Make Your Own Kitchen Herb Garden!

There is nothing like having your own kitchen herb garden!

One of the great things about Europeans and especially the French, who are very prideful about their culinary experience, is that they cling to natural and homegrown foods, cherishing every element as a celebration.  

In France, it is very common to find herbs growing in pots on porches, window sills, or just steps away from the kitchen in an outdoor garden plot. 

My kids and I regularly run out in our jammies to grab the fresh herbs for breakfast or dinner...we think we are really cool :)

 Favorite Herbs for my Kitchen Garden...


Basil-  Big, Leafy, and Green...incredibly aromatic, fresh with a hint of minty, licorice, anise flavor.  Use in Pasta dishes, Egg dishes, fabulous with tomatoes and cream cheese, or just by itself.  Blend with Olive Oil, Pinenuts & Garlic to get Pesto.. Grow in semi-wet conditions, keep soil moist; full sun or partial shade. 

 Chives- the little onion flavored herb. Easy to grow, spreads out big, so make sure plenty of room to grow! Try to cut them off at the base, before the purple flower shows up; once the flower is there the stalk is too tough to eat.  You can cut them down and they re-grow for an ample harvest into winter.  Chives can be refrigerated in baggies, or frozen, to save.  Use in eggs, potato dishes, sauces and more.

 Feverfew- is not usually a culinary herb, although it can be steeped in tea.  It is typically used in herbal medicine to reduce fevers, thus the name.  I grow it, harvest, dry, and store in bags for use in the flu-season.


Oregano! Wow! What used to be my least favorite herb, has become one of my favorites! But there is a trick! There are many other herbs being sold as Oregano (from Turkey & Spain usually), but they are really a version of Marjoram with little flavor and no medicinal quality.  TRUE OREGANO, will have a very strong flavor that will nearly burn your tongue when sure to check your product if you buy at a farmer's market!  Oregano is a powerful anti-bacterial.  Essentials oils sell for $22/oz or more. I harvest, dry, and store for overwinter and medicinal use.  Also, it is wonderful in pasta and heavy-meaty dishes. Oregano spreads out into a be sure to leave at least a 3-4'section for this to expand. 

 Mint- a delightful summertime herb! Use in iced teas, water, muffins, cookies, frostings, and more! Rub on your skin to repel mosquitoes, too!

Rosemary- Oh, my heart belongs to Rosemary...especially when eaten fresh with Brie!  This beauty will get up to 4'tall, so plant near the rear of the garden. It will not overwinter well in cold zones, but I cannot bear to let it die.  I uproot mine fully and plant in a large pot that comes in the kitchen for the winter!  My favorite snack is Rosemary with Brie on a cracker. It is heaven with a glass of vino!  Otherwise, it goes in almost every beef and chicken dish that I make; along with my Famous Chicken Soup Recipe...I cannot go without the hint of Rosemary! 

Thyme- there are many different types, I prefer Lemon.  This grows out low and spreads in a bushy fashion. I have even used it outside of the garden in areas where grass will not is step-able!  And edible! Fabulous in soups, salads, on sandwiches, in biscuits, and more...

  My favorite type of green to use in salad's!  I like to add greens to my herb garden, as we use them so frequently and they re-grow!  Plant them in neat, little rows close to your door.   Arugula has a strong-pungent flavor, almost nutty.  It is balanced well when mixed with romaine or another mild flavored green, but adds a little spice and warm flavor.  Great on sandwiches, too!



Basic Tips:

  If you are making the garden adjacent the house, make sure there are no paint chips or other chemicals near or in the dirt that may leach into it.
Use only Organic Top Soil, or Organic Garden Soil,
 to be sure that chemicals from the soils will not get into the food!
Turn over the first 8" of sod and chop into small pieces back into the earth. 
 Once this is softened, ADD another 3-4 inches of Organic soil over the top.
FEED your soil with Organic Compost (can be purchased) or better yet-
Make Your Own Compost! This will feed your garden, and feed your herbs with nutrients...the same with your vegetable garden!
Starting from seed:  If you are a die-hard and really want to "grow your own" this is the way to go.  Just know that seedlings are temperamental!  You may lose half or more before they get into the ground.  I know I have...but it is fun to do, anyway!
Be sure to buy ORGANIC SEEDS as these are the only non-genetically modified available! This means that you will not have seedless varieties, but the good news is...the seeds that any produce can be used for next year's harvest! Plus, they won't contain nasty, harmful toxins that kill bugs, but also can kill you!
Happy Planting!!

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