By Jennifer Foden
With spring finally here, people are starting to think about their gardens—from flowers and plants to vegetables and herbs. One popular selection is tarragon, a green culinary herb used in chicken, fish and egg dishes; it’s also a main ingredient in Béarnaise sauce.
“Tarragon season in BC is essentially the whole growing season, from April to October,” says Conor Preston of Figaro’s Garden, a garden centre on Vancouver’s Victoria Drive (near the Commercial Drive neighbourhood).
However, tarragon is one example of many herbs that are perennial and can survive non-extreme winters, like the ones in the Lower Mainland of BC. People often provide the herb shelter throughout the winter months by placing them in a greenhouse.
In the summer months, tarragon likes sunshine, but not hot weather; another reason why the Lower Mainland is the perfect climate for growing this popular herb.
“Tarragon is all about flavour,” says Boni Townsend of Chilliwack’s Lowland Herb Farm. “You have to get French tarragon. Russian and Mexican tarragon get higher yields, but the flavour profile is not there.” Townsend sells tarragon at the Trout Lake Farmer’s Market, but chefs and foodies are often the ones snatching up her small supply. “It’s very popular, but hard to find locally grown,” she says. So, if you want to get your hands on this herb: keep your eye out at your local farmers’ market or garden centre.
Header Image by ccho | Flickr