Jun 17, 2016

Regrowing Herbs at Home

For a fun organic money saver, you can grow your own herbs with leftovers. Below are a few favorites.

Mint is an easy-to-grow perennial herb. Snip a stem off the plant so it measures about 2-3 inches lengthwise just below the leaf node (where the leaves begin to grow). Remove the lower leaves for use in your recipe, but leave a few at the top. Place the stem in a glass of water on a windowsill that receives sunshine. The mint will develop roots within a few weeks. Change the water when it starts to look murky. About a week after roots appear, plant in a pot with soil and continue to water as necessary. Keep it contained, as it develops runners and spreads quickly in a garden.

Rosemary is a great addition to pork chops, roasted meats, fish, and vegetables. Snip a few sprigs of rosemary from 2-3 inches off the top of the plant and pull away the lowest leaves, leaving a few at the top. Place the sprigs in a small glass with the stem fully immersed in water on a windowsill. Change the water every few days. Rosemary is slow to produce new roots and can take two months or longer before you see progress. About a week after roots appear, transfer the plant to soil.

Lemon Balm, Oregano, Sage, Thyme - The process for regrowing these is identical to regrowing rosemary or mint. You can even combine all in the same glass to save space, but do not pack too close as the roots will tangle.

Parsley only grows for two gardening seasons and then dies. In its first year it produces the delicious leaves that are commonly used for sauces and the second year it goes to seed. A benefit of its final year are its edible roots, which are considered the most flavorful part of the plant. The process for regrowing parsley is identical to the others above.

Fennel is slightly sweet and licorice-flavored in taste and great for poultry. I use dried fennel on pizza. The directions for growing this is different from the others. Cut off the fennel stalks and place the fennel bulb fully submerged in a bowl of water. Place in direct sunlight and change the water every few days. New fennel stems will grow within a few days.

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