Monday, April 24

Monday Farm Photos: Happy Monday.

Wishing you a week filled with little pockets of peace. (And for the rest of the time, there's always this.)

More (15-year-old!) Lucky Buddy Bear? Here and here.
More farm landscape photos? Here and here.
More of the wet weather creek here and here (which we're thrilled is already running for the second time this month, and even more thrilled that it isn't as high as it was on this day six years ago).

Sunday, April 2

Growing (and Using!) Your Own Fresh Garden Herbs: My Six Favorite Easy to Grow Varieties

Dividing and planting chives, one of my favorite herbs in the kitchen garden. Read more about them and my five other easy to grow favorites here. (I've been using my beloved hand-forged Korean garden tool to do nearly every job in the garden for over 22 years.)

The other day I read in a magazine that one $4 herb plant grows 15 to 30 of those $3 grocery store packs of "fresh" sprigs. Wow. So besides all the other joys and benefits that come from having your own little herb garden, even if you end up killing off your plants in a month, you'll still most likely have already eaten more than your money's worth.

A friend once told me she used to stand by the fresh herb display at the supermarket and try to convince everyone who reached for a packet of rosemary that they really should go buy a live plant instead.

Homegrown culinary herbs are an inexpensive luxury. They're easy to grow, cheap to keep, don't require lots of space or attention, and aren't usually bothered by diseases and pests, making them perfect for the organic garden. They're pretty to look at, smell divine when you run your fingers through the plants (thanks for the reminder, Sherlie!), bursting with flavor, and are far fresher than those pricey little packets at the store, which may have been sprayed with toxic chemicals. Fresh herbs make everything better.

Have you always wanted to try growing your own herbs? Early spring is the perfect time to start an herb garden, and I'm here to give you a little push. You'll find lots of helpful information and inspiration in this post I wrote a while back, Growing and Using Your Own Fresh Herbs: My Six Favorite Varieties.

Chives, basil, Greek oregano, lemon thyme, Italian parsley, and lemon balm have been favorites in my organic kitchen garden for years, not only because they taste good, but because they've all done well in our challenging Missouri conditions. The bounty starts in spring, and I'm often still harvesting well into November.

And because the chives, oregano, lemon thyme, and lemon balm are all cold tolerant perennials, this means you plant them once and they come back year after year.

One of the nicest things about growing your own herbs is that, unlike many vegetables, you don't need a whole bushel to make a worthwhile harvest; just a little bit will go a long way. Many can be grown in pots, and most herb plants actually benefit from from being regularly snipped back, even when young.

Are you ready? Let's get growing!

Looking for more kitchen garden inspiration? Check out these posts.

©, where a little freshly snipped flavor goes a long way.