Interview with Horticulturalist, Fritz Kollmann
Fritz Kollmann has been Red Butte Gardens’ horticulturalist for almost nine years. He manages, cares for and designs certain areas of the Gardens. When speaking with Fritz, his positive energy and love for plants inspires.
What herbs do you recommend people try other than the basics, such as basil and rosemary?
I recommend French Tarragon. It is not the most attractive plant ever; it is good for the back of your garden. But the tarragon does very well and grows into late summer. When it starts to get bitter, you can cut it down and it regrows. It is great with eggs, on sandwiches, and as a pesto. It has a strong anise flavor that is surprisingly good.
I also recommend Bolivian Coriander; it has a flavor combination of cilantro and arugula. The herb grows like a weed and it is adapted to our climate. It has a unique flavor that is amazing with salsa.
What are some of medicinal herbs you recommend for beginners?
Some of the most common medical plants are weeds. For example, you can eat dandelion leaves to help your digestion. Hyssop is a great herb for helping to relieve cold symptoms. It is a drought resistant herb that blooms for a long time, and it is highly attractive to pollinators. Siberian Ginseng is an adaptogenic herb, which helps your body with stress. I have been using it for a few weeks, and it has helped to increase my energy and pep.
How do you use medicinal herbs?
You can use herbs in a teas or tinctures. Tinctures are simple to make. Dry your herbs and soak them in vodka for six weeks to six months. Next, strain the mixture to remove the leftover herbs, and the liquid is ready for use.
Where can you get unique herbs and plants?
Red Butte Garden has an annual plant sale with a full selection. There is also a mail order company in Oregon called Horizon Herbs.