Saturday, October 10, 2015

10 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Own Herbs

1. They are Beautiful

Herbs grown in the garden easily add extra beauty to any given area. If you are partial to growing flowers, lavender is a very popular choice. For unusual, distinct flowers, grow chives and allow the plants to send up their beautiful purple flowers. Yarrow, chamomile, anise hyssop, bee balm, and many other herbs have flowers.

2. Easy to Grow

Most herbs are very easy to grow. In fact, many herb plants are called weeds because they grow so readily. Mints and lemon balm can easily take over a garden and some herbs, such as thyme, can be grown as a ground cover.

Herbs can be grown in many places, from sunny to shady. Teaberry can be grown under pine trees. Sweet woodruff, lemon balm, and parsley can be grown in the shade. Lavender loves the bright sun, as does rosemary.

You can even grow herbs in containers on your balcony. Different mints do well in containers, as does rosemary, chives, basil, cilantro, and tarragon.

3. You Can Use Them in Recipes

The best things about fresh herbs is that you can use them in your cooking and baking. I use a lot of fresh grown herbs in the breads I bake. I also continuously harvest my herbs and dry them to use over the winter months. These dried herbs can be used in cooking, baking, and in teas. Dried mint, especially, makes a delicious tea.

4. Save Money

Growing your own herbs saves you the expense of having to buy small containers of dried herbs at the grocery store. Do you love basil tomato sauce? If you grow your own herbs, you can make your own basil sauce inexpensively.

Have you ever seen those beautiful vinegars packed with herbs? You can make those, too, easily from your kitchen using the herbs you have grown.

We use herbs in so many things that after you start learning how to use them in your kitchen, store bought herbs will taste pale in comparison to what you have grown.

5. Crafting

If you are handy with crafts, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t be growing your own herbs. Dried lavender can be made into beautiful sachets or crushed and added to homemade soaps. Leaves can be pressed and dried and made into works of art. Catnip can be grown, dried, and made into little catnip mice for cats. There is no end to the number of crafts you can make with herbs.

6. They are Good for You

Besides tasting good, herbs are also very good for you. Fresh herbs contain vitamins and minerals that are essential to our health and well-being.

In history, doctors and midwives would grow medicinal herb gardens to treat their patients. Today, you might eat a sprig of fresh parsley to clear up bad breath or eat a mint leaf or two to help aid with digestion.

7. Potpourri

Potpourri is more than a craft or a hobby, it is almost a way of life. Who doesn’t love stepping into a room and smelling the beautiful scents of an herbal potpourri? When your home smells good, you feel good.

Potpourri is very easy to make and there are numerous books on the subject and the internet is riddled with all sorts of potpourri recipes. I like to combine dried orange peels with dried rosemary. It is a simple potpourri, but I love the smell. Recipes can also include dried flowers or flower petals, such as roses and lavender blooms. The combinations are beautiful to the eyes as well as the nose.

8. Gifting

Fresh herb plants make wonderful gifts and it is a great way to get rid of overcrowded plants. Some herbs, such as chives need to be divided and the extra clump or two that you remove from your main plant can be gifted. Mints also make great gifts, especially if they are taking over your garden.

9. Relieves Stress

Gardening, mucking in the dirt, yanking weeds, and rearranging rocks helps to relieve stress. All that quiet time spent in your garden, even if you have the kids outside with you, is a relaxing experience. You are creating beauty and breathing in the fresh air. It simply feels great.

10. A Learning Experience

You aren’t living unless you are learning. Growing herbs is a learning experience. You not only learn how to identify different herbs, but you also learn how to use them in the kitchen. You can buy books on herbal medicine and learn even more about herbs. Before long, you will become an expert in growing and using the herbs in your garden.

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