The Garden at 485 Elm
People growing together:
a collaborative community garden in Montpelier, Vermont

Bursting with Herbs

Every season, the Garden at 485 Elm gives dozens of pounds of food to local organizations ensuring our neighbors have access to fresh, delicious local food. On a beautiful evening, we harvested basil, oregano, and thyme that went to the Montpelier Food Pantry for distribution the next morning.

Using proper harvesting techniques ensures the plants stay healthy and productive and thrive longer through the season.

Here’s how just-picked basil should look: not like individual leaves plucked from the plant, but like a mini basil plant.
The way basil was harvested here is not great for the plant. There should be no leafless stalks like the ones browning in the sun in this photo.
See where the purple arrow is pointing? Use your thumbnail and index fingernail (or garden shears) to punch off the stem just above pairs of new leaves. Then they’ll continue to grow. Well-harvested basil and other mint-family plants should look like . . . younger, smaller versions of the same plants.
We also harvested oregano and thyme. The beautiful flowers in the foreground are volunteer musk mallows.
These herbs are perennials: they come back season after season without replanting. This Foxley thyme and Greek oregano have been growing here since 2014.