Meet Jekka McVicar: Queen of the Herbs

| 9/22/2010 10:31:05 AM

n.heraud2You can check out the Lemon Verbena Lady at her blog

Recently I left The Herbal Husband at home to tend our garden as I took off to vacation in England. My main reason for the visit was to meet Jekka McVicar and visit her herb farm outside Bristol, England. She has read my blog and sent me photos of the herb farm buried in snow after my post on chives in winter last year. She and her husband, Mac, have grown herbs for over 25 years. They started in a small garden in Bristol and had to move because their passion for growing organic herbs outgrew their small garden. They moved to South Gloucestershire in 1987 and started Jekka's Herb Farm. At that time, they were growing 26 varieties of herbs. Now they grow over 600 varieties of herbs.


The farm is not normally open to the public. The herb farm is open during special open days, which are five times throughout the growing season. The farm supplies landscape gardeners, a lot of celebrity chefs, restaurants, hotels and private gardens. Jekka also provides a landscape design service.


Jekka is a multi-talented lady. She is a classically trained musician, but her main focus is organically grown herbs. A quote from her herb catalog states: "I have dedicated my life to learning about herbs and believe me, the lessons never end." I feel the same way. She started the day by talking about her farm and introducing the staff that keeps the business running smoothly. Then she discussed various herbs and what to do with them in the fall season. Of course, she talked about my favorite, lemon verbena. She simply clipped the branches from the plant, held them up and said that drying the leaves was very easy to do and that, once dried, they could be used in tea all winter long. Also, lemon verbena leaves are a wonderful addition to potpourri to give as gifts.