Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Many Faces of Sage-From Sage Hill Farms

Sage, as its name implies, is said to carry powers of wisdom, as well as longevity. It was considered a valuable commodity in 17th century China, when merchants would trade 3 to 4 chest of tea for one chest of sage.

Sage has been used as a cure-all for thousands of years. The American Indian mixed it with bear grease to make a salve for wounds.

My interest is more on the culinary side, there I can really attest to the value of all it has to offer.

Sage has a light lemony flavor; when dried it has a stronger, mustier taste.

Dried sage is a staple in poultry seasonings. The herb is compatible with rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, and bay.

In the summer garden the lovely blue or dark reddish flowers make a special and colorful addition to a tossed salad.

If you are thinking of growing sage, know that it needs a sunny location in light, dry, alkaline soil. It can be grown from seed or cuttings.

Harvest the leaves before the plant flowers, and cut the plant back after flowering. It must also be pruned frequently.

Most often the plant will become woody after about 3 to 5 years and must be pulled up and re-planted.

A few faces of Sage are: Clary....A wild variety that grows in America's Southwest. It's used in American Indian foods such as breads and cookies.

Mexican Sage....Grows up to four feet tall, has beautiful gray-green leaves and lavender flowers.

Variegated and Golden Sage....Has a very mild flavor and not my favorite for the kitchen. It is lovely in a garden bed.

Pineapple Sage....Has large pale green leaves that blushes into scarlet in the late summer and peaking in December. Has the most awesome red flowers. When touched it releases a heavenly pineapple scent.

Then there is Purple favorite. Extremely aromatic with soft, purple foliage. It has a strong flavor that is perfect for tea.

Sage as many other herbs make wonderful plants for flower beds and require much less tending.

Why not get to know this awesome herb and introduce it into your garden and your life.

Bea Kunz


Dina at said...

Ohh... Bea, your sage looks glorious. We have a farm in my area called the Well Sweep farm. Every spring and mid-summer I venture there and splurge on delightful herbs. On my last trip I came back with Lady's Mantle, lemon balm and echinacea. Can't wait for the warm weather again!

organicsyes said...

Hi Bea,
Love the bit of history on sage. You are wealthy, indeed!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bea,
Thanks for the bit of history on sage. You are wealthy, indeed!

BeaK. said...

Thank you Diana,

I visited the Well Sweep farm and just love it! Very charming.

We still have a lot of work to do with laying out the garden paths, etc.

It is very time consuming and most days it is a full time job just keeping up with have to things.

This gives me hope that we will get there!

I see they grow Lemongrass, that is on my new planting list for the spring.

Thanks for sharing, very beautiful place.


Bea Kunz

BeaK. said...

Thanks my sage, it was my mother's favorite herb and now I guess it is mine.

I have become my mother!

But...that's a good thing!

Bea K.