Holiday gifts to share from your herb garden 

(Courtesy of Patrice Hanlon

Calendula can be easily sown in two months from seed.

My herb garden is my inspiration for gifts to share with others this holiday season. In. You don’t need a large garden to grow herbs. Many people are satisfied with pots on balconies, decks and windowsills.

Herbs and gifts that I raised and made this year.

Annual herbs grow for one season and should be planted every year. His three annuals that I grew this summer are Calendula officinalis (Calendula officinalis), Tropae Orum Majus (Nasturtium) and Anthriscus selefolium (Cervil).

Calendula can be easily sown in two months from seed. Harvest the flowers, dry them and put them in jars. Pour olive oil into the jar. After about two months, you will have a calendula-infused oil. Its healing properties help promote cell growth.

To make a soothing calendula lotion, strain the oil and mix with a mild cream at a ratio of 1 cup lotion to ¼ cup calendula oil.

I remember first seeing caper plants (Capparis spinosa) growing among pomegranate bushes in the Athens Forum just below the Acropolis. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the green seeds of nasturtium can be harvested, pickled and eaten like capers.

Seeds are formed when nasturtium pollen reaches the ovary at the base of the petals. Collect and eat the seeds while they are still green. To save the seeds, let them mature to brown. For a quick pickle, place green seeds in sterile glass jars. Bring 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup water to a boil, pour into a seed jar, and seal.

For more information on pickles and food safety, visit or the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

At a young age, my French grandfather taught me to grow chervil, a delicate herb not sold in stores. is made into herb butters and chutneys.

Sometimes called French parsley, the chef incorporates chervil into many of the best Bay Area restaurant salads. Delight your friends with seed packets, chervil starts, or chervil chutneys.

Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune/TNS) Delight your friends with Chervil Start, Seed Packets, or Chervil Chutney.

Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Delight your friends with Chervil Start, Seed Packets, or Chervil Chutney.

Many perennial herbs make delicious holiday treats, including one of my favorites. Herb nuts crumbly. Two of my favorite brittles are the Rosemary Pine Nut Brittle and the Lavender Lemon and Fiennes Herbs Almond Brittle.

If you grow rosemary, lavender, sage, or thyme, harvest these herbs, dry them, and remove them from the stems. Follow the crumbly recipe, and when the mix is ​​honey-colored, add 1 tablespoon dried herbs, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 cup toasted nuts. Pour onto a greased and parchment-lined cookie sheet. When cool, finely chop.

Perennial herbs of the Labiatae family, including Agastache foeniculum (Anise hyssop), are delicious with added sugar as a candy treat or mixed into a dry mix of lemon-scented herbs for herbal tea blends. Just like the essence of the herb can be extracted into olive oil, herbs can add flavor to alcohol and vinegar. Here’s his recipe for a delicious martini.

As you share the gift of these herbs, remember that you too received a gift — you helped your garden become sustainable. Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other beneficial insects I sipped nectar and collected pollen. Many herbs have low water requirements and offer biodiversity benefits to your garden.

For more information on growing herbs, visit

Have a happy Harvey holiday.

Hosted by UC Cooperative Extension. The University of California Marine Master Gardeners provides science and research-based information for marine home his gardeners. Email the helpdesk with questions. Please attach photos for inquiries about plant diseases and pests. The office is open several days a week. Please call him at 415-473-4910 first to see what time the Master Gardener is in the office. There is a sample box outside the office so the marine gardener can bring her samples 24/7.

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