WARMINSTER, PA--(Marketwired - April 18, 2013) - Wasn't too long ago that home gardeners wanting an herb garden just planted parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme…or so the song goes. Nowadays there are easily hundreds of different varieties of just these four herbs, as serious home cooks seek out and demand a more extensive collection of herbs and spices for the international array of recipes for foods prepared in American kitchens.
And for 2013 it's all moving up a notch, with the new Pinnacle Herbs Collection being introduced this year by The Cook's Garden, a small home gardening purveyor specializing in seeds and plants for gourmet gardeners.
Taking a page from grape growers who cater to the fine wine industry, The Cook's Garden's new collection is comprised of more than 50 herbs that are specially planted on a south-facing slope of a steep hill in the Allegheny Mountains in Western Pennsylvania. Rigorous conditions ensure hearty well developed seedlings planted under optimum conditions and picked for home-shipment at just the right time.
According to Chelsey Fields, product manager for the Pinnacle Herb Collection, there is a definite difference in both quality and heartiness.
"Spring fed plants grown in nutrient rich soil in pure mountain air are more robust with nourished root systems that ensure peak aromatic oils in the leaves," according to Ms. Fields, a trained horticulturist.
A high wind factor naturally toughens the plants when they are rolled out to harden off, Ms. Fields says, and unfiltered sunlight at a higher altitude has been shown to induce higher oil contents in leaves which results in better roots and concentrated flavors.
The high altitude mountain site permits us to grow The Pinnacle Collection in a more biodynamic environment, states George Ball, chairman of W. Atlee Burpee & Co., which acquired the The Cook's Garden company from its cofounder several years ago.
The Pinnacle Herbs utilize ground water that is filtered through natural compost piles of decaying organic matter on the mountainside. High nutrients in the ground water cut down the need to fertilize and result in higher oil content in the leaves.
The Cook's Garden offers the Pinnacle Herbs and an extensive collection of hybrid and heirloom varieties of both organic and non-organic seeds and seedlings through its annual 2013 catalogue and on its website: www.cooksgarden.com.