Cooking with fresh herbs adds layers of flavour you just don’t get from dried herbs. However, buying fresh herbs from the shops, particularly organic ones, is pricey. Sure, you can grow herbs outside during warm weather, but what about the winter months or if you don’t have a big outdoor growing space?
One solution is by starting an indoor herb garden.
Have Fresh Herbs Year Round
You’ll no longer be limited to fresh herbs during summer. Since your indoor environment stays at a controlled temperature, the plants grow all year round. Of course, you may have limited space inside, so you’ll need to choose those herbs you use most often in your own cooking and focus on those.
Growing your own herbs indoors allows you to control the plants, avoiding any dangerous pesticides or genetically modified strains of plants. Twenty-seven countries have banned GMO food, and many people feel it is unhealthy to consume these plants. If you’d like to avoid this type of seed, then you’ll want to grow your own food or shop only organic, non-GMO.
Improve Air Quality
Houseplants create healthier air for humans by providing air-purification and humidifying the air. The kitchen is an excellent place to add plants, including herbs, if you have a sunny spot where you can keep the plants, such as a wide windowsill. Even if you don’t have a sunny spot in your kitchen, you can certainly grow herbs anywhere in your home that makes the most sense for your plants. Perhaps you have a sunny Florida room or a wide bay window in a bedroom that will work.
Get Better Flavour
If you’ve ever watched a show on the home cooking channel, then you know that all the top chefs use fresh herbs. Growing your own herbs allows you to add a lot of flavour to your foods that you just don’t get from dried herbs. As an added bonus, you can add a sprig of parsley or rosemary for garnish and make your dishes look as good as they taste.
No more running back to the shops at the last minute because you forgot you needed a particular herb. You simply go to your indoor herb garden and grab what you need. Even though you will spend a little time caring for your plants, it is minimal compared to driving all the way to the store. Herbs need just a little care and won’t take up much of your time.
Stay on Budget
Growing your own herbs saves money. It’s affordable to grow herbs, especially if you grow from seed. Some herbs are more expensive than others at the grocery store, but you’ll pay at least a few dollars for a small portion of herbs. By growing your own, you’ll get a bigger supply of each herb and for a fraction of the cost.
Live plants add a homey feel and a certain natural beauty to your home that you just don’t get from artificial plants. In addition to visual appeal, imagine walking past mint growing in a pot and getting a whiff of that fresh, crisp scent. Some people get creative with their indoor herb gardens, adding a wall planter and using grow lights to give the plants the light they need.
Entertain Kids and Pets
Growing plants is an opportunity to teach children about the plant life cycle and self-sufficiency. You can also entertain your pets by growing catnip and plants safe for cats and dogs. While you’ll need to do a little research to ensure you keep dangerous plants out of reach of animals, you can also use this exercise as a teaching moment for your children.
Start an Indoor Herb Garden Today
There are so many benefits to having your own herb garden. Pick at least one herb you use frequently, get a small pot for your kitchen windowsill and start growing your own herbs today. Once you get started, you won’t want to stop. Before you know it, you’ll have an indoor herb garden that any chef would envy.
Emily is a freelance writer, covering conservation and sustainability. You can read her blog, Conservation Folks, for more of her work.