lemon verbena leaves

2017 CSA Spring May 6th Lemon Verbena

2017 CSA Spring May 6th Lemon Verbena

  • Tomatoes
  • Baby Tatsoi
  • Field Arugula
  • Field Mix
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Rose Geranium
  • Epazote
  • Dill
  • Beet Greens
  • Turmeric *
  • Ginger *

With the arrival of local strawberries at our markets, i wanted to encourage you to try my most favorite combination of rose geranium and fruit…both rose geranium and lemon verbena go great with fruit flavors but with strawberries is my first choice, when available. I wish that our strawberries had survived so that they could be included in your CSA, but weather prevails. We have lots of standing water in between rows, and overflowing catch ponds which drowns the roots brings disease and is ripe for fungal infection. But we like to perk up the spirits with a little “Rosy Outlook”, a tea made from the rose geranium and lemon verbena. Throw in a couple of leaves of each, to taste, for each cup of water. It is very refreshing served chilled, over ice. The above photo is of a tea of strawberries and rose geranium (sprig and fruit were garnishes). The fruit and herb were stewed together and then smashed with a fork before water was added and heated for the infusion. Then the tea was strained before serving. You can make a syrup instead, adding sugar for the fruits and herbs to stew in and then strain before use and storage. Another pairing that is a hit is the lemon verbena with pineapple. Pineapple pancakes with a lemon verbena syrup were a delight when entertaining guests. If a syrup is made, then the bulk not immediately used can flavor future drinks, top desserts or make interesting cocktails. The same can be said of the ginger and turmeric. To make a simple ginger soda or ale, make a syrup of your rhizome and add it to carbonated soda water which can be found at the grocery store.

A quick note to our newest CSA members: we were introduced to scientific research during our annual Ginger field day at Virginia State University that showed adding black pepper, which contains piperine, to preparations of turmeric increases its bioavailability by 2000%…so give that gut absorption a boost and add a dash or two into your meals.( i like making a ginger-turmeric tea with a dash of black pepper) Enjoy!

2017CSA_Spring_May_06