Lemon Balm,

Lemon Balm is a must for any home garden. Honey bees are drawn to it's lack luster flowers and fragrance of the leaves. Bloom time is usually late summer. Bee keepers know honey produced from the plant tastes of citrus with a hint of mint. A hardy perennial, winter hardy to zone 5, likes full sun or part shade, moderate water, easy to grow. Prune and harvest as needed to maintain plant size and promote new growth.

Rubbing your fingers on the leaves will smell sweet, citrusy and tart, like lemons. A popular herb used in Tussie Mussies (small herbal bouquets) typically Londoners of Elizabethian times carried these to disguise the smell of unsanitary conditions of the day.

Leaves are similar in shape and flavor to mint leaves. The delicate lemon flavor is best fresh and should be added at the end of cooking a dish. Use raw 'Lemon Balm' in green salads, fruit salads, add zest to sweet and tangy dishes. Works well used in bread stuffing for pork chops or turkey.

Lemon Balm is a member of the mint family, known as a "calming herb" since the Middle Ages. A native to Europe , but now found all over the globe. Commercially grown crops are harvested for cosmetics, furniture polish and medicine.

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