Culinary Herbs: Their Cultivation, Harvesting, Curing and Uses

“In these days of jaded appetites, condiments and canned goods, how fondly we turn from the dreary monotony of the “dainty” menu to the memory of the satisfying dishes of our mothers! What made us, like Oliver Twist, ask for more? Were those flavors real, or was it association and natural, youthful hunger that enticed us? Can we ever forget them; or, what is more practical, can we again realize them? We may find the secret and the answer in mother’s garden. Let’s peep in.”

First published in 1912, M. G. Kains’ CULINARY HERBS: THEIR CULTIVATION, HARVESTING, CURING AND USES is at once a down to earth guide to organic, chemical free cultivation, preparation and savory use of the 36 herbs most essential to every great cook’s cupboard, and an inspiring and poetic love song to the culinary charm of these tantalizing enhancements to both flavor and health.

Botanically, “herb” refers to any annual or perennial plant with a non-woody stem. However, the term herb has come to cover plants that have a specific benefit to mankind. Some even consider them to be the highest quality food known to the human race. We have been using herbs for thousands of years, both for flavoring food and for healing. They’re versatile, easy to grow – either in the garden or in pots on the window sill – and can be used fresh, dried or frozen.

This is the classic guide to both common and obscure herbs; a discussion of their properties, uses, cultivation strategies and much more.



A Dinner of Herbs

Culinary Herbs Defined


Production of New Varieties

Status and Uses

Notable Instance of Uses

Methods of Curing

Drying and Storing

Herbs as Garnishes

Propagation, Seeds






Location of Herb Garden

The Soil and Its Preparation


Double Cropping

Herb Relationships

The Herb List:

Angelica, Anise, Balm, Basil, Borage, Caraway, Catnip, Chervil, Chives, Clary, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Finocchio, Fennel, Flower, Hoarhound, Hyssop, Lavender, Lovage, Marigold, Marjoram,

Mint, Parsley, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Rosemary, Rue,Sage, Samphire, Savory, Summer Savory, Winter Southernwood, Tansy, Tarragon, Thyme

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  1. B. L. Korlanen

    Exacting, Tedious, Charming and Delightful! This little book, written nearly 100 years ago, is still just what the doctor ordered to help both beginning and professional gardeners grow better herbs. The slightly stilted, old-fashioned language is a very comfortable match to the subject matter. Be prepared to discover the histories of herbs, how to cultivate and harvest them, how to use them to add flavor to soups, stews, salads, and meats. The author’s perspective is surprisingly modern, being very accepting of historical uses (and…

  2. invisible

    Inspiring book! We’re just finishing up the first growing season after I read this book. Using it as inspiration we have saved dill seeds, rosemary, sage, oregano, spearmint, lemon balm, garlic, basil, thyme, parsley, peppers and cilantro. We also won a second place county fair ribbon for our dill pickles garnished with home grown garlic, dill flowers and red pepper. You’d be surprised just how good a plate of home made spaghetti tastes when you’ve grown all its spices.This is a basic introduction…

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