I grow my own herbs. Part of this is that by doing so, I have a supply of fresh herbs whenever I want it. An even bigger reason is to save money. People don’t often realize how much money they can save by growing their own herbs.
As an example, in Oregon, I grew a single sage plant. I purchased the seedling for about $3 and it was in a four-inch pot. By the end of the year, that sage plant covered over four square feet and since sage likes poor soil and bad conditions, nothing else would have grown there except weeds.
I gave away roughly half of the sage when I harvested it, and still ended up with two and a half pounds of sage at the end of the year. I air-dried it.
Fast forward to now. I recently priced dried sage at the store. An off-brand (cheap brand) sold rubbed sage in three-quarter ounce bottles for $2.89. The name brand was selling it for $5.63. For just the cheap brand, that comes to $61.65 per pound. (For the name brand, it would be $120.11 per pound.) As I said, I had two and a half pounds of it, so at the price of the cheap sage, that represented over $154.00.
Commercial companies use heat to dry their herbs and heat destroys most of the flavor and healthy substances in the herb. I air-dried mine, so I only lost a small amount of the flavor and health benefits. Still, that amount of money is pure profit, since sage requires no fertilizer, it has few insect pests or diseases and it doesn’t need a lot of water.
The same is true of most other herbs, too. Lavender, thyme, peppermint, oregano, rosemary, parsley…none of these cost much to grow, so when you buy them at the store, you are getting a heat dried product that is overpriced.
Who do you suppose is getting all that profit? You are simply padding someone else’s pocket.
Considering that sage and most herbs can be grown at home in a pot, there is little reason to pay the unreasonably high prices for herbs. People do so mostly because they don’t really think about it.
That is why I’m writing this. I’m hoping that I can encourage more people to think about what they are paying for. If you are buying herbs from the store, you are paying too much.
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Posted in food and plants and tagged drying, growing, herbs, price, sage, unreasonable by rextrulove with 9 comments.
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