Sunday 12 June 2016
At the herb farm
I took a sneaky morning off from real life last week and went to have a look round Jekka's Herb Farm. Jekka McVicar is pretty much the queen of herbs with dozens of RHS gold medals to her name. Her herb farm is an inspirational place, packed with herbs of every description, and more varieties than I'd ever seen before. Some of them are ones she has bred herself.
It was wonderful to see how good herbs could look. I think many people have a pot of neglected mint or a rosemary in need of a prune. I know I have. Jekka had fantastic round mint bushes in tip top condition with so many intriguing flavours. Banana mint, lime mint, chocolate mint, berries and cream, apple mint. I left determined to take better care of my herbs. The rosemary and mint will be repotted and the bay trees will get a feed. I've got a list of things I'd like to try.
I particularly loved how many bees were clustered around the herbs in flower. They were particularly attracted to the lavender, the thymes and the borage, although I know they were on many other flowers as well. The farm is organic and Jekka has bee hives producing her own honey.
It all made me think that I don't use herbs enough in the kitchen. They really do add another dimension to food and in many cases they have a good effect on the body as well. The biggest boy has a little herb garden in his raised bed, and I think I shall try and add a few new things to it this summer and take a bit more care of the plants already there. Do you have any herbs you'd particularly recommend?