Has the winter chill already got you down? Craving some green in your life? Try starting an herb garden in your kitchen window! Most herbs are pretty hardy and easy to grow. All they need are a sunny window, a pot that drains well, and some water! That’s it! Pretty cool, huh? Not only would fresh herbs brighten up your kitchen but they also add some oomph to your quality vegan cooking as well. Here’s five herbs to get you started:
Basil– My personal favorite, basil, can be used in a variety of cuisine ranging from Italian to Thai. According to organicgardening.com, there are 17 varieties of basil to choose from and all of them with varying tastes. I personally grow sweet green because I just really enjoy the flavor: it is especially good in pesto and marinara sauce, and as an added bonus it repels mosquitoes. Grow basil in soil that has been mixed with compost and make sure to keep it in a warm spot. Basil i’s a tropical plant and it doesn’t like the cold.
Oregano– Hey, it’s basil’s friend oregano. Oregano is a hardy plant that many prefer dried rather than fresh, since it has a very strong flavor. It has pretty little green leaves and smells amazing. There are 8 types of oregano for you to choose from with a variety of flavors ranging from sweet to intensely spicy. I prefer the Italian variety because I feel it has just the right balance of sweet and spicy flavor to it. Be careful when watering this guy though; it’s easy to grow but it doesn’t like too much moisture. Make sure your soil has lots of organic matter to help with drainage.
Rosemary– Not only can you cook with rosemary but you can also use it to scent homemade soaps, creams, and lotions. Rosemary has this wonderful piney flavor and if you are crafty enough, you can shape your little plant to look like a Christmas tree. My favorite way to use rosemary is to flavor roasted vegetables, especially potatoes and beets. Since the seedlings are slow growers, try buying a started plant for faster results.
Thyme– It’s so pretty and delicate, with tiny green leaves and pretty little pink flowers. Thyme is also a great aromatic herb and it’s sure to add beauty and fragrance to your little herb garden. Thyme can also be used in numerous dishes and is especially good in pasta sauce and soups. You can also use thyme essential oil for an antiseptic. Bush thyme seeds themselves often so there should be no shortage of plants to go around.
Mint– Ever feel less than fresh? Add some fresh mint to your windowsill and chew on a leaf once in while to freshen up. Mint is extremely hardy and can overrun neighboring plants. Harvest your mint leaves and dry them for use in making herbal teas. Fresh mint also tastes great in rice, salads and cooked vegetables. Mint likes more of a cool, moist place but it will grow in full sun.
Also by Krystle: Green Monster – 6 Surprising Benefits of Leafy Greens
Photo: litlnemo via Flickr