For my last 4H Gardening/Plant Science project meeting, the kids and I talked about growing herbs in the kitchen for the winter. They each planted their own mini-garden using basil, parsley, and chive seeds – which was a fun project by itself.
But the best part was when we got into the discussion on scented herbs. Plant breeders have taken plant scents to another level with many plant species. Herbs have been the recipients of some of the greatest scents around.
Mint, for instance, usually smells like…mint; which smells terrific to begin with. Then some plant geek bred a mint variety that when the leaves are rubbed, the mint is released and just behind that scent is the delicious smell of chocolate.
That’s right kids, today the 4H leader will have you huffing chocolate mint. Not to worry – when their parents came by to pick them up I had their nostrils lined with the Hershey scent, too. Aside from the coco smell there’s grapefruit, lemon, orange, and pineapple mint. Let’s not forget “Candy Mint” which smells of sugary peppermint.
I actually got so carried away with the subject that I ran outside and broke off a hand full of my cinnamon basil. Basils also come in some fantabulous scents such as lemon, lime, and anise (licorice). Even if someone wanted to decline taking a whiff, I don’t think they dared risk it while facing the crazed look in my eyes. No, they breathed in everything I held under their nose – and they liked it.
Anyway, everyone went home balancing their own chocolate mint plant, mini-greenhouse, and herb care instructions. I’ll make them plant junkies yet ‘cuz that’s how I roll.
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