory is a blend of the two unless Summer or Winter is specified.
Summer Savory clean, piney and peppery
Winter Savory stronger more similar to rosemary
Geographic Information: United States, Mediterranean, Central to Eastern Europe. Easy to grow, it is often found in herb gardens throughout the world.
Summer Savory known as the bean herb in Germany. Often used with beans and legumes, lentils and green beans.. Poultry and vegetables and is often used in vegetable blends to flavor soups, stews, and sauces.
Winter Savory is sued with game meats, red meats, pates and sausage
Combinations: used with beans, poultry, soups, stews, sauces, sausages.
There are two distinct varieties, Russian native to Siberia and western Asia and a cultivated variety grown in France and Germany that is preferred for cooking. There is also a Mexican variety that is really a type of marigold and not true tarragon. Tarragon is a staple in French cooking. French variety is greener, glossier and more pungent. Most commercial Tarragon comes from dried leaves of the French Tarragon plant. It has a faint flavor similar to anise and basil. Russian variety has a slight bitterness to it and is not preferred for cooking.
Geographic Information: Native to southern Russia and western Asia, primary producer is now France.
Used in flavoring for vinegar, pickles, relishes, prepared mustards, and sauces, fish, meat, soups and stews, often used in tomato and egg dishes. Combines well with artichokes, basil, bay leaf, capers, carrots, chives, citrus, dill, eggs, garlic, green vegetables, mushrooms, onion, oregano, parsley, potatoes, poultry, seafood, thyme, tomatoes, and veal. It is able to enhance the properties of other herbs when used in moderation.
Thyme leaves are generally dried then chopped or ground. It is minty, warm and peppery with a hint of cloves.
United States, France, Mediterranean, Spain, Portugal
Used in easoning blends for poultry and stuffing, fish, chowders, soups, sauces, lamb, veal, eggs, tomatoes. Combines well with artichokes, bananas, basil, bay leaf, beans, carrots, cheese, citrus, dill, garlic, mint, mushrooms, onion, oregano, parsley, potatoes, poultry, sage, and seafood.

Greek bed in foreground, French bed in rear
Italian be to left, & English bed to right
Background-Greek (L) & Italian (R)
Foreground-English (L) & French (R)
Background-French (L) & English (R)
Foreground-Italian (L) & Greek (R)

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