Hide the snow boots and put away the thermal underwear… It’s finally March! Okay, so we might have to wait a few more weeks before we’re totally in the clear, but this month means that the bird-chirping, flower-blooming goodness of spring isn’t far off!
With warmer weather on the mind, we can’t help but think of all the fun things that come with it, like weekends in the park, trips to the botanical gardens, and fresh herbs in nearly every dish and drink. Herbs bring a bright freshness to rich soups, big salads, fancy cocktails, and iced herbal teas, so we thought, “Why not grow them ourselves?” Starting a spring herb garden might sound like a lot of work but rest assured, it’s not. It’s easily one of our favorite warm weather activities and it adds an entirely new level to the experience of eating.
- Gardening connects with your Splendid Self in the best way
Just think, you follow a little seedling to maturity — it’s like your souping routine brought to life! The practice of nurturing seeds as they sprout, grow, and flourish is like a tiny snapshot of the incredible work you’re doing for yourself on the inside every single day.
- Your meals will never be the same again. We promise.
Give your little sprouts a whole lotta tender loving care, then see how they taste all grown-up. Cooking with herbs that you grew from the garden connects you to your meal in a truly unique way because they’re the product of your own time and effort. You might find that you’ll even eat more mindfully, with a greater sense of pride, appreciating the tasty contribution that your home-grown herbs add to your dish (not to mention how wowed your friends and family will be).
- You’ll see the world totally brand new.
An herb garden is not only a great way to connect with your food, but also with the world around you. Big box grocery stores, no matter how much we need them in desperate situations, separate us from where food is grown and can isolate the way we interact with produce. While your windowsill herb garden is no farm, the practice of plucking leaves off the living, growing plant yourself, rinsing them, and cooking with them is far more engaging than simply pulling them out of a plastic bag you bought at the store.
- Not too much, not too little, but juuuuust right.
Pre-bagged or pre-packaged food often forces us to buy much more than we actually want, and produce is a ticking time bomb. Sure, you could pull a “Father of the Bride” and try to take out only the amount you want at the store, but that didn’t end well for Steve Martin, so we don’t think it’ll go great for you either. While there aren’t any hot dog bun gardens (yet), the problem is solved when it comes to herbs: you simply pick the right amount that you need and leave the rest on the plant, alive and growing, until later. Plus, you can always freeze or dry your herbs so that you can keep on enjoying them well after the growing season is over.
Try some of these herbs to start: basil, oregano, rosemary, chives, mint, sage, and dill. Check out this guide to growing your own herb garden, and don’t forget to have fun with it! If you have children, get them involved too! They’ll love helping you harvest the herbs for dinner! Investing a little time to grow food for yourself will increase your appreciation of each meal, allowing you to truly savor each bite.