We recently ordered some cucumber seeds from Real Seeds. The attraction of this brand is that they provide interesting and unusual varieties and go to great lengths to encourage you to save and share your own seed. That’s a kind of business model I appreciate. It (purposefully) won’t make them into an international giant like Monsanto but I think it is the kind of thing that is good for the planet. For one packet of seeds, shipping makes up a fair amount of the cost and so I browsed and found a couple of interesting things on their herbs page too.
- Red Perilla (Perilla frutescens var. crispa) is described as a basil like plant with fruity and minty flavours and actually comes from the same overall family (Lamiaceae) as mint. Apparently it is popular in Japan but I don’t think I’ve ever tried or even seen it in the UK.
- Superior Licorice Mint (Korean Mint – Agastache rugosa) is from a different genus of the same family and should taste something like a cross between basil and mint. It can be used for culinary purposes and apparently makes a nice tea, as well as having flower spikes that are attractive to bees. I have grown another variety of Agastache (‘Blue Fortune’) before but I think that has expired and I never got round to seeing if that was edible.
Anyway, seeds for both are now underway and that should give a couple of new flavours to try later this year.