Living Center Oregon

Sustainable Living Center Oregon

Tsunami Seeds – Herb Seeds

Sustainable Living Center of Lincoln City takes threats to biodiversity seriously. We are starting to build a Tsunami Seed Bank of select varieties that will grow in the gardens on the Oregon Coast, so we can feed ourselves before and after if we ever get hit by a Tsunami.

We offer free seeds to gardeners who promise they will grow, document and harvest the seeds from one plant and returned the seed from that plant back to the Center.  Presently there is 7 different varieties in our Herb Bank.

Bouguet Dill

A very productive variety of early maturing dill.

  • Bouguet DillOrganic
  • Self-seeding annual plant
  • Plants grow to 24 inches tall with yellow flowers
  • Early maturing plants with strong aroma

This variety will grow well in most regions of the United States.  It isn’t entirely clear where dill originated, but it was most likely in the Mediterranean region. It was used thousands of years ago in Egypt and Greece as a medicinal and culinary herb. By the 17th century it was very commonly grown in European gardens and from there it was brought to the United States.

The fresh leaves and dried leaves of dill are used to flavor many fish dishes, pickles, and borscht. The fresh leaves are much more flavorful than the dried leaves.

In Eastern Europe and Russia dill is one of the most popular herbs. Dill is mixed with soft cheeses and spread on sandwiches or tossed with salads. Try mixing dill with sour cream as a base for dressing freshly cut cucumbers.

You can also take the thin pieces of the fresh dill stems and chop them finely before tossing them with boiled new potatoes and butter.

Sweet Mace

sweet-mace-herbThis herb can be used to replace the hard to grow tarragon in Southwestern dishes.

  • Annual or perennial in zones 8-11
  • Plants grow to 12-24 inches tall
  • Glossy green leaves
  • Orange, anise-scented flowers

This variety will grow well in most regions of the United States.  Sweet Mace is also known as “Mexican marigold”, “Mexican tarragon”, “Mexican mint marigold”, “Spanish tarragon”, and yerbaniz. It is thought to have been used by the Aztecs in ritual incenses and perhaps had a connection to the god Tlaloc.

Sweet mace has a bright, fresh taste that pairs well with fish and chicken. You can also substitute it for any dish calling for tarragon. Try chopping the fresh leaves and adding them to a tossed green salad or brewing them into a tea.

Lovage “Magnus”

This wonderful herb has a taste similar to celery and parsley.

  • lovage-herb-organicOrganic
  • Pernnial plants in zones 3-8
  • Plants grow to 5-8 feet tall
  • Leaves and stems taste similar to celery

This variety will grow well in most regions of the United States.  The exact origin of Lovage is hard to pinpoint because it has been naturalized across wide regions of Europe and Asia. The name “lovage” comes from “love-ache” which references the medieval name for parsley, which the plant resembles.

As the leaves of Lovage mature their flavor intensifies, so we recommend that you only use young/new leaves chopped fresh in salads or atop meats and fish.

You can substitute Lovage for any recipe calling for celery and makes a great addition to soups and stews. Stalks of Lovage also make a great addition to any drink containing tomato juice so try to have some on hand for Sunday brunches!


Stevia extracts are often used to replace sugar.

  • stevia-herbGrown as an annual
  • Plants grow to 3 feet tall
  • Long, thin green leaves
  • Leaves have a sweet flavor

This variety will grow well in most regions of the United States.  Stevia is native to South and Central America where it has been used to sweeten yerba mate tea.


Garlic Chives

These chives have white flower clusters and a mild garlic flavor.

  • garlic-chives-herb-organicOrganic
  • Perennial in zones 4-8
  • Plants grow to 12-20 inches tall
  • Flattened leaves have a mild garlic flavor

This variety will grow well in most regions of the United States.  Garlic chives are a species of onion native to the Himalayan region of Asia. Unlike onions and garlic, the flowering stalks are strap-shaped.

Garlic chives can be used with savory soups and are used in China to make dumplings. They are commonly used in Korean cuisine and there is a specific form of kimchi made with these leaves, red chili pepper and fish sauce.

Try substituting garlic chiveAs for regular chives in your recipes to add a subtle garlic flavor to the dish.

Sweet Marjoram

A great herb used in combinations such as “herbs de Provence”.

  • sweet-marjoram-herb-organicOrganic
  • Annual or perennial in zones 6-8
  • Plants grow to 12-24 inches
  • Soft, green leaves similar to oregano

This variety will grow well in most regions of the United States.  This variety is native to Asia Minor and the Mediterranean region and is more aromatic when grown in hot climates. It is thought to have been used by the ancient Greeks and Romans as a symbol of happiness.

Marjoram has a slightly pine and citrus flavor and is often mistaken for oregano. The fresh leaves have a stronger flavor than the dried leaves. It is best to use it sparingly with rich meats and cream-based sauces. It also works well with potatoes, summer squash, tomatoes, and snap beans.

Genovese Basil

This basil variety is the best choice for making pesto.

  • genovese-basil-herb-organicOrganic
  • Annual plants
  • Plants will grow to 18-24 inches
  • Sweet, fragrant leaves

This variety will grow well in most regions of the United States. Basil may be native to India and is thought to have been grown there for over 5,000 years. The Ancient Greeks were familiar with basil and has a long history of use in Italian and Southeast Asian cuisine.

The flavor of basil is best when the leaves are fresh. Cooking or heating the leaves will change the flavor so add the leaves at the last minute to warm dishes.

Basil is one of the main ingredients in pesto, along with olive oil and garlic. You can also steep the leaves of basil in milk or cream and create basil flavored confections like chocolates or ice cream.

Fennel Bronze

Bronze Fennel so named for its coppery tinged foliage that provides a striking accent in garden. Leaf tips used as garnish. Seeds for seasoning, pleasant flavor. Bronze Fennel self sows readily, cut spent flowers to control seeding. A non bulbing fennel.

Planting Directions:  Start seed indoors in sterile seed starting mix with a soil temperature of 65˚. Or sow seeds outdoors after all danger of frost is past, in rows 2’ apart.  Cover seed with ¼” of fine soil, well pressed down.  Germination takes 10-14 days at an optimum temperature of 65˚.  Thin or transplant  6” apart when plants are 2” high. Careful to not disturb the roots when transplanting fennel. Grow fennel in full sun  and in well drained soil. You can begin to harvest the leaves when plants are at least 8” tall. Use leaves fresh or dried.


thumb_ValerianValerian dried root used as a calming tea. Root has a distinctive musky aroma while the flowers are extremely fragrant and will enliven any garden. A hardy ornamental herb with large umbrella like clusters of sweetly fragrant white flowers atop 4 ft stems.  Self sows readily.


Planting Directions: Sow seeds in a flat using sterile planting medium kept at 60-70 degrees.  Cover seed lightly and keep barely dampened.  Transplant to pots when they are 2” high and fertilize sparingly with a liquid solution.  Set plants outdoors after weather warms.

Remarks:  Plants will bloom 2 year and grow to 4-5’ tall.  Valerian grows best in full sun but is also shade tolerant.

Gray deeply divided leaves cover the entire plant of Wormwood making it look like a soft grey cloud. Accents any adjacent flower color. One of the most bitter herbs. Tonic and diuretic. Leaves laid amongst clothes will repel moths.

Planting Directions:  Sow seed indoors 8-10 weeks prior to transplanting in sterile seed starting mix with a soil temperature of  70-80˚. Or sow seed outdoors in spring or summer, up to two months before first frost. Plant seed ¼” deep and keep moist until germination occurs in about 2 weeks. Plant in well prepared soil that has been amended with rich compost or a  good garden fertilizer. Full sun and well drained soil. When plants are 4” tall transplant or thin to stand 12” apart. Water moderate and regular the first season after which time wormwood requires less water. Artemisia tolerates dry, poor soil. Prune plants annually to maintain attractive appearance.

Sweet Annie

thumb_SweetAnnieSweet Annia is in demand for wreath making because of the sweetly fragrant, lace-leaved green branches. Harvest branches when green and pliable or wait until they are golden and use as a filler in wreathes. Grow in full sun. Thin or plant 2 to 3′ apart.

Planting Directions:  Sow seed indoors 10 to 12 weeks before last frost. Plant seed in sterile seed starting mix with a soil temperature of  65˚ to 75˚. Seed is slow to germinate and seedlings are slow to grow until transplanted outdoors in full sun and warm temperatures. Plant outdoors in early summer or early fall. Cover seed ¼” with fine soil, well pressed down. Thin or transplant when plants are 3” tall. Space plants 15” to 24” apart full sun and well drained soil. Water regularly throughout the growing season. Harvest in fall before first frost or after a very light frost. * Because of the small size of this seed we have been unable to separate it from the chaff.  The seeds are there but are very small.  Start with a very small pinch of each plant.


Seeds are used in breads, confectionery, pastries. Seeds are high in alpha and linoleic acids. Sometime called Benne in the South.

Planting Directions:  Direct sow seeds in spring after all danger of frost has passed and night time temperatures are above 55˚. Start indoors 8 weeks prior to planting outside. Start seed in sterile seed starting mix and transplant into sterile potting soil when the 2nd set of true leaves develop. Germination temperature is 70˚ to  85˚. Plant in well drained soil in full sun.  Sow seed 1/4” deep, thinning plants  8-12” apart. Comments:  Cut stalks to the ground when the uppermost seed pods turn green and lower seed pods are not opened. Cut flower heads off stem and  place in a large paper bag. When the seed is dried shake the  bag vigorously and the ripened seeds will fall to the bottom of the paper bag. Remove the seeds and store in an airtight container.



This entry was posted on May 27, 2016 by .