Eat our herbs!

OUR HERB BED is still flourishing with sage, thyme and purple basil ready for the delicious meals you’re making. Providing winter isn’t too harsh we should be able to continue to harvest the sage, thyme and oregano, but the purple basil needs to be eaten before the first frosts arrive (usually around 5th November). The fennel will also die back, so pick some of her greener fronds now for your digestive teas and salad flavourings. The mint is also past its time and will hibernate for the winter before springing back to life with warmer days. Yarrow leaves can be picked for your salads – their bitterness a tonic for the digestive system. Make the most of the lemon balm before we cut it back for its winter sleep – it makes a delightful calming and aromatic tea.


With time we hope to help you deepen your knowledge of and relationship with the herbs, using labels and workshops to help you tap into their many qualities and uses.  For now we encourage you to visit the bed and take what you need for your meals & teas… they’ve been growing all summer to give us this bounty! We’ll be looking after the bed through the winter to bring it back to its fullest in summer.

As we move into Autumn it’s great to reflect on the joys this little bed of herbs has brought us this season: from the Glazebrook Growers meeting where we added different herbs to our hummus and rice crackers to create a true smorgasboard of tastes, to the magical Medicinal Herbs workshops delivered by Janine Gerhardt in July. If you didn’t make it, or want a daydream of summer, read on…

Medicinal Plants with Janine Gerhardt

ON A SUNNY JULY DAY the engaging and passionate herbalist Janine Gerhardt came to the Kitchen Garden to lead our first medicinal plants workshop.

Without moving from the grass that we sat on, we discovered the medicinal wonders of yarrow, self heal and dandelion, as Janine opened our eyes to nature’s healers growing everywhere. The herb bed in our kitchen garden is a hotspot of medicinal value, from the digestive, calming values of fennel to the soothing, relaxing properties of chamomile.  Janine got us to engage all our senses when being with these healers – touching, smelling and tasting the different plants.
A short walk around the estate revealed the treasures that we walk past every day; including feverfew, renowned for treating migraines, and verbena, a prized herb for soothing the nervous system.  We were starting to really appreciate that right on our doorstep on this beautifully green estate in the middle of London we had a trove of health helpers.

Back in the Kitchen Garden we made 100% natural lip balms and tasted various herbal teas; both adults and children loving the opportunity to create with nature. The use of herbs as medicine has been with us since the beginning of humanity, so it was wonderful to have this space to return to an often forgotten art, strengthening our relationship with our natural environment.

We hope to host more workshops of this sort in the future, so do let us know if you would be keen on attending, and what you would like us to cover.

Jeannine Mansell



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