Sea Island Savory Herbs grower Danielle Spires stands in one of the company's 10 greenhouses. Photographs (3) by Alexandria Antonacci
September 18, 2013
Sea Island Savory Herbs promotes garden-to-table dining
written by Kinsey Gidick
Today’s shift in temperature brings thoughts of fall planting. And for those culinary-minded gardeners, that means herbs. Kirk Young, owner of Sea Island Savory Herbs, confirms, “I always say fall is the best time to plant.” Young, who bought the hidden John’s Island farm from Pete Madsen in 2009, is a walking, talking Wikipedia page on everything herbaceous. For September, he insists you can’t go wrong with rooting rosemary, thyme, and basil. “A lot of the herbs are perennial and will live through winter. You can’t mess up rosemary, it’s very easy to grow, and we carry several varieties—everything from ‘Blue Boy,’ which looks beautiful in pots because it trails, to ‘Tuscan Blue,’ which has wonderful upright growth.”
Follow Young around his 10 greenhouses, which he keeps stocked with more than 300 different types of herbs, and it will quickly become apparent that your run-of-the-mill basil isn’t the only option for pesto and that there are more types of thyme than time to list. “I like to use a lemon thyme to create a dry rub. It’s great on chicken, fish, or pork,” says Young. For hummus, his go-to is Genova basil, a sweet variety that’s not too spicy. “Blend that with chickpeas, garlic, lemon, and tahini—it’s delicious,” he assures. Always one for culinary adventure, Young encourages his shoppers (including many local chefs who source from his farm) to get creative with their recipes. “I like to experiment with lots of different herbs. It’s always fun to see what provides the best flavor,” he says. Simple enough, but you won’t know until you grow.