Fresh herbs add zest and flavor to food, provide fresh aromas for potpourris and sachets, and can be used to create thoughtful gifts. Some herbs have medicinal properties or make delicious teas. Herbs are easy to grow in a pot on your deck or a sunny windowsill indoors. You’ll find many uses for herbs from your garden. You can start herbs from seeds or buy seedlings to transplant.
Harvest herbs by snipping the tips of stems from the plants. Frequent clipping this way encourages full, bushy growth and prevents the herb from bolting, or flowering and going to seed.
Add fresh herbs to cooking or brew them in tea.
Fill an ice cube tray with water and drop snipped herbs into each section. Freeze. These herb cubes can be used for soups and stews.
Add fresh herbs to vinegar or olive oil to make herb-infused oil for dipping bread or adding to sauces and herbal vinegar for marinades and salad dressing.
Dry herbs for future use. Spread clipped herbs on paper or a cookie sheet in an out of the way place to dry. Depending on the weather and the moisture content of the herb, it can take from one day to a week for herbs to dry. When they will crumble between your fingers, strip all leaves from the stems and store in glass jars. Used dried herbs in cooking and steep in boiling water to make tea.
Sew dried herbs such as lavender and chamomile into cloth bags for sachets to scent drawers or to give as gifts.