Aromatic Rosemary!Submitted by Steven J Brown
Rosemary is a fragrant evergreen herb, native to the shores of the Mediterranean, and has so many uses.
The herb not only tastes delicious in many culinary dishes, but is also such a good source of iron, calcium and vitamin B6. It’s also been linked to health benefits that include improved concentration, boosts immune system, digestion and good for keeping the brain sharp.
Its leaves and stalk can be used as a culinary condiment, seasoning meats, lamb, pork and chicken. Chopped rosemary can be added to bread too. It’s wonderful together with Mediterranean roast veggies and potatoes, can be used in many beauty treatments for hair and skin, and it also makes for a great tea.
Rosemary is part of the same family of herbs such as oregano, thyme, basil and lavender, which is a member of the mint family.
It’s really pretty with blue flowers, and is definitely an aromatic and distinctive herb which the team at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa, recommend everyone should have planted at home. If you have a garden, they grow really well in KZN, but be careful as they can literally grow wild if not managed. If you don’t have a garden, don’t despair - just get a pot and find a spot at a window indoors.
So let’s get planting: Rosemary can be grown from seed, but it’s been known to take some time to grow, or many of the seeds don’t germinate. The best way is to grab a cutting from an established plant, and they definitely grow quite quickly and you should be able to pot them in about 8 weeks.
Once you are at this point, make sure you place it in a sunny spot and have well drained soil, as they don’t like having too much moisture. Give them time - try not to snip for daily meals.
When potting them, make sure they have room to grow, approximately 120 cm in height and width. If you have them in the ground, complimentary plants would be sage, garlic, cauliflower, carrots, beans, and even cabbage.
When harvesting rosemary, use fresh or hang them in the kitchen to dry. Harvest up to a third of the bush, and then take stems and start the process again.
So get planting and enjoy the flavours of the Mediterranean.