What can reduce pain, aid digestion, cleanse the skin, create culinary magic and fill a room with the glorious scent?
Valued through centuries for their medicinal properties and enhancing the flavour of foods, herbs are finding their way into more culinary, cosmetic and household products than ever before. Over 400 varieties of herb plants, changing with the seasons, are grown for those purposes by passionate artisans Jacynthe Dugas and Richard White at Hazelwood Herb Farm, near Ladysmith just an hour’s drive north from Elkington Forest. Elkington Forest is located in the midst of many farms and artisan food sources.
At Hazelwood you can see, smell and taste familiar names from basil, cilantro and lavender, to the not so familiar as mugwort, sullcap and vervain. The knowledgeable staff can help you select the best herbs for your favourite recipes or medicinal needs.
The Herbal Heaven gift shop is filled with tinctures, salves and creams to calm and comfort many maladies. In fact, Hazelwood Herb Farm was winner in the Health Category at the 2007 Mid Island Science and Technology Innovation Awards for its Arthritis Cream.
The culinary section is stocked with delicious chutneys, jellies, mustards, vinegars, bread and scone mixes, as well as a popcorn mix; all incorporating Hazelwood herbs. They even have a selection of products for your pets.
You can elevate almost any recipe, from mundane to magnificent, with the addition of culinary herbs. You’ll find a range of recipes at www.hazelwoodherbfarm.com One of our favourites is John’s easy recipe for Grilled Lamb Chops. Just grill your chops til lightly browned to seal in the juices, then spread with a mixture of Dijon Mustard and fresh Rosemary and continue grilling for a few more minutes. Mmmmmmm!
Hazelwood Herb Farm is one of only two Island artisans, with “Economusee British Columbia Artisans at Work” designation, selected for its unparalleled quality of craft and business model.
At Elkington Forest, residents have the opportunity to put their gardening skills to good use and Hazelwood is one of many places available to learn more. Whether it’s cultivating herbs in a raised bed in a small corner of their own home lot, or augmenting their family’s supply of fresh vegetables in a larger community plot, Elkington’s conservation community prioritizes opportunities for local food production. For the more ambitious, 1/4 acre garden plots are also available on the 65 acres of agricultural land. Contact us for more info.
To learn more about Hazelwood Herb Farm, visit their website or follow them on Facebook to find out about upcoming events and tours.
Photo: Hazelwood Herb Farm Facebook- Echinacea in Hazelwood’s production garden. Commonly also known as purple coneflowers.