Monday, July 23, 2012

The Herb Garden is...was a Blooming

Last year I started cooking with fresh herbs and realized how much it made a difference in flavor compared to using dried herbs. (I can never taste the flavor in dried herbs, but rather just get pieces of dried up flakes in my food that I can't stand! I must say, dried thyme is the worst, it always gives a crunch to my trinidadian chicken stew which is not supposed to be there.) Unfortunately, the downside of using fresh herbs is the cost. One package of fresh herbs will cost me about $2.50, and most likely I will only use it for one dish per week. That starts getting pretty expensive for just added flavor to a dish that doesn't necessarily have to be there.

So last summer my mother, who has a green thumb by genetics that somehow skipped this generation, decided to plant some herbs after hearing how much I had been using rosemary, basil and mint. They appeared to be low maintenance and really thrived in her backyard. So when my parents went on vacation last summer hubby and I would check up on the house and also nab fresh basil on a weekly basis to make pesto. We really enjoyed the fresh herbs from the garden, which tasted better than store brought and were free!

So this past spring hubby and I decided to plant some herbs at what we hoped would be a low maintenance task. We asked the our yard guy to turn over the soil and planted the seeds to dill, parsley, rosemary, basil and cilantro. Well, everything grew except the rosemary, there's a gap between the parsley and the basil. Well, not really a gap, there are...I'll get to that in a minute. Otherwise, the herb garden is great! I've used the dill to make spaghetti with shrimp, feta and dill and have used the basil quite a few times to make pesto.

Now, there is one problem with our herb garden that we did not forsee. As you can see by the photo, I dare not take a picture of the actual garden, but rather the lush results inside the house. You see, we were unaware of the fact that our yard guy takes his weed wacker and well...wacks the weeds. We have no weeds in the rest of our landscaping thanks to Mr. Fermin. Unfortunately, the task of weeding in a garden is much too daunting for Ferms, none the less The Tiffin Girl family. Thus, the garden looks like the front yard of  a house that's been foreclosed on...seriously. And as I'm writing the second draft of this post the only plant left blooming is the basil. (Unless you count the weeds. It's basically a weed garden at this point and the weeds are growing high enough that you can see them at eye level from the window. Ok, I exaggerate, at eye level for Bambina.)

Anyways, while I did enjoy using the fresh herbs, it's much too much work for a mother with two small children, specifically a newborn. And quite frankly, I don't find weeding all too exciting. The mundane task that  I enjoy is chopping vegetables, not weeding. I save that for the Ferminator (No, our yard guy is unaware of the plethora of nicknames I've made for him.Yes, there are more. Don't ask why. It's what I do, kind of like Rob Schneider on SNL and the Making Copies skit. Fermin. The Ferminator. Mowin the lawn...)

And no need to worry you the plant version of PETA, I am not allowing the weed garden to burgeon on my watch, I've already spoken to Mr. Ferms and asked him to wack everything except the basil and add mulch.

So the moral of the story, ya'll. Don't plant a weed garden... errr... herb garden unless you plan to manage a weed garden. 

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