Growing and Cooking with Herbs
Herbs: The Original Medicine
When I think about herbs, my mind wanders off somewhere beautiful, fragrant, and tasty—like this Herb Salad. But herbs go much deeper than that. People have been growing herbs, and studying their potential benefits in medicine, as well as nutrition, for thousands of years! Historically, herbs have been used medicinally as an antiseptic, antibiotic, or even as a relaxant. Herbs have many functions and can grow easily just about anywhere.
You can grow herbs indoors in pots, or you can grow them outside as a shrub. I like to grow some in a pot and keep them by my door, giving my guests a beautiful, refreshing welcome to my home! If nothing else can tempt you to grow your own herbs, the fact that your food will begin to taste like something in a five-star restaurant with the simple addition of fresh herbs should suffice. The one drawback is that you may never want to eat out again!
Herbs grown indoors need at least six hours of sunlight. I don’t have windows in my kitchen, but I do have large porches with space for containers, as well as a designated spot between two sets of stairs right off the porch near the kitchen and an herb garden, all for growing herbs. Another fun thing I do is mix edible flowers in with my herbs and then plant the herbs and flowers as shrubbery.
My Herb Garden
I’ve planted rosemary foundation plants before, layering other herbs such as lemongrass, basil, oregano, thyme, and sage intermixed with flowers for about two feet into the yard. I love to border them with my beloved strawberries. These herbs are incredibly easy to grow and I adore the wild look of them all growing together.
This year, I’ve planted an Italian herb pot and an old fountain with onions and parsley. Not only are they beautiful and functional, they make it easy for the small children to collect the herbs to go on my Quail Pizza! The Italian herb pot consists of basil, Italian parsley, marjoram, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
The key to healthy herbs is to keep them moist. If you live in a dry climate, mist your herbs often. Herbs also love to be harvested often for optimal health and productivity of the plant. Don’t forget to dry or freeze your herbs! Enjoy a fantastic culinary experience.
Check out my article on saving herb seeds to learn how to reuse your seeds and make an even bigger herb garden!