If you enjoy cooking and like the idea of growing your own produce starting a herb garden can be very rewarding place to start. You don’t need much room to start growing your own fresh herbs, something as simple as a sunny balcony or an unused garden corner will do quite nicely.
Growing herbs at home carries a number of important benefits for you and your family. From better-tasting food to lower grocery costs, starting a herb garden will make a big difference in how your family eats and how much you spend. Here are some of the biggest advantages of a home herb garden:
It can be hard to come up with new and inventive meal ideas. You can search the web for new recipes, but those meal ideas are often packed with exotic (and expensive) ingredients. Instead of reinventing the wheel, try giving your old meals new life with fresh herbs. The taste of fresh herbs is so much more intense and memorable, your family will think you invented a whole new recipe!
Lower Grocery Costs
Those little bottles of herbs at the grocery store can be expensive. Wouldn't it be better to spend that money on a few seeds and some pots or soil for your herb garden?
Growing herbs at home could save you a lot of money in the long term. Think about how many herbs and other flavourings you use in your everyday cooking, then consider how much you could save by growing those ingredients yourself.
Adding fresh herbs to your dishes is a great way to encourage healthier eating. You’ll find yourself wanting to use your fresh produce as much as you can and going out of your way to incorate it into every meal. And let’s face it, some healthy dishes can be bland but a dish infused with fresh herbs will be bursting with flavour.
Choosing fresh herbs instead of the prepackaged variety can have other health benefits as well. Jarred and packaged herbs sometimes contain preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients. When you grow and dry your own herbs, you know exactly what is in each package.
Growing a herb garden is a wonderful way to teach the kids about nature and the importance of ongoing care. You can let the kids grow their own herb garden, or assign the care of a single herb to one of your kids.
Hands-on learning is an effective tool for kids, and there is nothing like growing fresh herbs to teach the younger generation some important life lessons. If things go well, your kids can even take a basket of fresh herbs to the classroom for show and tell!
A Chance to Share
Once you start growing your own herbs, you may find that you have more than you and your family can use. That gives you a chance to share the excess with friends and neighbors who don’t have their own herb gardens. Sharing food is a great way to get to know friends and neightbours more and will help build stronger relationships.
What herbs should I grow?
There are literally hundreds of herbs you could grow in your herb garden but a good place to start are the common herbs most of us are already familiar with. These varieties are very versatile and you wont have any trouble finding uses for them in your meals.
Basil, Parsley, Chives, Dill and Coriander are best used fresh; they are ideal for salads, sandwiches, sauces, toppings, as a garnish and stirred through cooked meals just before serving.
Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano and Sage are all very aromatic and strong flavoured herbs that are normally used for cooking. Use them to flavour meat, fish, roast vegetables, soups or stews.
Growing your own fresh herbs at home carries a number of important benefits. Whether your goal is to eat a healthier diet, trim your grocery budget or test your green thumb, you can enjoy the ongoing benefits of a fresh herb garden day after day and month after month.