5 Ways to Use Herbs From Your Tracy Hills Garden

Whether you have a few pots around your Tracy Hills home overflowing with fragrant, flowering, edible herbs or you have a plot at our community garden, our climate means you can easily grow herbs.

So now that you’ve babysat your herbs, conquered the slugs and grown an abundance of herbs, whether that’s basil, oregano or thyme, now what? Here are five ways to use your herbs.

Cook with them. Let’s start with the obvious. Fresh herbs can’t be beat. Of course, dried spices are convenient, but fresh herbs bring so much more flavor and can be used to add complexity and aroma to a variety of dishes. For example, basil is great in Italian dishes like pasta sauces and pesto. Rosemary is a great addition to roasted meats and potatoes. Thyme can be used in soups, stews and sauces. Parsley is a great addition to salads and dressings, while sage is perfect for adding flavor to stuffing and poultry dishes. Hungry yet?

Make delicious tea. Herbs like mint, chamomile and lemon balm are great for making tea, and it’s easy to do. Simply steep your dried herbs in hot water for a few minutes and enjoy your delicious, refreshing beverage. You can also add a bit of honey or lemon for a hint of sweetness or tang.

Relax with aromatherapy. Herbs like lavender, rosemary and eucalyptus can be used for aromatherapy. Simply place your fresh herbs in a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam. This can help to reduce stress by promoting relaxation. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the water for added fragrance.

Decorate your home. Fresh herbs can be used as decorations around the home. You can use them to make a beautiful centerpiece for your dining table or place them in vases around the house to add a fresh scent (think mint and rosemary) and natural beauty. You can also dry the herbs and place them in wreaths and other decorative crafts.

Let them grow. If none of the above ideas appeals to you, simply let your herbs be. Many herbs have wonderful scents that you can enjoy just by simply stepping out your front or back door. And as your herbs flower, they will attract important pollinators like bees or beautiful butterflies.

It’s never too late to start growing herbs. If you’re interested in a garden plot at the Tracy Hills community garden, email [email protected]. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram to stay in the loop with the latest happenings at Tracy Hills.