I love multi-taskers they can save time, money and space.  Herbs are super for adding many capabilities in a very small space.  You can grow them in a south facing window year round.  Herbs and spices were the original prescription drugs and have many health benefits.  When you add in how good fresh herbs can taste and how they can really “punch up” a simple meal, it’s a no-brainier to start a small window box of your favorite herbs.

One of my favorite herbs is Rosemary. I love the taste for one and it’s the best herb I have found to use in steam when I get a head or chest cold.  But I always had problems growing it till I got ARP Rosemary. It’s not quite the woody type of plant that Rosemary is,  and it grew super in SW Idaho in my raise beds. My first year planting it so I’m not sure if it can come back, but I will be getting some more to grow next year. What more can you ask from a little plant it tastes good, can be dried and is a cold remedy.

I tried growing some Hops this year but I got lazy and didn’t pay attention to the plants. My fault, I know hops  grows great in the valley  so I need to get a little better at paying attention to new plants I’m trying out. Hops besides being great for beer were packed into little sachets and placed in pillows as a calming agent. Hops are also a part of many calming teas and tonics before Prozac and Zoloft.  With so many Americans being treated with anti-depressants I think it’s a good idea to have herbs that can help calm people if they are suddenly cut off from prescription meds. Will it help? I don’t know!  But just sitting around doing nothing  is not in my nature.

Ginger: While I have not tried to grow ginger there are many ways to preserve it. Just a pot full of damp sand can make the roots last a long time. You can do a candied ginger with sugar that is simple. I want to do a real Ginger Ale because ginger is so good at treating nausea and motion sickness. Plus I’m getting into Asian cooking and ginger is a very important spice for flavoring Asian inspired meals.

One of my favorites Garlic: Garlic needs to be planted in the fall it’s a bit of an odd duck as far as most plants because of this need of cold and wintering over.  Garlic has a ton of health benefits that are quite well documented and is used a lot when I cook.  I think it was Erma Bombeck who said her two basic rules of cooking  were “If you can’t add chocolate add garlic and if you can’t add garlic add chocolate”.  I bet you would be hard pressed to find a savory meal that does not include garlic and the fresh stuff tastes better.

Now I just covered 4 simple plants that can be bought any any mega mart and you can preserve easily that are all multi-taskers.  I didn’t even start on the basil, oregano or sage and what they can do for a meal.  Get your self a good herbal book or a solid source on the internet and start a window garden, get some ginger and fresh garlic to use and  planted till your starts come up next spring.  If you never grew a plant before think of the practice you will get this winter. If you can grow in the winter you can grow year round!

8 Responses to Multi-taskers

  1. Great ideas Jamie!

    Garlic is fantastic to have on hand and has countless health benefits.

    Wild garlic is also fantastic, and if you can get it to grow (’tis a bit picky, it likes a readily available water source as well as partial shade), then that’s even better as it’ll grow and re-seed of it’s own accord. I have a strand of wild garlic near me that provides all of my garlicy needs all through spring and early summer. It would last longer if the idiot city didn’t cut it down 3 times a year

    As a people, we spend an awful lot of time, energy, money, and resources to eradicate wild edibles. (Then complain that the price of food is so high!) 😛 Silly darn peoples, we are, as a whole.

    Anyway, good stuff! Keep it up! 🙂

  2. Karen says:

    This growing season, I decided to garden like my life depended on it, no more laziness, no more choosing fun stuff over garden duty, no more benign neglect. We increased our raised beds-and funny how God challenged me by bringing record heat and drought! Every morning-I was in the garden though, and it payed off-we had lots of fresh to eat, tons to can and freeze, and plenty to share.

  3. Stephen says:

    Hate to admit it but I’ve sadly allowed my herb garden to die. Hangs his head and back out of the room….

    • Jamie says:

      Stephen it’s okay! What a great time to get those little plants started again! It always is a big boost to my attitude to watch those little plants grow during the winter.

  4. Jamie says:

    Wild: You are correct I had a some people across the street offer some wild hops they have growing along the fence line in the alley. Alas they moved this fall and I have to try with the new people living there this year. Hops dry and freeze very easily and have a kind of tangy/citrusy aroma when crushed up. I was one of those silly people but I skipped spraying my dandelions for two years so they should be safe to harvest next year.
    Karen that is awesome it did so well with those challenges. I’m still figuring out the best setup that lets me work within my physical limits. I think adding a few the big 18 gallon party buckets might work out.

  5. Teresa Sue says:

    I love my herbs. They are just about fail proof too.

    • Jamie says:

      Miss Violet, so true and if you ever priced “fresh herbs” in the produce section be ready to have your breathe taken away. Growing your own herbs offers a huge bang for your buck!

      • Teresa Sue says:

        True! Anything a yuppie will buy, they jack the price up because they know it will sell because it’s the cool and in thing to do, lol. It’s always cooler and “iner” if you pay someone else to do it for you than get your own hands dirty, lol.

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