The subject of herbs has come up twice today already. Once on my playgroup forum, where someone was asking if anyone had seen purple basil plants for sale in the area, and once on Sela Carsen’s blog, where she mentioned that her herb garden is planted.

I also spent time planting this past weekend. Because of the nature of my backyard (very, very shady with icky, sandy soil) I’m unable to have either an herb garden or a veggie garden. I’ve always wanted to own a house that has an area for a garden, like we had when I was growing up, but sadly, that’s not been the case to date. Maybe the next house.

Instead, I do some container gardening. Last year I did a few tomato and jalapeno plants, with some basil and cilantro. This year, I have onions, 6 tomato plants (2 each of 3 different kinds), zucchini and if I can find a cucumber plant, I’ll plant that (they were all sold out everywhere I went this weekend). But I also planted two different kinds of basil (sweet and genovese), chocolate mint (purely because it smells so good), lemon thyme, and mint. During the yard clean up, I discovered last year’s cilantro plant by the fence, in the shade, forgotten. Growing like mad. So I pulled it out and put it back on the front porch with the other herbs (herbs go in the front, veggies in the back). I also planted two aloe plants for inside. I figure with a toddler, it’s time to have aloe again.

But the sad truth is that, with the exception of the basil, which I use the heck out of during the summer, it’s unlikely I use many other fresh herbs more than a few times. I’d actually love to grow more herbs, like oregano and rosemary, just because I love growing herbs, but I feel guilty for not using them more often. I think I don’t because I’m not sure how to use fresh herbs, with the exception of the basil. But now that I’m also the proud owner of a dehydrator (bought before Christmas) I was thinking I could dry some of those herbs. But that would involve some research.

So I’m wondering, do any of you grow herbs? And if so, what do you do with them? What herb do you think everyone should grow at home?

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