Herbal Bliss

Yesterday, we brought home the newest member of the Huron Clan!

IMG_0609Yes, that is thyme in our cup holder in the car. We have a variety of herbs already but decided to get a thyme plant because it was A) cheaper than the dried herbs (which can be as much as $10…) and B) will continue to grow and produce more leaves! This has been our herb trick for about a year now. So I thought we would outline the herbs we have and the benefits of them!

Rosemary

Rosemary is incredibly hearty and, for someone who doesn’t always remember to water, it takes a lot to kill it. It is also one of the herbs that we will often dry ourselves. I’ll include how to dry your own herbs below!

Oregano

Similar to rosemary, oregano is a hearty herb and can withstand a great deal with weather conditions and consistency of watering. We also dry our oregano for cooking purposes. I would recommend putting oregano in a long pot rather than a small round pot because oregano likes to spread horizontally, not vertically like rosemary.

Thyme

Again, thyme is a hearty herb and is great for the “brown thumb” type! We have not yet dried our own thyme but it is also an herb that dries well.

Chives

Chives grow like wild fire and we love having them around to add to potatoes or to step in if we ever run out of green onions. You will need to be sure you pull off any flowers that may emerge so that the plant does not begin to flower but, instead, continues to produce more chives. This will mostly be an issue during the summer (or rainiest) period wherever you live.

Basil

Basil can be very temperamental so if you are not consistent with watering, don’t use basil very often or will likely forget about your herbs for several days at a time, then I would not recommend having it as a plant. We use basil often so it has been a great addition to our garden. Basil flowers OFTEN so if you do decide to get basil, you will want to pull off the flowers daily so that the plant directs nutrients to the leaves.

Mint

We love having mint around and it has been surprisingly resilient. It grows quickly and is heartier than you would think! It shouldn’t stay outside once it gets too cold (similarly to the basil) but as long as you have a winter plan for it, I would highly recommend it. It is an easy plant to have even if you will only use the leaves occasionally to put in a drink! Mint does seem to attract bugs pretty often however so be on the lookout for any bugs. We had mites on ours but we were able to treat the plant with just spray canola oil and now it is mite-free. Mint will flower sometimes so you’ll just want to keep an eye on it.

Herbs I would NOT recommend

Cilantro – Once you pull the leaves, the plant does not really continue to regenerate like basil or mint would. You have to actually reseed the plant in order to get new growth and, in our experience, it was more frustrating then it was worth. So we recommend just buying cilantro from the store!

Sage – I only have sage on this list because I think there are so few recipes that use sage that it may not be worth the energy. We had a sage plant for two years and did not use it once. So it ultimately was a waste of money in the regard. (That being said, look at the types of food you eat and base your herb choices off of that!)

Additional Herb Considerations

We do not currently have these herbs but they are next on our list!

Marjoram – We don’t use this often but I would like to introduce it a little more which is why we don’t currently own it but we are considering it.

Lavender – We would likely use this most in tea or in a salt scrub that I make (be on the lookout for a blog post about that!). So it is not a high priority right now but it smells amazing!

Dill – Again, we don’t currently use dill often but we have found a few recipes that call for it that make me want to look in to it!

Tarragon – A great, hearty herb to introduce if you aren’t a huge fan of oregano/thyme/marjoram!

I would also recommend looking in to proper watering, condition preferences (humidity vs. dryness, indoors vs. outdoors) and perennial or annual changes. This will help you identify how to treat your herbs and help you know what to do if the plant is not looking so great!

How to dry your herbs:

Cut some of the longer branches off the plant. (This will allow the plant to redirect nutrients to the younger branches.) Bunch the clippings together and attach with a string. Hang the herbs in a dry place (potentially the pantry if you have space). Make sure to rotate the bunches about once a week. In about three weeks your herbs should be dried and ready to be used!

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What are your favorite herbs?

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