Make the bees and your taste buds happy! Bee Balm is a beautiful and delicious addition to your garden or food forest and makes an outstanding tea. (Monarda fistulosa)
Why We Love It
Here are some of the reasons why we love Bee Balm...
1) BEAUTIFUL, EDIBLE PETALS - The lovely lilac petals of Bee Balm can be added to salads, desserts, spreads, and fruit salads.
2) EDIBLE LEAVES - The leaves can be added to delicious pestos and can be used as a replacement for oregano in a pinch.
3) CALMING, ANTI-MICROBIAL TEA - Bee Balm is a great replacement for Earl Grey tea. It is very soothing to the nerves and also is anti-microbial, so is both delicious and healing. You can use both the flowers and the leaves.
How to Grow It
|REGULAR GARDEN MOISTURE
|USDA 3-10 (Not sure? Find your growing zone here)
|4 feet tall and 3 feet wide
Sow in fall or spring. Sprinkle on top of prepared soil and tamp in firmly. Slightly mix into the soil to barely cover seed. Keep moist until germination which usually takes about 7-21 days.
Winter Sowing is the easiest way to start these seeds. Here's a seed-starting tutorial for you. You won't believe how easy it is!
How to Harvest and Use It
You can harvest Bee Balm all throughout the season. All above-ground parts are edible. You can use the petals raw in salads, desserts, and fruit salads. The leaves can also be dried and used as a spice anywhere you'd use oregano.
One of the best ways to enjoy this beautiful and medicinal herb is as a tea. You can enjoy both the flowers and leaves as a tea, either fresh or dried. Cover and steep for 10 minutes for full medicinal effect. It tastes similar to Earl Grey tea and is amazingly delicious, calming, and immune-boosting.