MY HERB HEAVEN

MY HERB HEAVEN

written by @JuliaRecipes

 

My dear readers, I have been absent for last few weeks, because of plenty work in my garden. I love herbs and especially fresh herbs from my own garden are the most flavorful jewels of all.

IMG_8967logo

I will show you how easy is to create your own herb garden, even if you only live in a small apartment and don’t have much of a space. You can re-create your little balcony or your unused space in your garden to grow fresh and flavorful herbs and using them in your daily cooked meals.

IMG_8947logo

I will also show you, which herbs you can use in your daily meals, which one is the best to pair with meat, vegetables or sweets. I will start with the most common herb of all, we use it very often and everyone should know basil.

IMG_8981logo

BASIL

Basil is indispensable in Italian cuisine and is one of the most popular herbs in North American cuisines. When using basil in cooked meals, add it  only at the end of the cooking, so it doesn’t lose it’s taste. You can pair basil with pasta, pork meat, fresh tomatoes, cheeses, cucumbers, fishes and lamb meat.

Excellent pairing with

  • Pasta
  • Pork
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Cheese
  • Cucumber
  • Fish
  • Lamb

IMG_8974logo

MINT

Mint with it’s intense aroma adds freshness to salty and sweet foods.
It is brilliant, while adding it to summer cocktails, as well as to healing teas with honey. You can use it in fruit and vegetables salads, in cocktails, refreshing drinks, such as lemonade, you can add it to your hummus or as a decoration to your desserts.

Excellent pairing with

  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Green peas
  • Peach
  • Lamb
  • Blueberries

IMG_8976logo

THYME

Thyme is excellent in cooked meals, it spice up the food and adds nice earthy taste to your meal. Because it’s taste is more pronounces and distinctive, then the other herbs, use it in meals, where preparation requires longer period of cooking. For example games are excellent when paired with thyme, as well as beef roast , mushrooms, poultry, pork roasts, etc.

Excellent pairing with

  • Beef
  • Bread
  • Carrots
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Grapes
  • Mushrooms
  • Pork
  • Poultry

IMG_8973upravena

ROSEMARY

Rosemary is used in kitchen for it’s needle-like leaves, it has special woody fragrance. It is mostly used for roast meats and stuffing. I love it on my roasted sweet potatoes, you should try, it has very lovely, earthy aroma. You can pair it with cheeses, fishes, lambs and any kind of roasts.

Excellent pairing with

  • Cheese
  • Cucumber
  • Fish
  • Lamb

IMG_8979logo

CILANTRO (Coriander)

Cilantro, also known as coriander is aromatic herb mostly used in guacamole or salsa, yes Mexican cuisine. Cilantro has lime/lemon (citrus) overtone. I use it in salads, topping on the soups, in mango salsa it’s excellent. Is better to use it fresh, once cut from the roots, it spoils quickly and it looses it’s aroma when dried or frozen.

Excellent pairing with

  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Prunes
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Tomatoes

More herbs means more taste. Usage of herbs will also reduce usage of salt. Herbs will give your meals more taste, that you don’t need to salt as much . Herbs will help you to cut down on salt and that is the best way how to eat healthier. Herbs will make look your meal much more nicer, thus appearance is sometimes important.

 

IMG_8959logo

HOW TO KEEP YOUR HERBS LOOKING  FRESH LONGER

 (fresh cut of herbs)

  • When choosing your herbs in the store, try choosing herb,which looks freshly cut.
  • Remove it from packaging.
  • Place it in glass with water.
  • Keep it on counter, where is lot of light, but not on direct sun.
  • If you buy herbs in pot, try to replant it as soon as you can.

PLANNING YOUR HERB GARDEN

1.Choosing a Location for Starting an Herb Garden

Most of the herbs that you can grow at home need two things — sunlight and well-drained soil. This means that when considering places in your yard to plant an herb garden, you need to look for a location that gets six or more hours of sunlight a day and that is well drained. Many people also consider convenience when selecting a place to start growing an herb garden. Planting near the kitchen or near the house will make it easier to harvest herbs from the herb garden.

2.Preparing the Soil Before You Plant an Herb Garden

Once you have chosen the location for growing an herb garden, you will need to prepare the soil. If the soil is sandy or clay heavy, add plenty of compost. Even if your soil is in pretty good condition, working some compost into the soil will help provide nutrients to the herbs while they are growing. When growing herbs, do not use composted manures in the herb garden. These are typically high in nitrogen, which will make the herbs grow quickly but will reduce their flavor.

3.Planting and Growing Herbs

Herbs can be started from seed or planted as plants. Planting herb plants is easier than starting them from seed, but if you are on a tight budget, starting herbs from seeds is not that difficult. Once you have you have planted your herb garden, make sure that it gets 2 inches of water every week. Also make sure to harvest your herbs frequently. Many times when a new gardener is starting an herb garden, they are afraid that harvesting the herbs frequently will hurt them. Actually, the opposite is true. Frequent harvesting of herbs will result in the herb plant producing more and more foliage, which increases the amount you are able to harvest. At the end of the season, you can also dry or freeze your herb harvest so you can enjoy home-grown herbs all year round. Taking the time to plant an herb garden is very satisfying and easy. By starting an herb garden and growing herbs, you can add beauty to your garden and flavor to your kitchen.

IMG_8970insta

GROWING HERBS IN CONTAINERS OR POTS

Depending on how much space you have available and whether you are planning to keep your herbs indoors or out will play a huge part in choosing your containers. Herbs will grow in almost any type of container as long as it has good drainage. Terra cotta pots are best, but plastic, wood, or metal will do. If you aren’t using a traditional style container, be sure to poke some holes into the bottom for drainage and provide a drip plate if you are keeping them indoors. Herbs can be grown separately, in individual pots, or you can plant several different varieties in one large containers,  being careful not to overcrowd the pot so that each plant has enough space to grow and reach its full potential.

LET’S PLANT

Before adding soil to your chosen container, you’ll need to provide a layer of rocks, gravel or Styrofoam pellets to the bottom quarter of the container to help with the drainage process. Broken chips from terra cotta pots also work nicely for this. If you’re planning on bringing an outdoor container of herbs indoors during the winter months, I would suggest the use of the Styrofoam pellets to keep the weight down. Use a good quality potting soil mix to fill your container to within 2 inches from the top to allow plenty of space for watering. Few herbs require a large amount of fertilization, but nearly all will require some fertilizer during the growing season, especially if kept in pots. Keep your container garden of herbs well-watered as they will dry out more rapidly than those that have been planted directly into the garden.

Hope this was helpful or will be helpful in near future for you, to start your own herb garden. Results are almost instant, when you buy already grown herbs. Now, before the summer starts, it’s the best time to buy your herbs. Enjoy your garden full of herbs.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “MY HERB HEAVEN

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s