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Have you ever heard of Lovage? What IS Lovage? It is not a common plant and many people have never heard of it.
Lovage is a wonderful plant that gets quite large. It’s a herb and you can pick the leaves to add to your dinners fresh. Lovage has a strong flavour, not unlike celery, but stronger than that. It’s great in salads with other greens, it really adds a zing. You can use it in soups and stews as well.
You can order Lovage seed, or you can buy one perennial plant. They are not stocked at many garden centers, though, so grab one if you find it! You may also know someone who already has a plant that is willing to share with you.
Lovage starts showing some growth in April and by mid-May, you should easily be able to snip a few leaves to add to dinners.
Here’s the same plant later in the season. It’s grown a bit, hasn’t it? Lovage will grow about six feet tall – that’s a LOT of Lovage leaves you can harvest and dehydrate.
And, it’s a pretty looking herb that grows to the size of a shrub each year. Since the plant grows so large, you can get a great harvest! And a bonus is that Lovage is a perennial! So plant it once, and every year it will come back and grow large again.
Here’s a full basket of Lovage, freshly cut. I’ll bring it up to the house and start snipping leaves, some to use fresh and some to preserve for later.
To preserve Lovage, you can easily dry it. Here’s an article I wrote on How to Dry Herbs. Herbs are always better when they are used right away, but that’s not always possible, depending on the season.
It’s so easy to store a jar or two for using all season! Whenever a dish you’re cooking could use a celery flavor, add a pinch or three to whatever is cooking on the stove.
You can also dry the leaves whole, then follow the same instructions for storage. Be sure the leaves are fully dry before storing. Then use them whenever you like.
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