Community herb garden ready for picking

The community herb garden planted by BIGr volunteers in front of the North Boroughs YMCA on Lincoln Avenue in Bellevue already has many herbs available to anyone who needs them.

The Bellevue Community Herb Garden is open for use by the community.

Everyone is invited to "pinch what you need and use what you pinch".

Some of the plants that are large enough to provide herbs already are tarragon, oregano, parsley, marjoram, lavender, chamomile, and thyme. Sweet, purple, and Thai basil will be ready in a few weeks. Signs are posted to identify the plants and explain how they can be used.

The garden began last year as a project of Bellevue Initiative for Growth and Revitalization (BIGR) to add a place of activity on Lincoln Avenue that everyone could use. The YMCA made the plot of land available and donates the water. Volunteers designed and maintain the garden. There are still some openings for volunteers and anyone who is interested can visit www.bonafidebellevue.com to volunteer.

New this year is a decorative border along the front fence, as well as dill, cilantro, raspberries, hyssop, choke berries, service berries, cherry tomatoes along the side, and a couple of bean plants.

BIGr board member Linda Carroll said, “I seemany people use the garden. [Recently] I saw a woman taking lavender to infuse in a maple syrup to celebrate her 21st birthday. Last year, a man meandered through the garden with a bearded dragon on his shoulder offering samples of herbs to the reptile to see what it liked. Many people use the basil so we plant a lot of it. I noticed last year that the peppers would be picked as soon as they were ready.”