Homegrown Herbs & Vegetables – Guest Post!

Homegrown Herbs & Vegetables

Anyone who does any amount of cooking can probably attest to the fact that herbs and produce can get pretty pricey, especially when you have to buy certain herbs in mass quantities that never fully get used or vegetables that you end up buying in large amounts because your family goes through them so quickly. The solution? Instead of overspending at the grocery store, start your own mini garden at your home! These plants are known for being easy to grow, allowing you to cut back on grocery store spending and at-home waste:

  1. Basil – You can buy living basil plants at most grocery stores so you don’t have to worry about planting seeds and hoping that the plant takes in the soil. Instead just plant your already growing basil plant in your garden or window box planter and pluck the leaves as you need them. Basil is such a versatile herb that it makes a great addition to sandwiches, blends well into dishes, and tastes delicious as a homemade pesto.
  2. Cilantro – Cilantro is one of those herbs that you have to buy in such a large amount at the store but use such a small amount in recipes that it usually ends up going bad before you have a chance to eat all of it. However it has such a vibrant taste that we continue to purchase it anyway. Instead of letting half of the bunch go to waste just plant your own and then harvest as much or as little as you need at a time. You will need to regularly sow the seeds to ensure continued crops.
  3. Lettuce–This versatile leafy vegetable gets used in a variety of different dishes, whether as a starter dish, side accompaniment, or the main event, so it makes sense to just grow a few heads of lettuce at a time instead of continually purchasing them at the store each week. They do need a lot of water though and don’t fare well in hot weather, so harvest them during the cooler months. You can grow several different types so that salads and sandwiches have a slew of flavors that are low in calories and high in nutrients.
  4. Spinach – Another leafy green that is chock full of nutrients, spinach grows best in both the spring and fall seasons. If you cut the all the leaves from the plant and let about an inch remain then the plant will grow back repeatedly throughout the season. Spinach is a good pick because you can do so much with it – from steaming to eating fresh to blending into spreads or adding to smoothies for an extra punch of nutrition.
  5. Chives – Like basil, chives grow well when you plant an existing chive plant. They flourish indoors, so you can have a window box planter with chives, basil, and cilantro in them so they are always readily available. They make a great addition to meals by adding nice color and crunch to dishes.

Growing some of your own vegetables and herbs, especially the ones that usually come in large quantities at the grocery store, will not only help you save money each shopping trip but also give you incentive to use them in meals more frequently. The added nutrients will save your health; the added savings will save your wallet!

 

Jenny Ellis is a freelance writer, and a regular contributor for aupair jobs. She welcomes your comments at: ellisjenny728 @ gmail.com.

 

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