Winter Savory

Winter Savory (Satureia montana)

There are two different types of savory that are commonly grown to use as a herb- Summer Savory (Satureia hortensis) and Winter Savory (Satureia montana). We have grown both types, but since Winter savory is a perennial it has a permanent place in our permaculture garden.

Savory is a hardy sub-shrub, that doesn’t require much maintenance, suffers few pests and has an exceptionally long growing season. We are able to pick fresh savory from our plant for up to 9-10 months of the year and it is one of the first herbs to come back in the early spring. For this reason, we are unsure why most people wouldn’t name winter savory as a common or popular herb, because we can’t see why its use has fallen out of fashion.

Savory leaves can be used fresh or dried and add a salty, peppery flavour to a range of dishes like soups, stews, stocks and roasts. I use my savory in a similar way as I use rosemary, sage and thyme and I add it to the same style of recipes that the other 3 herbs suit. It works well with meat or cheese and both herb butter and tea can be made from it.

Medicinally it is supposed to be good for nausea and indigestion and is said to be an adequate salt substitute.

I have grown both types of savory from seed without any problems, but summer savory is an annual, so needs re-sowing every season. Winter savory seems to just need a sunny spot and a bit of pruning, so make a space for it in your plot. You might be surprised at how tasty and hardy this sometimes overlooked herb can be.


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