Strength and beauty – this is the correct description for rosemary, an aromatic evergreen shrub which is both beautiful (when its flowers are in bloom) and sturdy (able to survive droughts and survive even a severe lack of water for lengthy periods).
Rosemary is a name derived from Latin ros marinus that means dew of the sea because this plant thrives best when growing near the sea. This plant is also called anthos, the Greek word for flower.
The 5000 BC cuneiform stone tables made mention of rosemary. Ancient Egyptians use rosemary in burial rituals. Rosemary was mentioned by Pliny the Elder in The Natural History as well as the Greek botanist Pedanius Dioscorides in his work De Materia Medica, which is one of the most influential herbal books in history discussing the uses of rosemary, among others.
You can use the twigs, leaves, and flowering apices of rosemary. Use the leaves for flavoring food. The flower is a good source of nectar for bees. Decorate your lot by planting rosemary – a holiday pot plant during the Christmas season. Without a doubt, rosemary has many positive qualities. However, it also has an undesirable quality: it is an invasive species in some parts of the world.
Species: S. rosmarinus
Binomial Name: Salvia rosmarinus
- Burning rosemary inside the room helps kill germs and disinfect the room.
- Rosemary brings newlywed couples good luck. This is why newlyweds are given baskets of rosemary as gifts.
- Putting rosemary under the pillow is an ancient folk practice meant to attract a love interest.
- Ancient Romans used rosemary to aromatize wines
Rosemary Buying Guide
If you are buying rosemary to use as an herb brush, make sure it is fresh-cut rosemary stems. If you are using rosemary for cooking, buy freshly-cut, dried, or powdered rosemary.
Which rosemary should you buy? If it is for cooking, you may consider any of the following:
- Tuscan Blue (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Tuscan Blue’) – This variety has a milder taste compared to others. This goes well with meat dishes, vinegars, and oils.
- Rosemary Arp (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Arp’) – This variety of rosemary is ideal for those who live in places with cold temperatures because the rosemary arp can survive down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a lemony scent and its woody limbs are used as skewers so that the meat absorbs the flavor.
- Spice Island Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Spice Islands’) – This variety has a scent similar to nutmeg and clove and is best for potatoes and herbed breads.
- Gorizia Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Gorizia’) – This variety that originated from Italy is often used for making pesto. It has a gingery flavor and is preferred for drying because of the volume of the leaves.
- Rosemary Prostrate (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’) – One of the most aromatic rosemary varieties and the most fragrant among the creeping rosemary variants. Used in Mediterranean cuisine.
Rosemary Production & Farming in Texas
Cultivating and growing rosemary can be tricky for inexperienced farmers and growers because it is difficult to start the seed of rosemary owing to its low germination rate and relatively slow growth. The reward for persistence and hard work comes after because once the rosemary is stable and established, it can live for up to 30 years with good harvest yield for four to seven years. Harvest rosemary once or twice a year.
Rosemary grows best in places that allow the plant loam soil with neutral to alkaline conditions (pH 7–7.8) and with good drainage as well as exposure to sunlight and an annual rainfall average of 500 mm. Rosemary thrives best when planted in a place within the altitude range from 1500 to 3000 meters above sea level.
Rosemary has a reputation for being resilient against pests, and because of that, rosemary is the main ingredient for pesticides. However, it is still prone to be attacked by pests like aphids, whiteflies, beetles, and mealybugs, necessitating the use of pesticides, especially for commercial, large-scale rosemary plantation.
- Neonicotinoids – The name means new nicotine-like insecticides. Neonicotinoid is a class of neuro-active insecticides, which includes imidacloprid.
- Neem – This is an effective organic insecticide, miticide, and fungicide.
For an organic, home-made pesticide, mix 1 gallon of water with two tablespoons of neem, 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary (or lavender, depends on what you prefer), and two tablespoons of phosphate-free liquid dishwashing soap. Mix and pour into a spray bottle.
Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean and Asia. Mediterranean countries, Northern Africa (in the foothills of Maluti Mountains in the Eastern Free State as well as in Gauteng, Limpopo, North West Mpumalanga, and the Eastern and Western Cape provinces), England, Mexico, and the US are the leading producers of rosemary.
It is common to see rosemary wrapped in plastic or paper like a bouquet. Sometimes, these are bundled and tied with a string or rubber band, sold in small quantities. You can find these on a pile on a tray along with other herbs and spice products for sale. Crushed or ground rosemary powder is sold in bottles or plastic packets. Rosemary oil – used in a wide variety of products like soaps, creams, candles, deodorants, hair tonics, shampoos, fresheners, and organic pesticides – is sold in bottles of varying sizes. Rosemary plants are also sold in farmers markets and in stores and supermarkets that sell potted plants.
You can have rosemary in a lot of different ways. Use rosemary as a rub and herb brush so that you can taste the flavor on steak, grilled meat, or fried meat. If you are vegetarian, add a pinch of rosemary on zucchini sautéed with onion, garlic, and oil or put shredded rosemary leaves on quinoa salad. If you are more into bread, did you know that rosemary is an excellent flavor when making herbed bread? Rosemary focaccia with oil and coarse salt is a great example of infusing rosemary in bread. If you like marmalade, add rosemary when making caramelized onion. There are so many choices because rosemary pairs well with many different flavors, from chestnut to curry, paprika, cumin, and so much more!
If you are storing rosemary to sell them, make sure the leaves are clean before storing them in crates or boxes.
Harvest rosemary in the morning and have it delivered to the market in the afternoon. If not, store rosemary in a room with a 5 °C temperature before delivery to any point of sale location.
When storing rosemary after purchasing it from the market, make sure any unused rosemary you want to keep for use later or in the following days are put in a vase with water and a pinch of salt. You can also store these inside the refrigerator.
Use fresh and dried rosemary to season food like soups, stews, meat, fish, and poultry. One of the common uses of rosemary is as an herb brush when roasting meat. Ethiopians refer to rosemary as yetebes ketel, which means leaf used for roasting.
Rosemary is a low-calorie, low-fat food, which is an excellent source of vitamin A (beta-carotene), B-6, and C, as well as calcium, folate, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and iron.
- Calcium: 317.00mg
- Iron: 6.65mg
- Potassium: 668mg
- Sodium: 26mg
The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in rosemary help the body improve its immune system and blood circulation. Rosemary also helps in improving our memory, alertness, focus; our appetite; and our skin. Consuming rosemary benefits those who are struggling with digestive and intestinal problems.
When Are Rosemary in Season in Texas?
To find out when Rosemary are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.