Herb gardening is definitely a fun hobby, and if one tried one could spend a lot of money and not get much return except for the emotional enjoyment. Don't let me underrate that by any means. The money we spent on our herb garden this year was less than the price of a night out, (dinner and a movie) yet we get a whole summer of pleasure from it.
(Putting on my best TV Announcer voice:) How much would you pay for something that not only allows you to relax and have fun for an evening, but also allows you the same experience several evenings a week from the first of April until the end of October? But wait, there's more.
(Back to my normal voice.) There are many hidden advantages to an herb garden, let me just mention a few, to give you an idea.
- Cooking with fresh herbs allows you to cook flavorful meals at home, without the cost of a restaurant meal.
- Fresh herbs, in the grocery store are $2 to $5 per bunch. Buying just one bunch a week would cost anywhere from $100 to $250 a year, yet growing your own costs a mere fraction of that.
- Using fresh herbs, a careful cook can replace many of the fats and sugars normally added as flavor agents to foods, thereby making foods that are dieter, or diabetic friendly without sacrificing taste.
- When drying, or preserving herbs, you get the aromatic benefits of a potpourri, without losing anything. Your house will have the fresh herb smell, and you will still have your herbs. A classic example of being able to have your herbs and eat them too.
- After a rainstorm, when the sun hits your herb garden, you will have an aromatherapy experience that money cannot buy.
- Many herbs have medicinal qualities beyond just that of a simple tea. There are those that are good for the skin, and there are some that can be used for simple ailments, headaches, upset stomach, etc.
(TV announcer voice) Now how much would you pay?
(Normal me again) Seriously, there are so many advantages to growing fresh herbs, and with a few money saving tips the cost can be greatly reduced, so that anyone, in any situation can have a fresh herb garden.
Our garden this year will have:
- French Tarragon
- French Thyme
- Sweet Marjoram
- Lemon Verbena
- Winter Savory
- Apple Mint
I normally would not plant annuals like Cilantro or Parsley. They are so cheap in the grocery store, and, unlike so many other herbs, when you buy a bunch, you generally have no trouble using them all, whereas many herbs you have to buy $3 worth, to get a few sprigs, the the rest goes unused. But this particular Cilantro and Fennel was in a combo basket of several other herbs that I got off a clearance rack, so I figured since I had it I may as well plant it.
Over the course of the summer, once the garden gets going good and healthy, I intend to discuss each herb in more detail, so watch this space regularly.