Monday, June 07, 2010

$ense & $ensibility Monday: Grow Some Green

Katharine Albritton is a writer and art market specialist. Follow the art market with her at 360 Degrees of Art or search for tranquility with her on Twitter.

Every year when summer rolls around, I start craving a lot of fresh herbs in my diet. I always want mint in my iced tea (or mint juleps!), basil sprinkled over tomatoes, and chives added to my egg whites in the morning. Of course, buying fresh herbs all the time can be expensive, and it can be hard to know just how to properly store them in the fridge. Sure, dried herbs work in a pinch, but they’re just not the same.

Last summer, I decided to take matters into my own hands in order to cut back on the money I was spending on herbs. I went out and bought myself a few small, potted herbs and have never looked back. Now I have a constant supply of my favorite herbs when I need them, for a fraction of what it costs to buy a bunch of them at the grocery store.

You can pick up small pots of common garden herbs at most garden centers and some farmers markets and grocery stores. At one of my local farmers markets, potted herbs will run you only $2 - $3 a pot – much nicer on the wallet than buying bunches from the store. Even if you do have the luxury of a bit of land, there’s no need to plant the herbs in the ground as most can thrive quite well in containers, so long as the roots have enough room to grow.

Be sure to do a bit of research on your herbs, though. Some won’t thrive without a lot of sunlight while others prefer a lot of shade – so make sure the place you plan on putting the herbs is appropriate. Many herbs will grow year-round indoors as well.

What are some of your favorite ways to save money in the kitchen?

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Melita said...

love this! i too grow my own fresh herbs. lots of them and many various types. at the end of the season i dry them for use in the winter. i also have a very small little garden that i grow lettuces, chard, tomatoes, onions, etc. it's small but it saves me some $$ plus there is nothing like eating a tomato from your own garden!! :) my boyfriend's father bought us a areogarden that we use in the winter to grow fresh herbs. yay for fresh herbs all year long and on the cheap! ;) hugs!!

Katharine Albritton said...

@Melita - that sounds delightful! I'd really love some more space and light to be able to grow tomatoes again, but it's just not in the cards right now. I might have to look into the areogarden for my apartment since we don't get much light, so it's been hard to keep the herbs going this year!