Cheat Codes: Growing Your Own Herbs (the legal kind)

I think it’s safe to say that as a general rule, people like it when their food tastes good.  One easy way to achieve this is by using herbs and spices when you cook.  Unfortunately, going to buy dried herbs and spices is often a traumatic experience because of how expensive so many of them are.  Though I suppose it’s not all that shocking considering that it was the spice trade that ruled the world for awhile, and even led to the discovery of our country (that would be America).  For the most part you’re stuck turning to others for your spice supply needs, but luckily herbs are nice and easy to grow at home.

This yummy chicken dish was made using homegrown herbs.

This yummy chicken dish was made using homegrown herbs.

While you can buy fresh herbs at the store for a relatively low price (especially compared to dried), if you use herbs in your cooking on a regular basis (which you should!) it’s still easier and more cost efficient to grow your own.  Really all you need are some seeds (which are usually pretty cheap), dirt (which you can get outside for free), water (which comes out of your faucet for free), and something to put said seeds, dirt, and water into.  Plus, you don’t have to worry about how or where to store them, you can just pick what you need as you need it from the plant. Additionally, if you’re too intimidated to grow your herbs from seeds, or you simply are in a hurry to harvest them, you can even find young saplings from your local plant nursery, and grow those instead! There are a few options on where to grow your herbs.  If you’re lucky enough to have a nice yard you can make yourself a little herb garden.

Basil growing in a garden.

Basil growing in a garden.

If you’re not all that into gardening or don’t have a big enough yard, you could grow them in pots outside and get the same results. Be sure to bring them indoors during the winter, though!

Have steps leading to your door?  Grow your herbs in some large pots there!

Have steps leading to your door? Grow your herbs in some large pots there!

If you don’t have any yard at all, or your yard is full of wildlife that eats everything before you can get to it (I’m looking at you, deer) you can grow your herbs inside in smaller pots.

You could even buy something like this.  It looks pretty cool, but is expensive and unnecessary.

You could even buy something like this. It looks pretty cool, but is expensive and unnecessary.

Really there’s no excuse for you to not grow at least a few basic herbs at home to use while cooking.

Here’s a list of some herbs we recommend growing:

BasilBasil – basil is cool not only because it tastes yummy, but it also smells wonderful.  The smell alone is enough to take you back to your Italian grandmother’s house, even if you don’t have an Italian grandma.

SageSage– sage is nice because due to its common use in stuffing, it can make anything taste like Thanksgiving, and who doesn’t love Thanksgiving dinner?

Mint-leaves-2007Mint – mint is good to have on hand because it’s so versatile – it can be used in savory or sweet dishes.  It can also be used in beverages.  AND you’ll always have a breath freshener on hand.

rosemaryRosemary – rosemary is cool not just because it tastes good, but also because it can survive awhile without watering, so even if you don’t want to commit to a strict watering schedule for your herbs, you can still grow rosemary.

Now get out there and grow!

Posted on August 30, 2013, in Cheat Codes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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