Basil, Cilantro, Oregano and Dill

By Mary Gregoire

Basil, cilantro, oregano and dill. Somehow putting the names of those herbs together does not have the same recognition as Simon and Garfunkel’s “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,” but all are wonderful culinary herbs that can be used to enhance our cooking. They provide a way to flavor foods without the addition of salt.

As the spring bulbs and flowering trees are blooming, I also watch my herbs spring to life in my herb garden and think about what new herb I will plant in it this year.

Herbs can be planted in the ground or grown in pots of varying sizes. They need good drainage and regular watering. Some such as chives, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, oregano and parsley are perennials and return each year. Others, such as basil, dill and savory, termed annuals, need to be planted each year. You can start herbs from seeds or buy them as already-started plants in pots from your local greenhouse.

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Edible Landscaping

By Cassie Vanderwall

Spring has sprung, and it’s time to begin planning my garden! Gardening has many health benefits, and researchers say that simply viewing a garden can provide psychological benefits. I enjoy it because it gives me an opportunity to use my creativity in researching and planning my garden.

Each year my small urban balcony is transformed into an edible landscape that provides fresh herbs and vegetables. I love that both gardens, big and small, can provide good nutrition at your fingertips and give you control over what pesticides and fertilizers are used — if any.

Gardening can also be a great way to make eating a family affair by inviting children into the process. Children are more likely to eat and enjoy fresh produce if they are involved in the growing process. Continue reading