Another high priority seed to start is Lovage, which is a hardy perennial, that tastes like strong celery. I have never grown celery, but have found a wonderful substitute in Lovage.
Given its size, 6 feet tall, it is good that Lovage is self-fertile, because one is plenty for a smaller garden. I recommend it even for smallish gardens, because the health benefits are dramatic. It supports kidney health and healthy kidneys support beautiful skin. Lovage encourages urination without losing electrolytes. It also eases digestion and reduces gas. Use Lovage to reduce gout and rheumatism.
Naturally, Lovage is a woodland edge plant, and will grow in partial shade to full sun. It likes moist, rich soil.
I mostly use the leaves for stir fry, salads, soups, egg dishes, anywhere I would use celery. It is common in Southeast Asian and European dishes. When I have Lovage growing, I never buy celery. Celery is grown with high levels of toxic chemicals and are GMO plants. At one time I bought celery every week to eat raw and for cooking, no more.
In the winter I mostly use Lovage seed, and when I have plenty of seed saved, I like to sprout them for a fresh flavor and increased nutrition. I serve sprouts on winter soups and garnish salads or boiled eggs.
Lovage is a good addition to my circular economy and Food Forest as food for me, but also because it is a host plant for Swallowtail butterflies, which are my favorites. You can spare your other parsley family members like carrots, celery, and root parsley, because Swallowtails seem to prefer Lovage and it is big enough to withstand a few caterpillars. If you get too many caterpillars, consider growing a second plant and delicately move caterpillars to the second plant. Swallowtails flitting around your garden are magical and worth the 3’x3′ space on their own account.
The brilliant yellow blooms are pretty in a flower garden for a vertical accent toward the back. Purple flowers stand out well in front of it for a flashy combination, but white flowers in front soften the look if it otherwise overpowers your flower bed. Make sure the front flowers are about 3-4 feet tall.
When it seeds out, it attracts birds, so get your seed umbels as soon as the fruits start splitting open. Cut the entire umbel and place upside down in a paper bag to catch them all.
I am making raised beds as fast as I can. I expect rain/snow on Tuesday and want the existing beds full and ready to hold water. This morning I worked a bit more on the potager and moved a couple more rocks for its enclosing windbreak.
As always, I hope I get good sprouting from the Lovage seeds and can bring at least one of the six pots to garden size.