I do quite a bit of cooking, not only because home cooked meals are cheaper than eating out every day, but also for the health benefits and because in a lot of cases what I make simply tastes better.
It’s only been in the past few months or so that I’ve started using fresh herbs in my cooking, and I have to say, it’s made a real difference to the taste of my cooking, and all in a good way!
I’ve also become more generous in my use of spices and I started to wonder what exactly is the difference between herbs and spices? Generally speaking, herbs are the leaves of low growing plants such as rosemary, thyme or basil. Spices come from the roots, bark, fruit or berries of plants, such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and pepper.
Now I’ve always had an issue with the way herbs are sold in supermarkets. Most recipes call for maybe a tablespoon at most, yet I was paying up to two dollars for a bunch of basil, more than half of which would end up in the composting pile. So I decided to grow my own.
There are a couple of different ways that you can go about this. You can use soil, or you can go hydroponic.
The soil based method is really pretty basic. You buy soil, pots and seeds. Put the soil in the pots, plant the seeds, place in a warm sunny spot, keep moist and in about eight to ten weeks you should be harvesting your own home grown fresh herbs.
It can be a bit time intensive because you need to ensure that your herb plants get enough water and nutrients, so if you’re not home all that much, this might not be the way to go. You also need sufficient light, so a south facing window is best.
I have two indoor cats who simply will not stay out of planters, no matter how much I chastise them, so growing herbs in pots was simply not an option for me.
An alternative is hydroponics, or a variation thereof. When I first started researching this, I was overwhelmed with the amount of material I found, and quite frankly, the expense in purchasing all the stuff I’d need simply wasn’t worth it.
Fortunately, there are household units available through a variety of retailers and online stores that are specifically created so you can grow your own herbs, salad greens, and even tomatoes and peppers at home.
Most units come in a variety of sizes, so buy one that makes sense for you and your family. I’ve found mine super easy to use and it’s been great fun watching my herbs sprout to harvesting size in just four weeks.
The only downside is that most of the units use proprietary materials, so that you have to buy seed kits from them again and again and that cost can add up.
The advantages are that most include a light source, so you can place them anywhere in your house that has a electrical outlet handy, and the nutrients come prepackaged so you don’t have to worry about getting the concentrations right.
I’ve even joined an online forum specifically catering to people who use these gadgets, and I have to tell you, they’re addictive!
What are you waiting for? Get growing!
John from http://www.growingyourgreens.com/ goes on a field trip to the 2017 Chicago Flower and Garden show to share with you all the edible landscaping and vegetable gardening areas of the show. You also discover what John learned at a seminar as well as discover the top 3 exhibitors that will allow you to grow food at home organically.
First, John will take you on a POV tour of the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. Next, he will show you in detail the two display gardens that have to do with growing food.
Next, John will share some of the information he learned from some of the displays as well as one of the seminars he attended.
Finally, he will visit the exhibitor area to share with you his favorite three exhibitors at this year’s show:
0:36:14 Led Habitats – Offers Indoor growing Systems made out of wood and metal that minimizes plastic usage. Includes self-watering wicking bed to start your seedlings or grow pre-seeded mats with vegetables, herbs or edible flowers inside your home. Three different sizes including the deluxe 420 model
Learn more at
0:56:40 Dr. Earth Fertilizer and Bagged Soil Products – offers organic bagged soil products and fertilizers. You will discover why this is John’s favorite organic bagged soil product that is available nationwide at better nurseries near you.
1:02:00 Ted’s Greenhouse – Local Nursery that is open year-round for 66+ years that grows ornamentals, vegetables, fruit trees and herbs in the Chicago area. You will discover what sets ted’s greenhouse apart from other nurseries in the area and some of the best herbs to grow.
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John’s Chicago Flower and Garden Show Episode from 2011
John’s Chicago Flower and Garden Show Episode from 2012
John’s Chicago Flower and Garden Show Episode from 2014
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