Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Indoor Herbs

In the dead of winter when the garden has gone dormant and is buried under a foot of snow, what could be nicer than a few potted herbs sitting on the kitchen windowsill?

Herb gardening, both indoors and out, is one part of my strategy to reach food self-sufficiency. Herbs may seem insignificant, but since across the board they contain so many life-enhancing properties they really deserve a prominent part in a healthy diet.

As I mentioned in another post, my attempts at establishing outdoor herbs this year met with dismal failure (not in the opinion of the little critters who nibbled away the tender new leaves, I'm sure). The only herbs that survived were the basil and a small bunch of parsley.

Indoors, I have a few things going--the rosemary and catnip pictured above, and a couple of basil plants. It is so nice to be able to snip off some rosemary to add to the oven-roasted vegetables, or add some basil to a sandwich, or brew a cup of soothing catnip tea. And the price is right, compared to buying fresh herbs at the store. When you have them growing on your sill you know you're going to use them. When your only option is to pay outrageous prices at the store, you're much less likely to include fresh herbs in your diet very often.

And the wonderful thing about indoor herbs is that they're easy to grow and you don't need a lot of space. A sunny spot is good, but you can use grow-lights instead. In fact, for winter growing, grow-lights left on about 14 hours per day will keep your herbs from getting too leggy from the short days. For now, I just use the windowsill and deal with my very leggy basil.

It's a lot of fun getting into herb gardening again. Back in my apartment dwelling days I grew quite an assortment of potted herbs year round. I can remember having basil, sage, fennel, dill, thyme and oregano, but I think there were even a few more. I'd like to get back to that kind of assortment again.

No comments:

Post a Comment