Posted by: Julie Schaeffer
Many families with young children enjoy exploring herbs because of their pleasant and surprising tastes and smells. Herbs are easy to grow, too. A window sill that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight makes a garden site. If you have never grown anything before, this is an ideal way to develop a “green thumb.” Just make sure that the plants are in a place where your child won’t be able to pull them down!
Young children will often eagerly eat foods that they have grown. Try snipping some chives into a salad – you may be surprised that your child will devour it!
Your family may choose to have a themed garden such as a kitchen garden, a pizza garden, or a sensory garden.
- A kitchen garden may include herbs that you can use for daily cooking, like chives, parsley, mint and basil.
- For a themed pizza garden, consider basil, oregano, and garlic. These plants come in many different varieties, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
- For a sensory themed garden which will have lots of different scents, try pineapple sage, lemon balm, or any of the mint family – apple mint, peppermint, spearmint, and chocolate mint are just some of the options available.
If you are beginner gardener, I suggest visiting your local home improvement store or garden nursery. Most herbs come in a 3- or 4-inch plastic pot. As the plants get bigger, you can transplant them into a bigger container. At that point, you may choose to place all the herbs into one container – most people like the looks of an overfilled container. If your plants get too big, simply break up some clumps to give to friends and family.
The herbs you purchase will have directions that indicate growth conditions (full sun, part sun, shade), watering guidelines (once a week, do not let dry out, etc.), and fertilizing recommendations (an all-purpose liquid fertilizer should work for most plants.) Don’t be afraid of cutting the leaves or stems. As a general rule, the more you trim the plant, the better it will grow!
Here are some of my favorite ways of using herbs:
- Mint in a fresh watermelon salad or smoothie
- Chives in salads and dips
- Parsley in mashed potatoes or as a breath freshener
- Basil in pesto
- Basil, thyme, and oregano in soups and stews
- Oregano in pizza, bread and salad dressing
- Lemon balm in lemonade, tea or fish
A children's herb garden will provide hours of enjoyment while teaching children about gardening and nature…lessons that will last a lifetime. I would love to hear your stories about growing herbs.
Weekly Flu Report, February 5, 2016 posted on Feb 5
The latest weekly flu report shows that flu rates rose again in Massachusetts during the past 7 days. It’s absolutely not too late to get a flu shot if you haven’t already. As a matter of fact, we can expect flu to continue to circulate in …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, February 5, 2016
Year of the Monkey posted on Feb 2
Chinese New Year is the most important holiday of the Chinese calendar. It is usually celebrated for 15 days and is a time to reunite with family, feast on good food and relax from work. As a Chinese American, it is important to me …Continue Reading Year of the Monkey
Tips for Surviving the Winter Blahs posted on Feb 2
Winter can be a hard time for many of us. The days are shorter, darkness sets in early, and oh yeah, it’s freezing out there! The change in seasons wreaks havoc on many people. Some people feel more tired, sad, or anxious when there are …Continue Reading Tips for Surviving the Winter Blahs