The Unreasonably High Cost of Herbs

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 Continue Reading →

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Growing a Wintertime Container Garden

What do you do when summer gives way to fall and fall to winter, when you want fresh herbs and produce? Many people think that they are out of luck and must wait until the next growing season. That means that they resign themselves to eating the flavorless produce and dried herbs from the store. There is a better way. Imagine; it is the middle of winter and outside the wind and snow is blowing hard. The landscape is covered with its blanket of snow, and the dim light filtering through the clouds is gloomy. But in your living room, it is like a scene out of a tropical paradise. Plants are growing and blooming, the scent of herbs brighten the atmosphere of the room and fresh vegetables grace the table. Another scenario; you have a small place such as an apartment, with no yard or flower beds, yet you have fresh vegetables, herbs, and flowers that you’ve grown yourself. Not only are both of these possible, they are not difficult to accomplish, through container gardening. You don’t even need to have a green thumb. Nearly everyone is aware of people who have houseplants and while this qualifies as container gardening, it will be taken further here. The benefits far outweigh the difficulties. Container gardening First, look at the term, “container gardening”. It is exactly as it sounds, growing plants in pots or other containers. The pots can indeed be outdoors, on a patio, a balcony, or they can be Continue Reading →

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