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May 16, 2012 05:15 AM

Best spots to buy culinary herbs (to grow)

I'm looking for chervil, fennel, borage, Thai basil, maybe others--where have you seen flats or pots of these for sale?

with thanks in advance--

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  1. The various Mahoney's tend to have good variety. Russo's has some herbs as well.

    Waltham Fields Community Farm ( has a seedling sale this weekend (May 19-20) in front of the UMass field station on Beaver Street in Waltham. All the proceeds I believe go to support the non-profit and each pack of six plants is $5. In addition to several varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. they also had a few more unusual items like fennel, etc. I got a basil variety pack with some purple ones.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bob Dobalina

      Yes, Mahoney's has a wide variety (the only one I am familiar with is Winchester). I think they would have everything you are looking for.

    2. Maybe give a call to Mahoneys- they have lots of locations, but I think the Winchester location is the largest.

      1. Don't forget the farmers' markets. Gilson's Herbs who grow the wholesale plants for many large outlets sells directly at six different markets, Cambridge Center on Wednesdays, Copley Tuesday and Fridays, Prudential Thursdays, SOWA on Sunday. Those will all be open this week. They will add Union Square and Harvard University when those markets open.

        And, other farms begin the market season with lots of potted annuals and herbs.

        If you are out near Russell's Garden Center in Wayland, I've interviewed Peg who selects and tests plants and she works hard to have varieties that grow well in this area and that are requested by ethnic communities who shop there.


        2 Replies
        1. re: BostonZest

          I was just going to suggest Russell's Garden Center as well. I picked up my annual collection of herbs for the porch from there two weekends ago and they are looking great.

          What's nice about Russell's is that they have a number of varieties of each herb so you can get more esoteric selections than your average place. The people who work there are very knowledgable as well.

          1. re: Klunco

            We just picked up borage and several other culinary herbs at Russell's a couple weeks ago,

        2. I saw most of that for sale at Ricky's in Somerville. Not sure about the borage, pretty sure there was some Thai basil, but I was just looking for the Italian basil so not looking that closely. Pemberton Farms in Cambridge usually has a good selection of herbs, but I haven't got out there this season, so I can't say for certain what they have.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Moopheus

            Ricky's has a few types of basil, including Thai. As a bonus, they sell basil and parsley in 6pks, so instead of one 4" plant for ~$4, you get 6 for $4. Unfortunately, most other herbs are only available as single 4" plants.

            They've also got plenty of tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cukes, and squash (leafy veggies too). Many of these are also available in the same 6pks for $3-4, and they've also got some really big, nice looking "locally grown" plants for $3.

          2. allandale farm in brookline . . . i went looking for 2 tomato plants and spent a little too long deciding among the great varieties (i ended up with 3, along with a few other things). you'll probably do the same if you go looking for herbs there.

            2 Replies
            1. re: dchow

              Another great choice, dchow! We are rich in herb producers around Boston!