In the online class I am taking on herbalism, lesson 4 is about the actual process of growing herbs. The assignment was to write two hundred words about the benefits of growing herbs, and cite an example of how I plant herbs from seeds. I don’t think my response is what the instructor has in mind, but it’s the truth and I’m sticking to it.
Lesson Four: Benefits of Herb Gardening
All one needs to do is google “benefits of growing herbs” to see a list. The benefits are all fairly ordinary: economy, taste, health benefits.
I am all for saving money, eating tasty food, and achieving good health. For example, rather than paying two dollars for a bunch of rosemary that will most likely be thrown out after I chop off my two tablespoons, I can just go out and snip off a couple of sprigs. Even though dried herbs are stronger tasting, there is a “brightness” that fresh-cut herbs, like basil or parsley, can add to a dish. And nothing is more soothing to me than cup of lemon balm tea after a stress-filled day.
For me, there is another, more intangible reason for growing my own garden – and not just herbs, but flowers and vegetables too. The reason is that I am an urbanite without much access to nature. Watching my mint and yerba buena overflow their pots to reach towards the sun helps me feel the power and dynamism that all living things share. To use a cliche’, my garden helps me to get in touch with nature.
I have to admit that I have not had much success in growing herbs from seeds. Also, I am fairly impatient and growing herbs from seeds is a process that does not move at a rapid pace. My current garden is mostly comprised of plants from the local garden center, but by watching my plants thrive, I am encouraged to try again. Dill is a favorite herb of mine and I just realized that I don’t have that plant in my collection. So sometime soon I will get some dill seeds and sow. Again, I will be enjoying the intangible benefit of watching life germinate from lifelessness.
How awesome is that?