Ode to an herb

Alex’s herb garden. Close to the kitchen for quick snipping.

West Virginians certainly love their gardens. Even on main streets you can count gardens all the way down. In those without yards, you can spot container gardens, raised beds, and even community gardens growing some beautiful summer fruits.

I’ve yet to produce much more than some tomatoes and squash in vegetable gardens so far, but something I love to always have is an herb garden. So many fragrant recipes call for fresh herbs but they never seem fresh enough from the store (especially in rural areas) so a herb garden is a great cooking tool to make your dishes even more tasty.

What’s in my herb garden?

Chives: Late Saturday mornings you can usually find me running outside barefooted to grab a few chives to throw on my over-easy eggs. I love them sprinkled on top of eggs, mixed in quiche, or scrambled into eggs.

Oregano: Truthfully, I don’t use a lot of fresh oregano but I dry huge bundles of it to use it all year round in almost everything savory. I hope to find more uses for fresh oregano in the future, but for now it’s one of my healthiest, low maintenance plants.

Dill: I love dill. Someday I will grow enough cucumbers to make my own pickles but for now dill goes great in homemade sour cream veggie dips, tossed in roasted vegetables, and even mixed into breads.

Mint: Mint is so classic, everyone knows a great way to use it. I like to make a nice tea, mix it in with fruit salads, use it in Indian foods, and to garnish of summer bakes.

Thyme: Fresh thyme is great for chicken, soups, and even for homemade cough syrup.

Parsley: I didn’t initially have parsley in my current herb garden but I then found so many recipes call for fresh parsley that I made sure to plant it this year. Soups, savory pies, stir-fries, and so much more.

Catnip: Don’t forget something for the kitties! My cats love nibbling on fresh cat nip in the garden or dry it for year-round feline enjoyment.

Felicity loving on her first fresh catnip of the season

Other herbs I’m not currently growing but suggest are basil, rosemary, and cilantro.

Happy gardening!

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