THE PHYSIC GARDEN AT THE PIE PATCH

WHAT IS A PHYSIC GARDEN?

The Physic Garden at The Pie Patch is an organic medicinal and culinary herb, vegetable, and flower garden in Chicago's Back-of-the-Yards neighborhood.  "Physic" was an early term for the science of healing based on plant medicine.

Modern botanic gardens were preceded by physic gardens where people grew their own medicines and studied plants as the key to health and nutrition.  While records of physic gardens date all the way back to antiquity and the time of Charlemagne, one of the few remaining public physic gardens is the Chelsea Physic Garden in London. It was originally established in 1621 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries as a training ground where apothecaries and healers could study materia medica and learn to identify different species and the useful parts of each plant. 

The cultivation of plants is intricately tied to both the history of culture through agriculture and the evolution of modern medicine. Most of our synthetic drugs today have their origin in plant compounds.  For example, aspirin originated from compounds in the willow tree and other salicylate-rich plants from a tradition of using willow bark to treat pain that dates all the way back to antiquity.  The heart medicine digoxin is made from a compound found in Digitalis purpurea, or foxglove.

The Physic Garden at The Pie Patch builds upon the history of western physic gardens and also cultivates plants used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and native plants such as burdock, clover, and mint that have been used as medicine in Illinois by the tribes who lived here before colonial settlers.  

Adding herbs and edible flowers can also be an easy and cost effective way to add nutrition and vitamins to your daily diet. Why are herbs good for you?  They contain high concentrations of antioxidants, vitamins, essential oils, volatile oils, phytosterols, and other plant derived nutrients that support our immune systems and help our bodies eliminate toxins and adapt to stress.  While some plant compounds, like the digitalin in digitalis, need to be extracted into medicines and cannot be eaten as food, most herbs grown at The Physic Garden can be added to a daily diet to provide flavor, color, and concentrated nutrition to meals.  The glorious edible flowers at The Physic Garden are perfect enhancements to wedding cakes, baked goods, salads, and fancy cocktails. 

To place an order and inquire about availability or tours, contact sarah@pyritesun.com or call 773-383-5239. 

Learn more about the certified organic farm The Pie Patch where you can also pick your own berries at thepiepatchfarm.com!

Coming in SPRING 2017: The Physic Garden Herb and Flower CSA!

DRIED HERBS AVAILABLE NOW!

To place an order or check availability and pricing, contact Sarah at sarah@pyritesun.com or 773-383-5239. Delivery available. 

WHAT'S GROWING IN THE PHYSIC GARDEN?

To order in advance or request a special item grown for you in 2017, contact Sarah at sarah@pyritesun.com or 773-383-5239. Delivery available. 

FRESH HERBS ( * denotes herbs with particularly beautiful or delicious edible flowers)

Lavender*

·       Fernleaf

·       Munstead

·       Hicdote

·       Hicdote Giant

·       Sarah

·       Richard Gray

·       Yellow Flowered Lavender

 Rosemary

·       Trailing blue

·       Spice Islands*

·       Gorzina*

·       Upright Blue

 Sage

·       Pitcher*

·       Tricolor

·       Purple Leaved

·       Garden Sage*

·       Pineapple Sage*

·       Lilac Sage*

·       Clary Sage

·       Maraschino Cherry Flowering Sage*

·       Watermelon Flowering Sage*

·       Dang Shen (Medicinal Sage)*

 Tulsi

·       Rama

·       Amrita

·       Kapoor

·       Vana

·       Ocimum sanctum (common)

Basil*

·       African Blue

·       Tie-Dye Dolce Vita

·       Purple Petra

·       Purple Rubin

·       Red Ruffles

·       Thai

·       Red Shiso

 Thyme

·       Lemon

·       Variegated

·       Orange

·       Pink Creeping

·       Lilac Creeping

·       Red Creeping

·       English

·       French

·       Basil Thyme*

·       Variegated Lemon

 Oregano

·       Lemon Variegated

·       Marjoram

·       Zaatar

·       Cuban Oregano

·       Marshall’s Memory*

·       Greek

·       Italian

·       Hot & Spicy

Mint

·       Apple Mint

·       Pineapple Variegated Mint

·       Mojito Mint

·       Sweet Mint

·       Strawberry Mint

·       Variegated Peppermint

·       Curly Mint

·       Wholly Mint

·       Lemon Bergamot Mint

·       Chocolate Mint

·       Melissa (Lemon Balm)

Flowering Mints

·       Yellow Dotted Mint

·       Cambridge Scarlet Monarda

·       Jacob Kline Monarda

·       Moldavian Balm

·       Lion’s Tail

·       Lemon Flowering Mint

·       True Hyssop

·       Agastache (Anise Hyssop)

Scented Geraniums (great for simple syrups!)

·       Prince Rupert

·       Ginger

·       Fringed Apple

·       Chantilly

·       Mrs. Taylor

·       Chocolate Mint

·       Charity

·       Rober’s Lemon

·       Orange

·       Attar of Rose

·       Strawberry

·       Broadleaf Rose

Epazote

Red Amaranth

Chamomile

·       Roman

·       German

·       Dyer’s Chamomile

·       St John’s Chamomile

 French Tarragon

 Bay

 Lemon Grass

 Pink Celery

 Cilantro

 Sweet Cecily

 Chervil

 Fennel

·       Bronze

·       Smokey

·       Florence

·       Perfection

Angelica

·       Officianalis (common)

·       Purple (in 2017)

·       Giant Purple (in 2017)

 Purslane

 Lamb’s Quarters

 

EDIBLE FLOWERS:

Bean and Pea Flowers:

·       Clitoria (Blue Butterfly Pea)!

·       Sunset Runner (peach)

·       Scarlet Runner (red)

·       Scarlet Emporer (reddish orange)

·       Scarlet Empress (red and white)

·       Rattlesnake (lavender)

·       Red Noodle Bean (magenta)

Best for Flavor and Culinary Use:

·       Dianthus (multiple varieties and colors all summer)

·       Fringed Dianthus (pink and magenta)

·       Cosmos

·       Little Gem Marigolds

·       Amaranth

·       Borage

·       Nasturtium

·       Variegated Leaf Nasturtium (gorgeous round edible leaves and bright colored flowers)

·       Miniature Roses (many colors)

·       Tea roses and rose hips

·       Passion Flower (and passion fruit in September)

·       Calendula

·       Viola, purple

·       Viola, tricolor (purple, blue, yellow)

·       Pansies

·       Fuschia

·       Day Lily

For Decoration (edible, but not as delicious):

·       Sunflowers (yellow, red, striped, peach)

·       Dinner plate Dahlias (many colors, available August-September)

·       Zinnias (yellow, green, peach, white, red, magenta)

·       Snapdragons (red, pink, orange, white)

·       Sweet Alyssum (white, purple, pink, lavender)

·       Milkweed blossoms

·       Flowering Variegated Geraniums (pelargoniums)

·       Portulacca

·       Variegated Clover

 

OTHER MEDICINAL HERBS AND ROOTS:

Burdock

Dandelion

Yarrow

Yellow Dock

Arnica chamissois

Barberry

Gentian

Wild Ginger

Oregon Grape

Comfrey

Juniper

Echinacea purpurea

Red Clover

Red Raspberry Leaf

Mugwort

Moujean Tea

Myrtle

Sweet Grass

 

SPRING HIGHLIGHTS (seasonal):

Violets (yellow, blue, purple, magenta, white, variegated) – so many violets!!!!

Purple Dead Nettle

Henbit

Lilac

Redbud

Pinks

Crabapple Blossoms

Spring Dandelion Greens

Stinging Nettles

Bachelor Buttons

Spring Day lily shoots