Top Thanksgiving herbs for your garden!
Even in late November, we’ll be digging through our garden beds, foraging for herbs and other edible bits to serve on our Thanksgiving table. In fact, we have intentionally planted herbs for Thanksgiving specifically. That’s because these these plants usually offer fresh harvests this time of year. And they’re still looking good when many other plants are dormant. Plus, they serve many other purposes as well.
What are the most used herbs for Thanksgiving cooking?
Before you plant, consider which herbs you’re most likely to be using in your Thanksgiving meals. That way you’ll be sure to plant what you’ll actually want to harvest. Following are THE Thanksgiving herbs we love to grow:
Thyme is a one of our top choices for Thanksgiving herbs. Plus in the garden it thrives along garden paths in summer. And its blooms offer irresistible forage for the bees. Come Thanksgiving, the leaves are still perfect for flavoring foods on our holiday table. It may seem like a lot of work to strip tiny leaves from wiry thyme branches, but why bother stripping them before cooking? The stems are insignificant and easy to remove after cooking. Plus, they make great ties for a bouquet garni that can be set inside a roasting bird to infuse it with fantastic flavor. Learn more about growing Thyme here.
And Sage is another must-have for so many savory dishes and cocktails too! Plus there are sage plants that are very colorful most of the year. Some of the most delicious are fuzzy green-gray. But many sages have colorful foliage ranging from golden to purple. Plus some are variegated with multiple gorgeous colors.
Don’t forget the Rosemary! This evergreen grows like mad in our area (and many others), and it only takes a little to freshen up a room or add fantastic flavor to your side dishes. Consider blending a bit in with roasted squash dishes.
Lavender may seem like an unlikely cooking herb, but it can add unique flavor to your dishes. Just use it very sparingly! A dash added to potatoes adds a bit of summer to your meal — as well as some fun color. But really, be careful or your dish may taste a bit soapy.
Oregano is probably plugging along in the garden nicely for Thanksgiving harvests. I don’t use it for many Thanksgiving dishes, but when it comes to getting creative with leftovers, adding in a new taste sensation like oregano to an herb crust for your turkey pot pie may make things different enough that nobody tires of the “same old thing”.
Parsley forges right through our winters producing tasty, pungent flavor. The stems are great for tying up herb bundles and they can be used for cooking in less visible areas and in items where their tougher tissues will break down during cooking. Save the pretty leaves to chop into salads, salad dressings and mix into herb rubs for your holiday meals.
Garlic is definitely a key to delicious Thanksgiving meals. But rather than pick it fresh from your garden in November, it’s a Thanksgiving herb you’ll want to grow so you have cured bulbs on hand. And if you grow garlic, you’ll also have next year’s crop nestled in your garden by the time you sit down to this holiday meal. (Find more on that here.)
So before you put powdered “poultry seasoning” on your Thanksgiving shopping list! Take a stroll through your garden to shop for the most delicious Thanksgiving herbs to cook with!
What about herbs for your Thanksgiving cocktails & mocktails?
Don’t forget to think about herbs to include in your Thanksgiving sippables. Of course you can include many of the aforementioned plants to snip for your sips, but what about other Thanksgiving herbs to grow for your drinks? Well, here are a few more herbs to grow for your holiday tipples:
Horseradish is hands down one of our favorites to dig up even in the depth of winter. And it is a key ingredient in one of our Herbal Happy Hour program cocktails that’ll might make your Thanksgiving leftovers even more delicious.
While you might not think of berries as herbs, they truly are! So, don’t forget to cultivate cranberries. Not just for your Thanksgiving cranberry relish recipes, but also to float in some bubbly with a twist of rosemary!
If you’re looking for after dinner special sips, adding a few trees to your garden might be the ticket. Walnut, spruce, and many other trees provided the key herbal ingredients you’ll need to craft some truly delicious drinks for your Thanksgiving table. And if you want to learn more about growing, harvesting, and making these delicious drinks from unusual Thanksgiving herbs, get in the know in our online program now!
Gathering garden herbs for Thanksgiving decorations is fun.
Sometimes we all need a break from preparing meals and entertaining guests. And the truth is getting out in your garden to gather fresh Thanksgiving herbs is a great way to recharge alone. You’ll get to breathe in fresh air. And you get to enjoy the beautiful colors and fragrances of autumn.
Following are some of our favorite herbs to gather for Thanksgiving table decorations:
Rose hips: These are the orange-to-red “seed pods” roses grow following their bloom. When you clip, just take care not to get caught up in the thorns. Check these out & some other fun fall pods here.
Colorful leaves: Rather than list every potential fall foliage herb, just take a walk and pick up some of the prettiest leaves you find. These make a beautiful base layer for crafting a Thanksgiving herbal table runner.
Evergreen herbs: Be sure to collect clippings from trees like cedar. These herbal boughs will hold up well indoors. And they’ll add some unique herbal fragrance to your home. But, they’re less inclined to drip a lot of sap like their cousins the pine trees.
Dry cones: While pine branches might not be the ideal Thanksgiving herbs to include in your decor, their dried cones are beautiful to gather for your table.
So, even if you don’t intend to cook or make drinks with Thanksgiving herbs, you might want to gather some to decorate! (Or, if you need to get cooped up kids or other guests out of your busy kitchen, send them out to gather herbs to decorate the table.)