By Cindy Trisler and Rodney Bowling
Herbs work as pollinators: At least a third of what we buy in the market is dependent on pollinators, but our pollinators (including honey bees, wild bees, butterflies, wasps and flies) are having problems due to pesticides, disease, climate change, loss of habitat and more reasons.
Some great herbs for pollinators include wild milkweed (the only plant monarchs will reproduce on), whose flower can be dipped in tempura-batter and fried for a tasty snack. Other pollinator friendly herbs are rosemary, thyme, cilantro (if allowed to go to flower), nasturtiums (whose pods can be pickled and used as capers), chives, fennel and dill.
Herbs can be easily grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides: People want their beds to look neat and tidy, but herbs are happy when allowed to grow. Spraying your plants with chemicals makes them a death trap for the pollinators that will be attracted to them.
Herbs are great for urban gardeners, college dorm rooms or others small spaces: Many herbs are easily grown in planters on balconies or windowsills.
Herbs have great holistic uses: There are many medicinal uses for various herbs. We like to use a marjoram and lemon balm to avoid mosquitos and gnats.
Herbs are beautiful: It’s important to have beauty in your life and herbs are a great way to grow a beautiful, healthy plant in as much space as you have.
Cindy Trisler and Rodney Bowling, owners of Mudluscious Pottery & Gardens, have been selling herbs from their Madison County farm since 2006. They deliver to the Asheville and Mars Hill area. For more information on Mudluscious, visit mudlusciouspottery.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive information about herb delivery. You can also find them at the Asheville Herb Festival in May.
For more information on the festival, visit ashevilleherbfestival.com