Couple outfit area residents with fresh herbs, veggiesSeptember 26, 2012 10:24 PM
By AMY LYNCH/Special to the Star
Debbie Cox thinks gardening should be a delight for all the senses.
In fact, she always encourages her customers at local farmers markets to take advantage of their full senses when shopping through her inventory.
“You have to touch, and then smell, to get to know the plant better,” Cox said. “I always tell people to feel free to touch and smell the plants — everyone, especially the children.”
Since 2008, Cox and her husband Don have been staples at farmers markets in Harlingen, Brownsville and now in newer markets like Weslaco and Mission, selling a wide variety of herbs, vegetables and butterfly plants through their business, Perennial Favorites.
Debbie and Don moved to the Rio Grande Valley from Waco to continue Don’s work at a local nursery. After attending the First Texas Herb Conference in 1988, Don and Debbie decided to start their own business specializing in herb plants.
“Our interest in herbs grew and so did our garden,” Cox said. “What I love about herbs is you can do so much. I love to cook, bake and make teas with them.”
One of Cox’s favorite things about selling her herbs is the reaction from her customers.
“A lot of people grew up with herbs. Maybe it was in their mother’s or grandmother’s garden,” Cox said. “So when they smell a specific herb, I see them get tears in their eyes or smile because it reminds them of a memory from their childhood.”
Cox grows a wide variety of herbs, perennials and vegetables — including her current favorite, basil — which lends her the opportunity to share her expertise in growing and nurturing plants, especially through social media.
“Social media is a great tool to stay in contact and get information out and share,” said Cox, who is a member of the Rio Grande Valley Social Media Club and has a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College.
Cox takes advantage of Facebook and blogging to answer questions and help people with their plants. She also has local workshops and seminars on plant and herb care.
Find Cox online at her blog Herban-Bliss for tips and recipes or sign up to receive her Farmers Market “Garden Post” E-letter for plant availability, tips and happenings.