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  • Writer's pictureAmy Slater

The Best Plant For the Garden: Borage

My new favorite plant by far this year is borage. I was first introduced to borage by a good friend and avid gardener! Borage has many benefits!

According to the Permaculture Research Institute, the uses of borage in the garden include repelling pests such as hornworms, attracting pollinators, and aiding any plants it is interplanted with by increasing resistance to pests and disease. It is also helpful to, and compatible with, most plants — notably tomatoes, strawberries, and squash.

I am knocking on wood saying this right now, but I have no squash bugs this year! This is the first time in the If all of the fruit ripen properly, I will have enough winter squash to feed our family and the whole neighborhood!! I grew it from seed and it was super easy to grow!

Borage also benefits the soil!! Borage adds trace minerals to the soil it is planted in, and is good for composting and mulching. It is an annual, but readily self-seeds and thrives in full sun. It is so proficient in self-seeding, in fact, that once a borage plant has established itself in your garden, you will likely never have to reseed again which is good news for me!!

Borage has a slight cucumber-like flavor that is fantastic in green salads! I have also added it to tuna and chicken salad for a little pop of flavor.

This amazing herb is also the highest known plant source of gamma-linolenic acid (an Omega 6 fatty acid, also known as GLA) and the seed oil is often marketed as a GLA supplement. It is also a source of B vitamins, beta-carotene, fiber, choline, and, again, trace minerals. In alternative medicine, it is used for stimulating breast milk production and as an adrenal gland tonic; thus it can be used to relieve stress. Again, all good news for me!

If you are looking for a new addition to your organic garden for pest control and a great way to add nutrients to the soil and your body, give borage a try!!


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