We are members of the Junior Master Gardener program, which has taught us about growing herbs, flowers, fruits and vegetables. Over the past month and a half, we have been growing the herbs rosemary, parsley and mint.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is native to the Mediterranean area, a member of the mint family and is closely related to basil and oregano. Rosemary needs well-draining soil and somewhere between six and eight hours of sunlight every day. The amount of water it needs depends on how much sunlight the plant receives daily. The soil always has to be moist. Usually, though, the plant will need to be watered every other day. Giving the plant some fertilizer at the beginning of the spring season will start it off nicely.
This plant makes a great seasoning. Here are some delicious recipes when you harvest your rosemary plant: 1) Brush toasted bread with olive oil and finely chopped rosemary before topping with goat cheese. 2) Rub chopped rosemary on steak before grilling along with pepper and coarse salt. You won’t regret it!
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is native to the central Mediterranean region and is widely cultivated as an herb, spice and vegetable. It is widely used in European, Middle Eastern and American cooking. Garden parsley is an annual herb, meaning that after a year, that plant will produce seeds then die. Parsley is usually a bright green color, and the shape of the leaf depends on whether it’s flat-leaf parsley or curly-leaf parsley. Parsley grows best in full sun, with moist, well-draining soil. Like rosemary, parsley needs to be watered depending on how much sunlight it receives.
Here are some awesome recipes you’ll want to try when your parsley is full-grown: 1) Place one ounce of fresh parsley, one ounce of fresh cilantro, one ounce of fresh oregano, three to four peeled garlic cloves, one-half cup of red wine vinegar, two tablespoons of chili flakes, one cup of olive oil, the juice of one lemon and one tablespoon of kosher salt in the blender, then blend until smooth. You’ll have a chimichurri that’s great on grilled meats. 2) Combine one to two tablespoons of parsley, oregano, chives, and basil and toss with hot pasta, a third cup of grated parmesan cheese and two to three cloves of sautéed, minced garlic. Delicious!!!
Mint (Mentha) is a fragrant perennial that when in bloom, has tiny purple, pink or white flowers. Mint is sometimes used in medicines, garden accents and air fresheners. Of all the herbs we grew, mint is the one that needs the most water. It needs to have well-draining soil and it thrives with full sun. The soil must stay moist to have a healthy mint plant. Healthy mint will grow one to two feet tall. When using the mint plant for food, you can pick the leaves as you need them.
When your mint plant is ready, you can make these delicious recipes: 1) Combine mint with chocolate in desserts such as ice cream, cake or brownies. 2) Layer slices of pound cake with freshly whipped cream, berries and mint leaves.
Herbs are easy to grow in your home. We grew ours on our kitchen table. Herbs make a beautiful accent on your kitchen table and they are easy to grow, healthy and tasty to eat, and beautiful. You should try it!