Sumptuous Sage


Salvia officinalis (Garden sage, Common sage)

Sage belongs to the utterly ENORMOUS salvia family, and most of its cousins are grown as ornamentals. The plants we are concerned with here are primarily the 'poultry stuffing' plants. Garden or common sage, the main ingredient in poultry seasoning, has gray-green leaves and grows a foot or so tall. With luck, it will bloom for you during its second year and then you'll see its relationship to its lovely purple-flowered cousins!


Growing tips:

  • Sage prefers full sun, but ours does fine in a half a day.

  • Well drained soil is a must.

  • Feed with good quality compost in early spring.

  • Keep it cut. If you don’t, your plant will develop woody stems and will be much more apt to winter-kill.

Using sage:

  • Cut and wash a handful and use it to stuff a whole chicken.
    Cook the chicken slowly and use the meat to make chicken salad.
    You won’t believe how much flavor the sage will add!

  • Use fresh sprigs on the BBQ grill to flavor meat as it cooks.
    Don't put the sage directly over the flame; just let it smoke a bit.

  • Make sage pesto.

Sage Pesto
¾ cup Sage leaves
¼ cup Parsley leaves
¼ cup walnuts or pine nuts
¼ parmesan cheese
2-3 cloves garlic or to taste
¼ cup olive oil
Combine in a food processor or blender. This freezes well.

Varieties of Sage

Sage Bi-color

Garden Sage, with gray-green leaves.

Bi-color Sage. Similar to garden sage in flavor.

Purple Golden

Purple Sage. Milder than garden sage, but not as hardy. Winters for us some years, but not others.

Golden Sage. Beautiful, isn't it? Mild flavor and sometimes winter-kills here. Grow it in a container and enjoy its flavor and lovely foliage.

Pineapple sage, Salvia elegans, is strictly an annual here in the Frozen North. It grows three to five feet tall and is crowned by brilliant red flowers in late summer. Sometimes. If we don't harvest too much for tea! As its name implies, the foliage smells strongly of pineapple. Enjoy it in sun tea or cooked dishes; the leaves are a bit hairy and not impressive in a salad!

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Hummingbird Farm
Brian and Cindy Tibbetts
202 Bean Street  Turner, Maine 04282
(207) 224-8220
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