One of my absolute favorite herbs is Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), nicknamed Melissa. Perhaps my fascination stems from my slight obsession with the name Melissa. I always thought I should have been a Melissa. Or perhaps it is that I was researching remedies for cold sores and learned that lemon balm essential oil will cure them if applied topically. Now I have a bottle of Melissa oil on stand by that I just adore. The more I learn about lemon balm the more it captivates me. It was an obvious choice for my herb garden when I was choosing seeds last winter.
I was not sure how well any of our herbs would grow. Instead of trying to figure out our soil and what grows best, I just chose my favorites, lemon balm being one of them.
The lemon balms seeds were germinated and seedlings were planted in those whisky barrels cut in half. You know, the ones you see at every garden department? They seemed to be taking to them well and then we had about a week of heavy rain. Now they’re taking off!
This morning I googled lemon balm again. Isn’t it funny how you think you know everything about something and you’re always humbled to learn otherwise? Maybe that’s just something I experience. Regardless, this time when I googled lemon balm I was surprised to learn that these are actually quite hardy plants. I think next year I’m going to increase the area of these herbs so I can dry a lot of it for tea.
If anyone is interested in some fresh lemon balm, please come by the farm and pick some! A few leaves steeped in boiling water makes a great herbal tea. It has a fresh, lemony scent which is delightful and it supports healthy digestion and sleep. Enjoy!