Herbs, Culinary

The cultural importance of culinary herbs cannot be understated. The enhancement to food that comes from the addition of herbs is profound, and just as in homegrown food & medicine, nothing beats homegrown herbs. Most culinary herbs are quite easy to grow, and a little usually goes a long way. Many herbs have both culinary and medicinal qualities, making them all the more valuable. 

Anise Seed
Anise SeedPacket: 0.5 gram, ~125 seeds More info24 available
Native to Mediterranea, Anise (Pimpinella anisum) yields a flavorful seed of culinary and medicinal significance. Anise seed is a lovely addition to baked desserts and is commonly used for flavoring biscotti. Medicinally, Anise is a wonderful, gentle digestive aid. Chewing on the seeds or sipping a tea made from an infusion of the seeds brings about relief from gas, bloating and nausea. Additionally, it can be used as a gentle and effective respiratory anti-spasmodic, calming and soothing nagging cough symptoms. Anise is easy to grow. The gorgeous white-flower umbels attract beneficial insects to the garden. 120 days to seed. Annual Grown at Mano Farm in Ojai, California.
Anise-HyssopPacket: 0.1 gram, ~200 seeds More info
Anise-Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) ‰ۡÌÝÌÕ also called Blue Giant Hyssop, Fragrant Giant Hyssop, or Lavender Giant Hyssop ‰ۡÌÝÌÕ is a perennial plant that‰ۡó»s endemic throughout North America. Its minty-licorice flavored foliage is edible, and makes a delicious tea or seasoning for savory dishes. The plant‰ۡó»s purple flower spikes attract a multitude of beneficial insect pollinators. Will perennialize in warmer winter climates and can withstand mild frosts. 90 days from seed to harvest. Perennial. ̴Ì_ Grown at Mano Farm in Ojai, California.
Bronze Fennel
Bronze FennelPacket (1 gram, ~200 seeds) More info
'Bronze' (Foeniculum vulgare) is a non-bulbing fennel grown for its beautiful, bronze leaves. This vigorous fennel produces delicious, flavorful leaves that make an excellent culinary spice, are a great addition to salads, and make a wonderful medicinal tea! Mild, sweet anise flavor. Flowering plants attract beneficial insects and provide edible, medicinal seeds that aid digestion. ̴Ì_ 50-60 days to leaf. 120 days to seed. ̴Ì_Biennial
Burdock Root
Burdock RootMore info125 available
Known as "Gobo" in Japan, burdock root (Arctium lappa) is an incredibly nutritive food and medicine. Herbalists prize burdock as an effective and powerful alterative, or blood cleanser, gently restoring and cleansing/detoxifying the liver and kidneys. It is commonly taken internally to treat skin conditions for which internal imbalances are at fault. It is known to be cleansing and soothing to the lymphatic system as well as the mucous membranes, aiding respiratory inflammation. Its medicinal magic aside, burdock is a delicious food highly valued in Japan; it is often grated and included in ferments (Kimchi), or cooked as a main or side dish. We like to dry roots for rehydrating in soups and stews in the wintertime, adding a nutritional, medicinal punch to the meal. Burdock is a biennial, taking two years to flower and set seed. The root can be harvested in the first year. 90 days to immature root. 180 days to mature root. Biennial. Grown at Mano Farm in Ojai, California.
Cilantro Seed
Cilantro SeedPacket: 1.5 grams, ~150 seeds More info810 available
Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is an important culinary herb in Latin and Asian cuisines. Both the leaf and the seed (coriander) are used to flavor dishes and are popular with farmers and home gardeners alike. Can be cut nearly to the ground two or three times, or leaf-picked for a sustained harvest. Allow this friend to bolt, and watch in amazement as the beautiful white flowers draw in the good bugs from seemingly out of nowhere. Then, eat the seeds. 50 days to leaf. 125 days to seed. Re-seeding annual.
Czech Lavender
Czech LavenderPacket: 0.10 gram, ~100 seeds More info
Czech Lavender's (Lavandula angustifolia krajova) unique scent has a subtle power - not overly floral and soapy - but softly invigorating, friendly yet potent. This is our favorite lavender for oil infusions. Deep purple flowers with open blooms, its structure is irresistible to bees and humans alike. High in essential oil content. In short season areas, Czech lavender started from seed may not flower until the second year. In long season areas, first-year flowers are possible, but second year flowers will be much more abundant. Harvest fresh flowers often to encourage production. Harvest flowers after 120 days. Perennial. Grown at Mano Farm in Ojai, California.
Flat Leaf Italian Parsley
Flat Leaf Italian ParsleyPacket: ~200 seeds (0.5 gram) More info57 available
Flat Leaf Italian Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is an easy-to-grow culinary herb, widely cultivated in Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Dried or fresh, it is an essential spice for soups and stews, meat and vegetable dishes. Parsley is an extremely nutritious food high in vitamins A and C, folic acid, and antioxidants. Fresh parsley eaten straight from the garden autumnåÊthrough spring is sweet and delicious! 75 days. Biennial
Garden Sage
Garden SagePacket :~100 seeds (1 gram) More info74 available
Garden Sage (Salvia officinalis), also known as ‰ۡÌÝ?Common Sage‰ۡó? or ‰ۡÌÝ?Culinary Sage,‰ۡó? is a staple in the herb garden. Fresh or dried, Sage is a wonderful herb for flavoring meats and eggs of any variety. Beautiful lavender flowers in summer attract beneficial insects and pollinators. Unmistakable aroma. 75 days. Hardy perennial.
Genovese Basil
Genovese BasilPacket: ~200 seeds (0.5 gram) More info1088 available
Genovese Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an heirloom variety developed in Italy that‰ۡó»s the go-to for making pesto. Round, lush leaves on proud, tall plants. Once established the plants can survive multiple cuttings throughout the season. In warmer climates, start seedlings early in the greenhouse and transplant as soon as frost danger has cleared at rather close spacing (2-4 inches). Plants will grow slower in the cooler spring whether, but will have enough foliage to harvests by May. Thin the plants back to more ideal spacing for summer growth and enjoy your first harvests before summer has even begun. Photo credits: Putneypics, sakura, Nicole Bratt. Licensed via Creative Commons
Hibiscus Flower Roselle Seed
Hibiscus Flower Roselle SeedPacket: 1 gram, ~25 seeds More info8339 available
Hibiscus sabdariffa var sabdariffa: "Vernacular names, in addition to roselle, in English-speaking regions are rozelle, sorrel, red sorrel, Jamaica sorrel, Indian sorrel, Guinea sorrel, sour-sour, Queensland jelly plant, jelly okra, lemon bush, and Florida cranberry" (this, from Julia Morton's plant monograph, available through the Purdue University New Crops web site). Seed companies in the United States have also taken to labeling this plant as "Thai Red Roselle. " In grocery stores Hibiscus sabdariffa is erroneously marketed as "Hibiscus flowers"; while the pink flowers are gorgeous in their own right, it's actually the fleshy red calyces that are dried for tea and used as food. When growing this plant, climate is definitely a consideration. Hibiscus sabdariffa is considered a subtropical/tropical plant, so it needs heat to bear usable herbage, but most especially to come to term for seed. Most gardeners in the continental United States will have some success growing the plant as an annual, although it can perennialize in warmer areas. Timing is especially vital for cooler climates. Richo Cech at Horizon Herbs grows the plant up in Southern Oregon (zone 6) and recommends starting seedlings early in a greenhouse and transplanting immediately after last frost. Here in Ojai (Zone 8B), we started seedlings in April, transplanted them by May, and got a seed and herb crop in mid-November. Seeds must be scarified (we gently brush them with a 150-grit sandpaper) prior to planting. We've found that amending the soil with copious amounts of potassium (most especially in soils where it is lacking) increases the vigor of the plants tremendously. The Julia Morton monograph referenced above has some anecdotal fertility guidance, suggesting applications of a 4-6-7 NPK. This plant has an otherworldly appearance and is a real joy to grow. It goes without saying that the homegrown calyces are far superior to anything that can be found in the marketplace, but these seem especially more floral and fruity. Makes a great addition to lemonade or a bioregional substitute for cranberries.
Hummingbird Sage
Hummingbird SagePacket: ~10 seeds (0.25 gram) More info102 available
A captivating sage (Salvia spathacea) native to Central and Southern California. Plants form extremely fragrant arrow-shaped dark green foliage that is reminiscent of pineapple and citrus. Second year plants form oversized pink flowersåÊthat have to be experienced. A statement making ornamental with leaves that can also be dried and used for tea. 90-100 days to harvestable foliage. Second year flowers. Perennial. Our seed varieties are certified organic by Oregon Tilth.
Korean Licorice Mint
Korean Licorice MintPacket: ~50 seeds (0.025 gram) More info2939 available
Agastache rugosa. This mint family plant native to Asia has aromatic edible foliage with a minty licorice flavor and dense dark purple blooms that attract a host of beneficial insects and are quite pleasing to the eye. Korean Licorice Mint leaves are excellent minced in salads but they also make a delicious tea that mixes well with any number of other herbs in our seed catalog. Plants will perennialize in areas with warmer winters and has some degree of frost tolerance. This one's easy to fall in love with. 60 days from transplant for baby leaves. Perennial. Grown at Mano Farm in Ojai, California.
Mammoth Dill
Mammoth DillPacket: 1 gram, ~200 seeds More info3228 available
The tallest dill variety we know of, Mammoth (Anethum graveolens) grows up to five feet tall! A popular culinary herb, the leaves can be used fresh or dried. This variety is excellent for market growers wanting sustained yields of succulent leaves. Dill seed is also essential spice for pickling and mammoth provides big yields of seed following giant, beautiful flower umbels. A winner on all fronts. 50 days leaf. 90-100 days seed. Annual.
Neon Calendula
Neon CalendulaPacket: 1 gram, ~75 seeds More info
Neon (Calendula officinalis) is a rather unique looking calendula entry. The deep red-orange blossoms have a denser, more complex pattern than most other varieties. When in bloom, this plant practically glows in the garden. Plants to 30" tall are easy to grow, providing abundant blooms from spring to autumn and beyond in mild winter climates. Attractive to beneficial insects and pollinators of all kinds. Edible and medicinal flowers. 70 days to bloom. Hardy re-seeding annual / tender perennial.
OreganoPacket: ~300 seeds (0.03 gram) More info4225 available
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a classic tomato sauce herb that blends extremely well with basil and thyme, and is wonderful for seasoning meats, vegetable roasts and all things Italian. Oregano is also very medicinally potent ‰ÛÒ a tea made from oregano leaves is known to be very high in antioxidants, and is soothing to respiratory irritation and digestive maladies. 60 days to leaf/herb, 90 days to flower. Hardy perennial. All of our seed varieties are certified organic by Oregon Tilth.
Perfection Fennel
Perfection FennelPacket: 1 gram, ~200 seeds More info718 available
Perfection (Foeniculum vulgare) is an open-pollinated fennel that produces round, stocky bulbs that with a delicious anise flavor that‰ۡó»s sweeter and more succulent than Florence or Orion F1, two other common bulbing varieties. The foliage is also edible, and can be used as a tea or salad herb or garnish. Fennel can be grown from mid-spring through late fall in most climates, but grows especially well during cooler seasons. Bulbs can be eaten raw, or the cheeks peeled back and cooked or roasted. The anise flavor dissipates slightly when cooked. 80 days. Biennial. ̴Ì_ ̴Ì_
Resina Calendula
Resina CalendulaPacket: ~75 seeds (1 gram) More info369 available
Resina (Calendula officinalis) is a variety that has been bred for its high resin content. The resin of the calendula flower (which mainly resides on the underside of the calyx) holds the potent medicinal constituents. These resins are soluble in hot water (tea), alcohol (tincture) and most especially, oil (oil infusion). Calendula oil ‰ۡÌÝÌÕ an infusion of the dried flowers in oil (typically olive or jojoba) can be used on its own as a healing ointment for skin ailments, or as a base for salves (oil & beeswax). If your intention in growing Calendula is for making medicine, Resina is the variety for you! 70 days to bloom. Hardy re-seeding annual/tender perennial.
Sherbet Calendula Mix
Sherbet Calendula MixMore info2254 available
An improved version of our Rainbow Calendula, Sherbet Mix (Calendula officinalis) is a farm-grown landrace that features a multitude of shades, textures and colors. A lot of the classic orange and yellow blossoms, but also lighter pastels with variegated petals. This is a great all purpose variety for both ornamental and culinary uses. Grown at Mano Farm in Ojai, California. 70 days to bloom. Annual.
Sweet Green Basil
Sweet Green BasilPacket (1 gram, ~400 seeds) More info4 available
Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a classic workhorse basil, at home in a productive backyard garden or organic farm. This summer at Mano Farm, 1/2 a bed (~75 sq. ft. ) planted with Sweet Basil effortlessly provided large bunches for our 25 member CSA every week for more than three months! Delicious and succulent, this is a great basil for making pesto. 75 days. ̴Ì_Annual
Sweet Thai Basil
Sweet Thai BasilPacket: ~200 seeds (0.5 gram) More info136 available
Sweet Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum) offers a unique anise/licorice and clove-like mint flavor and aroma, so valued in Thai and Asian cuisine. This easy to grow variety is compact (to 24" tall) and very productive and beautiful. . . an excellent choice for container gardening. Thai basil can be harvested and eaten fresh in salads or stir-fries, or dried for use in roasts and stews. Pinch the purple flowering tops to encourage continuous production. Alternately, allow to flower to bring the pollinators ‰ۡÌÝÌÕ basil is an excellent bee forage! 70 days. Annual.
ThymePacket: 0.15 gram, ~500 seeds More info1031 available
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a staple culinary herb that is easy to grow and beautiful. This low-growing herb adds delicious flavor to meats or vegetables, and is a classic seasoning in Italian cooking. 90 days. Hardy perennial.
Triangle Flashback Calendula
Triangle Flashback CalendulaPacket: 1 gram, ~75 seeds More info
Triangle Flashback (Calendula officinalis) is a gorgeous Calendula! Pastel faces, ranging from a soft-yellow to pink and orange sherbet, contrasted by maroon backs. One of our favorite Calendulas, Triangle Flashback is sure to add beneficial insect-attracting beauty to the garden. Edible and medicinal flowers. ̴Ì_ 70 days. ̴Ì_Hardy re-seeding Annual / tender perennial.
True (Common/Wild) Dandelion
True (Common/Wild) DandelionPacket: ~50 seeds (0.03 gram) More info5425 available
True (or common) dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), woefully maligned by lawn care enthusiasts and widely understood as an invasive weed, is actually an outstanding human plant ally. Dandelion's leaves are edible and rich in vitamins (A, C, D, and B) and minerals (iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, choline, calcium, boron, and silicon). They are a digestive bitter and a potent diuretic replacing the potassium lost during urination. Externally, the mashed fresh leaves or root can be used alone or with other herbs (such as plantain, comfrey, mallow, yarrow) can be used as a poultice, bringing gentle relief and healing action to minor abrasions and insect bites. Finally, the flowers can be used to make wine. 90 days to leaf. 150 days - 2nd year for root harvest. Perennial. >Seeds grown at Mano Farm in Ojai, California. All of our seed varieties are certified organic by Oregon Tilth.
Vera English Lavender
Vera English LavenderPacket (0.1 gram, ~100 seeds) More info384 available
Also known as True or Common Lavender, this strain of Lavendula angustifolia is considered the reference for the species. While colloquially described as ‰ۡÌÝ?English‰ۡó? lavender, the species is actually native to Spain. It produces lush purple flowers with a slightly open profile. Lavenders bloom prolifically after one year of establishment, and if spring sown can often provide a small flush of blossoms in their first year. Lavendula angustifolia is the most cold hardy of all lavenders, so this one is good for climates that have harsher winters.
Wild Calendula
Wild CalendulaPacket: 0.8 gram, ~50 seeds More info69 available
Wild Calendula (Calendula arvensis) is thought to be the original parent plant of domesticated Calendula (Calendula officinalis). This small, bushy plant produces a profuse number of small, yellow flowers that beneficial insects adore. Thought to be medicinally less-potent than C. officinalis, though no less potent in beauty! Easy to grow and self-seeding. Hardy re-seeding annual/tender perennial.
Yellow Flowered Spanish Lavender
Yellow Flowered Spanish LavenderPacket: ~80 seeds (0.15 gram) More info394 available
A yellow-flowered Spanish lavender (Lavendula stoechas; often called "Lavandula viridis") with the classic rabbit ear bracts. The blossoms are resinous in texture, emitting an earthy, pungent pine fragrance mixed with an undertone of the classic lavender scent. Lavenders are Mediterranean shrubs that perform well in hot climates and alkaline soils. Expect prodigious blossoms from the second year onward. Established plants have some degree of frost tolerance. Second year flower production. Perennial. Grown at Mano Farm in Ojai, California. All of our seed varieties are certified organic by Oregon Tilth.