Herb gardening at the V.C.C.D. has been taking place since the early 1980s. The "living history" programming utilizes herbs in teaching 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.
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.