Each May, the Delaware Valley Unit of the Herb Society of America holds its annual herb sale at the Holcombe-Jimison Farmstead Museum, on Route 29 in Lambertville, NJ. Whether you’re just starting an herb garden or adding to one you’ve tended for years, this sale is a wonderful opportunity to find a wide variety of hearty, healthy plants at reasonable prices.
Once you pull into the Holcombe-Jimison Farmstead, you’ll find the herbs on display inside one of the museum’s many historic barns. The plants are arranged in alphabetical order on tables, just in front of a collection of antique farm vehicles. If you have questions about a particular plant, the Herb Society volunteers are always happy to share their substantial knowledge.
Planting, harvesting and benefiting from fresh herbs
Herbs offer a good entrée into edible gardening. After you plant them, provide an initial sip of fish emulsion (or another organic fertilizer) and water daily for about a week, your herbs will be virtually maintenance-free. If you plant in the spring, you can start harvesting by early fall. In future years, you can increase your harvest by taking clippings periodically throughout the season.
Culinary herbs can be used fresh or dried, though dried herbs tend to provide more flavoring. To dry your cuttings, bundle them in string and hang upside down in a cool dark area for several days, until the leaves appear crunchy. Then simply crumble the dried leaves into a bowl, pull out any twigs and bottle in glass jars. Before you close the lid, be sure to inhale the wonderful fragrance. Then imagine what all that freshness will do for everything you cook!
The herb sale also offers non-culinary herbs, including medicinal and “industrial” varieties. Depending on what you select, you may find yourself learning how to make lavender oil or bouquets or mix up a batch of colorful natural dyes.
Herb Sale Details
The herb sale takes place this Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Leftover plants will be on sale Sunday, May 19, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Holcombe-Jimison Farmstead is located at 1605 Route 29 (aka Daniel Bray Highway), Lambertville, NJ (just a bit north of town).
- How to Grow Your Own Herb Garden (epicahome.com)
- 5 DIY Herb Gardens We Love (theglitterguide.com)
- Health Benefits of the Herbal Rosemary (healthylifestylesliving.wordpress.com)
- Planting an Herb Garden 101 (theavidpen.wordpress.com)