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Vermilion Co. Conservation District Foundation

Herb Garden

Herb gardening at the V.C.C.D. has been taking place since the early 1980s. The "living history" programming utilizes herbs in teachingHerb Garden how early pioneers used the plants in cooking or medicinal purposes. Herb gardens were maintained at Kennekuk County Park and also at the Pioneer Homestead at Forest Glen Preserve.

In 1994, the Kennekuk herb garden was completely revamped with geometrically shaped raised beds and brick walkways. It has become a showcase and is the focal point of color at the Bunker Hill Historic Area. Annual flowers are mixed with the herbs to form colorful borders. Some of the most common herbs grown are basil (many types), lemon grass, borage, chives, tansy, nasturtium, oregano, thyme, sage and much more. A variety of peppers are also grown. The flowers, such as stattice and silver king, are dried and sold. An Herb Garden Open House is held each year in late summer.

Herb GardenIn 2012, the herb garden was again renovated.  The railroad ties were removed and replaced with stone.

The herb garden at the Pioneer Homestead has also been recently revamped. It too has raised beds and a brick walkway, but is much smaller. It serves a "kitchen garden" for the pioneer cabin. Located just outside the building. Pioneer women would grow herbs and vegetables which they would use in their everyday cooking. Both herb gardens are used as teaching tools where smell, touch, and taste is the norm.

For more information on the herb gardens, herb gardening or cooking with herbs, contact Susan Biggs, Historical Interpreter, at 217-662-2142 or vccd@vccd.org