42500 Of Them And A Quart 18 Ounces
Cultivation.--For earliest use the seed may be sown in a spent hotbed
or a cold frame in late March, and the plants set in the open during
May. Usually, however, it is sown in the garden or the field where the
plants are to remain. In the hotbed the rows may be 3 or 4 inches apart;
in the field they should be not less than 9 inches, and only this
distance when hand wheel-hoes are to be used, and each alternate row is
be removed as soon as the plants begin to touch across the rows. Half
a dozen seeds dropped to the inch is fairly thick sowing. As the seed is
small, it must not be covered deeply; 1/4 inch is ample. When the rows
are 15 inches apart about 4 pounds of seed will be needed to the acre.
For horse cultivation the drills should be 20 inches apart. Both summer
and winter savory do well on rather poor dry soils. If started in
hotbeds, the first plants may be gathered during May. Garden-sown seed
will produce plants by June. For drying, the nearly mature stems should
be cut just as the blossoms begin to appear. No special directions are
needed as to drying. (See page 25.)
Uses.--Both summer and winter savory are used in flavoring salads,
dressings, gravies, and sauces used with meats such as veal, pork, duck,
and goose and for increasing the palatability of such preparations as
croquettes, rissoles and stews. Summer savory is the better plant of the
two and should be in every home garden.
TTITLE Savory Winter
(Satureia montana, Linn.), a semi-hardy, perennial,
very branching herb, native of southern Europe and northern Africa. Like
summer savory, it has been used for flavoring for many centuries, but is
not now as popular as formerly, nor is it as popular as summer savory.
Description.--The numerous woody, slender, spreading stems, often more
than 15 inches tall, bear very acute, narrow, linear leaves and pale
lilac, pink, or white flowers in axillary clusters. The brown, rather
triangular seeds, which retain their vitality about three years, are
smaller than those of summer savory. Over 70,000 are in an ounce, and it
takes 15 ounces to fill a quart.
Cultivation.--Winter savory is readily propagated by means of
cuttings, layers and division as well as seeds. No directions different
from those relating to summer savory are necessary, except that seed of
winter savory should be sown where the plants are to remain, because the
seedlings do not stand transplanting very well. Seed is often sown in
late summer where the climate is not severe or where winter protection
is to be given. The plant is fairly hardy on dry soils. When once
established it will live for several years.
To increase the yield the stems may be cut to within 4 or 5 inches of
the ground when about ready to flower. New shoots will appear and may be
cut in turn. For drying, the first cutting may be secured during July,
the second in late August or September. In all respects winter savory is
used like summer savory, but is considered inferior in flavor.
(Artemisia Abrotanum, Linn.), a woody-stemmed perennial
belonging to the Compositae and a native of southern Europe. It grows
from 2 to 4 feet tall, bears hairlike, highly aromatic leaves and heads
of small yellow flowers. The plant is often found in old-fashioned
gardens as an ornamental under the name of Old Man. In some countries
the young shoots are used for flavoring cakes and other culinary
(Tanacetum vulgare, Linn.), a perennial of the Compositae, native
of Europe, whence it has spread with civilization as a weed almost all
over the world. From the very persistent underground parts annual,
usually unbranched stems, sometimes 3 feet tall, are produced in more or
less abundance. They bear much-divided, oval, oblong leaves and numerous
small, yellow flower-heads in usually crowded corymbs. The small, nearly
conical seeds have five gray ribs and retain their germinability for
about two years.
Tansy is easily propagated by division of the clumps or by seed sown in
a hotbed for the transplanting of seedlings. It does well in any
moderately fertile garden soil, but why anyone should grow it except for
ornament, either in the garden or as an inedible garnish, is more than I
can understand. While its odor is not exactly repulsive, its acrid,
bitter taste is such that a nibble, certainly a single leaf, would last
most people a lifetime. Yet some people use it to flavor puddings,
omelettes, salads, stews and other culinary dishes. Surely a peculiar
order of gustatory preference! It is said that donkeys will eat
thistles, but I have never known them to eat tansy, and I am free to
confess that I rather admire their preference for the thistles.
(Artemisia Dracunculus, Linn.), a fairly hardy, herbaceous
rather shrubby perennial of the Compositae, supposed to be a native of
southern Russia, Siberia, and Tartary, cultivated for scarcely more
than 500 years for its leaves and tender shoots. In all civilized
countries its popular name, like its specific name, means dragon, though
why it should be so called is not clear.
Description.--The plant has numerous branching stems, which bear
lance-shaped leaves and nowadays white, sterile flowers. Formerly the
flowers were said to be fertile. No one should buy the seed offered as
tarragon. It is probably that of a related plant which resembles
tarragon in everything except flavor--which is absent! Tagetes lucida,
which may be used as a substitute for true tarragon, is easily
propagated by seed and can be procured from seedsmen under its own name.
As tarragon flowers appear to be perfect, it is possible that some
plants may produce a few seeds, and that plants raised from these seeds
may repeat the wonder. Indeed, a variety which naturally produces seed
may thus be developed and disseminated. Here is one of the possible
opportunities for the herb grower to benefit his fellow-men.
Cultivation.--At present tarragon is propagated only by cuttings,
layers and division. There is no difficulty in either process. The plant
prefers dry, rather poor soil, in a warm situation. In cold climates it
should be partially protected during the winter to prevent alternate
freezing and thawing of both the soil and the plant. In moist and heavy
soil it will winterkill. Strawy litter or conifer boughs will serve the
purpose well. Half a dozen to a dozen plants will supply the needs of a
family. As the plants spread a good deal and as they grow 15 to 18
inches tall, or even more, they should be set in rows 18 to 24 inches
apart each way. In a short time they will take possession of the ground.
Uses.--The tender shoots and the young leaves are often used in
salads, and with steaks, chops, etc., especially by the French. They are
often used as an ingredient in pickles. Stews, soups, croquettes, and
other meat preparations are also flavored with tarragon, and for
flavoring fish sauces it is especially esteemed.
Probably the most popular way it is employed, however, is as a decoction
in vinegar. For this purpose, the green parts are gathered preferably in
the morning and after washing are placed in jars and covered with the
best quality vinegar for a few days. The vinegar is then drawn off as
needed. In France, the famous vinegar of Maille is made in this way.
The leaves may be dried in the usual way if desired. For this purpose
they are gathered in midsummer. A second cutting may be made in late
September or early October. Tarragon oil, which is used for perfuming
toilet articles, is secured by distilling the green parts, from 300 to