By JOYCE ARLEEN CORSON
SYRACUSE — The herb gardens featured here are three of my favorite. They have been featured in previous articles and it is great to see how they have progressed. Keeping location in mind, each destination is premium space. The production yield is clearly based on sun exposure, water source and access to tool storage.
Some herbs during this season will be mature enough to use in some recipes for your cuisine. The early ones for you to use may be spearmint or peppermint. These are tucked into the herb garden of Jeremy Corson. The south west location of this area makes it ideal for an herb garden and some vegetables such as onions, green peas and green beans too. The
spearmint is located to the back facing south and grows leisurely with such an ideal exposure to sun. To the right is a favorite hosta which gives color often lacking in herb gardens. The leaves of oregano also a perennial can be seen to the left and the space in the middle is ideal growing conditions. Spearmint elixir is one of my favorite herb recipes. Grandma Sarah Slabaugh gave me this recipe awhile back. Collect fresh mint, before any blossoms appear. Fill a pint canning jar packing it full of stems and leaves. Do not wash the plant.
Boil one cup of sugar and one cup of water for one minute. Pour the sugar mixture over the packed leaves. Cool, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, strain the sugar mixture through cheesecloth or a fine strainer. Best to flavor ice tea, or a mint julep. Garnish with leaves of fresh mint.
Jennifer Albert’s Phoenix herb garden is progressing nicely. Planted Feb. 1, and by April it was filling in nicely with an annual sweet alyssum accenting a four corner arrangement. The borage added a beautiful blue and a good plant to attract pollinators. A drip system for irrigation is a necessity in the hot climate of summer. Spaced between the alyssum you will find sweet basil, oregano, lavender and Rosemary.
Sweet delight for the Chef who has a raised bed herb garden outside his kitchen which surrounds the outdoor dining room at Goshen College. The space includes herbs and vegetables cilantro, basil, chives, oregano, parsley, tomatoes, onions and Rosemary. The area is accented with multicolor fibrous begonias, impatiens, hosta, zebra grass and surrounded by hyacinth bean border, climbing the fence for privacy. Herbs such as basil, oregano and cilantro lend their flavors to olive oil for a season of pesto. Pine nuts and other amenities lend well to flavorful accents and exquisite cuisine.