Herb Show and Herb of the Year!

We visited the Midwestern Herb and Garden Show this past weekend and had the privilege of hearing Mel Bartholomew speak about his “All New Square Foot Gardening” method and book.  He is very knowledgeable and his mission is to end world hunger by teaching his square foot (meter) gardening techniques around the world.  I was surprised to learn that he also offers a course whereby you can become a certified teacher at one of the 3 day SFG Symposiums that are offered.  The next one being offered is in North Carolina and then one in Hawaii – you can read more about these on his website.  There is also an online course offered from the SFG University.   A young man named Josh was there to assist in the presentation and he is the youngest person to complete the course (he graduated 8th grade last year).  I was very happy and impressed to see a member of the younger generation with such interest in gardening.  There is also a cookbook published and Mel did mention that he will be writing his next book on Herbs!  He will be asking for the assistance of the Midwestern Herb group who hosted this event and mention them in the book  (I thought that was pretty cool)!

Speaking of herbs … I just recently started planting some herb seeds.  Since it is still too early to plant most of the vegetable seeds, I reason that I can get a good headstart with the herbs and even start using them for cooking.

 Dark Opal Basil

 Dill seedlings

This Rosemary and Stevia I did purchase at the show even though I have planted seeds of my own.  This is the first time with stevia and the seeds are very tiny and there were only a few in the packette so I thought I would purchase a plant already started.  Same for the rosemary – it can be fickle at times to start from seed.  Other herb seeds started are lemongrass, oregano, marjoram, lavender, winter savory, thyme, sage, anise, cumin and lemon balm. 

Each year the International Herb Association chooses the Herb of the Year and this year’s choice is Dill.  You can find information on their website and I also discovered this nice post along with some recipes by Jim Long on his blog.  He is author of 25 books on herbs, gardening and cooking.

Advice from “Great Garden Companions” by Sally Jean Cunningham states that “dill is a great companion for cabbage family crops, such as brussels sprouts.  The brussels sprouts support the floppy dill, while the dill pulls in the predatory wasps.”

“Planting squash with plant friends, like dill and nasturtiums, gives the squash a competitive edge against pests.  The nasturtiums help repel squash bugs and the dill attracts aphid predators.”

Also … I received word yesterday that my blog was added to About.com which is very exciting!  I submitted my information and if you have a gardening blog of your own you would like added there you can go to the above link and submit your information.

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8 Responses

  1. This site I found has some great info on herbal teas and was really helpful. Its hard to find a good place with good information

  2. Sounds like a great show! Would love have been there. Thanks for the post!

  3. Congratulations on being listed on About.com. Your website deserves to be widely read. I enjoy it so much!

    I did not know that about squash being in good company with dill and nasturtiums, but it just so happens that I scattered dill plants and nasturtiums around the perimeter of the beds with my squash last summer. Amazing luck! I only did it because I love dill for cooking and nasturtiums are pretty for edging the beds and great as salad accents. 🙂

    Thanks for the heads up about the brassicas. I’ll be planting cabbage out soon, but I haven’t got any dill seedlings started yet. Better get cracking!

  4. Thank You for stopping by! Without Blotancial it can be difficult visiting our favorite blogs unless we have them marked elsewhere … I am still pretty new, so still working on that! There was a tweet this week that the site is down for a few days so hopefully it will be back up and running real soon!

  5. How great that you were able to get such great information. I love the colors of your Basil and I definitely need to learn more about Dill. I haven’t grown or used it before.

  6. Two observations I have found about dill – it does grow tall and lanky so planting the seeds all together (like I do with chives) allows the dill to grow more in a clump and better for support and it looks nicer. Also it does not care for hot weather too much and will go right to seed (the dill seedheads) so this year I will plant it out early and in a more shaded area and see what that does. It does dry very nicely and I am still using some from 2 years ago.

  7. Very good post! You definitely did a lot of research on this, so good job. I’ll make sure to bookmark your blog as well!

  8. I love square foot gardening, it would be great to hear a talk by Mel Bartholemew in person. I’m on the board of a non-profit called Growing Places Garden Project (growingplaces.org) that does just what he suggests. We install raised bed gardens for low-income people and use square foot gardening to really pack in the veggies and herbs. we also do some community and school gardens and recently started container gardens for those with no accessible land. I would encourage everyone to start a group like this in your community, especially given our current economic times and the issues around food insecurity. Thanks for sharing the talk!

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