I love using fresh herbs when I cook. The flavor is often more pronounced than when using dried herbs and they truly do add a nice feeling of freshness to anything you make. This doesn’t mean I don’t like dried herbs, there are in fact instances where I prefer them to fresh! One herb that immediately comes to mind is oregano – I find the flavor of dried oregano to be much more bold and I really don’t care for it when it is fresh.
One of the biggest problems with using fresh herbs is the expense that comes with it. Frequently the herbs you find in your local market are quite pricey for a small bunch and the appearance and condition of them for such elevated prices often leave something to be desired. So what is the alternative? Growing your own of course!
The joy of gardening runs deep in our family. My father grew amazing vegetable gardens every year. He didn’t have a lot of room to work with, but he knew how to fill every inch of space to produce high yields. This love passed on to my sister, so much so that she returned to school a few years ago to attend a program on becoming a master gardener. I’m not sure that my brother enjoys it quite as much as she does, but he and Karen do grow some very nice stuff in planters on their patio and I know he enjoys researching and trying different varieties of things.
Then there’s sibling number three – yours truly… The one branch on the family tree that doesn’t enjoy gardening at all! I have tried… and tried… and tried! I’ve planted gardens the regular old way right out in the ground and didn’t find the joy. I’ve had small self watering tomato planters that I used on the deck of my first apartment long ago before I was married. Easy enough to use, but I still didn’t enjoy digging in even that little amount of dirt and I found halfway through the season that I stopped adding water as often as I should have.
A few years ago we decided to try again with a nice wooden planter on our deck – the perfect location to keep it from becoming a deer salad. We grew tomatoes, peppers and a small variety of eggplant. The garden, much like my earlier attempts, was successful but once again I didn’t find any great joy in the whole experience. I also learned that my wife and son were not huge fans of the process either. So after two years, the next great hope for an exciting garden experience was put to rest as we disassembled the planter.
Then in the spring of 2020 I decided to give yet another garden a try. I started to read more about the Aerogarden and liked what I saw. Hydroponic gardening meant I could leave digging in the soil behind – an instant plus for someone who doesn’t want to dig in the dirt! It also meant that it would be a fully indoor garden which made it easier to check on before I got to work on my other activities for the day. It’s not that we don’t want to be outdoors, we love our outdoor activities and when we go outside we want to be able to do the things we enjoy, which never seems to include working in the garden. So, the simplicity of indoor gardening with the Aerogarden checked another box for us.
We were sold enough to give another form of gardening a try and I can finally say after all these years, I love my little garden! For our first season we grew lettuce, tomatoes and basil and enjoyed them all through the spring and summer months. It was in my second season, for fall and winter, that I discovered what truly made the Aerogarden worth every penny for us when we decided to grow all herbs.
We have a 9 pod model and the ability to grow and have 9 different kinds of herbs on hand throughout the fall and winter months was an awesome experience. Now we are entering our second fall/winter season and I have gone with all herbs again. You can’t beat the value – you can pick up a 9 pod custom herb kit during one of their many 20% off sales for around $14. There’s no way you would be able to buy 4 or 5 months worth of 9 different types of fresh herbs from the store for that price! For this season I have chosen cilantro, sage, dill, basil, tarragon, rosemary, parsley, thyme and lavender.
The herbs tend to grow quite quickly in the Aerogarden and it won’t be long until we are able to cook up all kinds of dishes with them fresh right out of the garden. I’m looking forward to the creations that await us in the months to come! Until next time, I hope you all have a great weekend!