Twin sisters Kim Berg and Kathe Kitchens, owners of Bestemor Herb Farms in Belton, hosted a Growing and Cooking with Herbs seminar Monday night for the Harker Heights Gardening Education Series.

The seminar focused on the proper preparation and management of herbs before and after growth.

Kitchens began the class discussing proper plant propagation. Site selection, site preparation and solarization are the first steps.

“Don’t put herbs next to each other that require different amounts of watering,” she said. “Use horticultural molasses to increase the microbe levels in the soil.”

Kitchens elaborated on the importance of composting and watering, especially in dry climates like Texas.

“The heat here will kill your plants if you’re not careful,” she said.

Berg led the group into the kitchen to demonstrate how to make organic recipes including ketchup, butter and salad dressing.

“A lot of folks have gotten used to throwing salt and cheese on everything because they don’t know what else to do,” Berg said. “There’s so many ways that you can improve your health and put better flavor in your food by using herbs.”

Guests, such as George Waakmueller, got the chance to taste some of Berg’s organic creations and make mayonnaise.

Waakmueller is no stranger to herbs. He and his wife grow their own and make soap.

“It’s getting back to nature and our forefathers,” he said. “The industry is genetically changing the produce we’re eating and there’s no telling what the results are going to be 20 years down the line.”

Sue Dorn also grows her own herbs but was able to take some useful knowledge away from the seminar.

“I had heard about using worm casings before but I thought it would be more difficult,” she said. “And I didn’t know that all herbs love rich soil.”

After the class, Kelly Seals said she plans to add herbs to her garden.

“I really learned a lot,” she said.

Bestemore Herb Farms, which opened earlier this year, offers locally grown fresh or dried herbs and cut flowers that have not been treated with synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

Call 254-541-5475 or email to learn more.

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