Heirloom Culinary Seed Guide
Many people have used herbs in cooking since the beginning of time. Herbs can both enhance your dish with elegant flavors and make for an excellent garnish too! Below, we put together a list of some common culinary herbs and a description of each. Be sure to read on to learn more and check out our build-your-own ARK Heirloom Seed kit from our culinary herb seed collection.
Sweet Basil – Annual
Sometimes called “Common Basil” is the undisputed king of the Italian basils, and one of the most popular herb seeds in the world. As versatile as it is tasty, sweet basil can be used to make just about any dish taste delicious. Plant Sweet Basil seeds inside or out, and use either fresh or dried.
Coriander-Cilantro – Annual
Perhaps the most versatile of all the culinary herbs, Coriander (Cilantro) can be used to add fresh and delicious flavor to almost anything – from soups, salsas, and salads to meat and fish! Coriander (Cilantro) is very easy to grow from seed. An annual, Coriander (Cilantro) is best planted outdoors and will sometimes self-sow under favorable growing conditions.
Chives – Perennial
Chives are perennial herbs that can be planted indoors or outdoors. A very versatile and tasty herb! Not only do chives add flavor to baked potatoes, but they can also be used to flavor soups and other foods as well.
Bouquet Dill – Annual
An excellent accompaniment to sauces and seasonings. Bouquet Dill is also widely used in pickling. An essential and affordable addition to any herb garden.
Oregano – Perennial
A staple of many Mediterranean (particularly Italian) dishes, Oregano is a must for any culinary herb garden. Plant this beloved perennial herb in any spot, and enjoy its robust flavor for years to come.
Italian Parsley – Biennial
Typically has a denser coloring and richer flavor than its curled cousin. Use Italian Parsley as an accompaniment
to virtually any dish. A very easy herb to cultivate, plant Italian Parsley seeds indoors or out.
Harvesting Different Types of Culinary Herb Seeds
Watch for the herb blooms to begin to wilt and turn brown in late summer or early autumn. The blooms should be allowed to dry on the plant as long as possible but must be harvested before the blooms shatter and the heirloom herb seeds are blown away. To prevent loss of seeds, tie a piece of netting around the bloom. Cut the blooms from the plant and spread the blooms in a single layer on a screen. Place the screen in a dry, well-ventilated location away from any breeze. Allow the blooms to dry until the petals are brittle and the seeds break when you split them with your fingernail. Heirloom organic herb seeds can require up to two weeks to dry. Hold the dry blooms over a piece of paper. Rub the dry blooms carefully between your fingers if the seeds haven’t already fallen out. Remove pieces of stems, petals and other debris with your fingers. Place the dry seeds in a paper envelope or a glass jar, and label the container with an indelible marker. Store the seeds in a cool, well-ventilated place.