With our juicers and blenders claiming ever more essential and important parts of our healthy food preparations, it’s a natural step to bring the herb garden into the kitchen to participate in this healthy eating agenda. Why wait all winter to have fresh herbs like mint and parsley in your smoothies and juices when you can clip a little bit each day of the year right from your kitchen garden.
I’ve been designing kitchens for a while now, and along with the requests for housing the juicer and the blender, are an increasing desire to bring the outside in, in a very literal way. One of our star kitchens from this past year included the addition of a while new type of appliance called an Urban Cultivator, which allows you to grow micro greens, wheat grass, herbs or lettuces inside your kitchen with a temperature and light controlled set-up.
For those of us with more limited space, a simple set of shelves with small pots and a grow light can do the trick, or if you are lucky enough to have lots of bright windows, skip the electric lights and put your shelves in or near the window.
My husband came up with an ingenious plan to reclaim some magazine racks we had purchased years ago and had been regulated to basement storage. I simply caulked around the edges and used old newspaper plastic bags to seal up each slot, then poured in the potting soil and some seeds and let nature do the rest.
I started the rack garden in May, so I took advantage of the summer temps outside to get things going, but this type of garden can just as easily be started indoors whenever you like.
Now when I need cilantro for my sauces or salads, or need salad greens, I just snip off the tender leaves and I have freshness and beautiful greens to brighten my meal.
Also take note of new kitchen islands that incorporate herb garden planters into the space. Now that’s eating local!