Fresh herbs are one of those items that I rarely ever have on hand or if I do buy them, I use them for one recipe and forget about them until they rot. My mom came down to visit a couple weekends ago, so I asked her if she’d be willing to get me a few herb plants at her local farmer’s market. I would have bought them myself down here in Northern VA, but I knew my dollar would go further in NY (My mom doesn’t charge me for shipping and handling either!).
For $5, my mom was able to buy 3 herbs – where I live, you can buy 1 basil plant for around $4. She brought basil, oregano, cilantro, thyme, chives, rosemary, and parsley. I planted the basil, parsley, and chives in their own pots, since there was more than 1 plant and since they will (hopefully) spread out quite a bit. I planted the cilantro, rosemary, thyme, and oregano in another huge pot that would give them ample room to grow. Herbs are fairly easy to maintain – they need a lot of sunlight and water everyday. However, with this crazy weather the east coast has been having, switching back and forth between hot and cold temperatures, I lost my cilantro. Once the weather stays warm, I will buy another cilantro plant and maybe a mint plant as well.
It has been very convenient having these fresh herbs at my disposal. I forgot how fresh basil can awaken your tomato sauce or how a sprig of rosemary can make even the blandest chicken taste that much more elegant. What’s also nice about having your own fresh herbs on hand, is that you never have to worry about going out and buying fresh herbs for a particular recipe you want to try – no need to worry about wasting them either.
I know that many of you may not have a back yard or a deck. If you have a balcony or a sunny ledge you can still grow your own herbs. I’ve even put basil plants under my stove light during colder months and it has worked well. I’m not endorsing growing herbs under your stove lights since every time you use your stove or oven you have to move them. But if you do want a couple of herb plants, you can grow them on a sunny window ledge or balcony – it’s definitely more cost effective and far more rewarding growing your own herbs too!