Sweet basil with wee carnivorous visitor. © Ryan Schierling
Dried herbs?!? Don't even get me started. Yes, most of us grew up with them – sad rows of anemic, dehydrated, desaturated flakes with long-past-due expiration dates in the seasoning rack. There is a small place for certain dried herbs, sure. But a compact herb garden that can supply 95% of your fresh herb needs always wins as the better-tasting and less-expensive option over fresh-cut herbs purchased from a grocery store or anything in a dusty jar.
Herbs purchased from the grocery store are not only quite perishable, they can be very expensive. It costs at least as much, or more, to purchase a package of fresh-cut herbs as it does to purchase an entire plant start or seed packet for your herb garden. Why not just buy something once and appropriate a pot for it or tuck it into the corner of a flower bed near the door? It just needs to be a tasty culinary variety, with a handy location to get to from the kitchen and kept free from any pesticides or other toxic residue.
|Culinary herbs – a pantry outside our door. © Ryan Schierling|