The Green Stuff

When we think of our garden, the color that comes to mind is green
And certainly a green lush garden plot means our vegetables are thriving. 
The starts give us hearty leaves that lead to colorful blossoms 
which then evolve into the vegetable treasure.
you can see the green zucchini blossoming from the yellow flower
first of our tomatoes at the farm
Even our fruits, which ripen into luscious yellows and purples 
start out as leafy green trees. 
apricots in the Orchard
But then there is "the green stuff," the greens and herbs that 
reach perfection at that stage in the plants' growth 
rather than ripening or maturing beyond the leaves. 

The chefs at the girl & the fig rely on our 
herb greens to transform their dishes into the memorable meals 
we hope will keep you talking about your experience at "the fig." 
Besides the arugula which is the basis of our signature "fig salad," 
there are other herbal greens we grow at the farm.
fig salad photo by Steven Krause for
Plats du Jour: the girl & the fig's Journey Through the Seasons in Wine Country
We love our chives: Chives have been cultivated in Europe 
since the Middle Ages, although their usage dates back 5000 years. 
They were sometimes referred to as "rush leeks." 
The Romans believed eating chives could increase blood pressure 
and act as a diuretic, as well as relieve the pain from sunburn or a sore throat. 

Although we know they have good properties, 
we mostly celebrate how good they make things taste!
chives at the farm behind "the fig"
and chives at Imagery farm
Chives are in the onion family. 
What we eat is not the bulb, though, but instead the "scapes." 
They have a milder onion flavor, with a hint of garlic, 
and make a delicious addition to salads and vegetable dishes, 
as well as a topping for fish and chicken.
They are very easy to grow, and when they bloom
chives make a lovely flower for the garden.
In fact, many gardeners grow them as much for the flower as they do for the herb.
(the bees like them too!)

Here's a great primer on chives and check out 

Other herbs at the farm include two other stalwarts 
needed by every chef: Italian parsley and basil 

Flat leaf or Italian Parsley growing at the farm
And did you know you can use the stems too? 
Since they are sharper in flavor and less delicate than the leaves, 
they really hold up in long cooked stews, stocks, braised dishes.

If you don't have your version of a backyard "farm," 
you can plant herbs in pots and on window sills. 
If you are short on space, herbs can easily be planted in containers. 
 Here's a basic how-to for herbs in a container:

And if you have a bit more room in your garden, container planting can be expanded 
but is still a great way to go for growing herbs.
What herbs are you growing and where?
Any tips on how to grow them or how you use them?

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