How would you feel about growing your own garden? A constant supply of fresh spices to add flavor to your meals, a touch of nature brought to your house and a splash of color that will brighten up the place, that doesn’t sound bad at all, does it? Even if we’re living in city apartments we can still arrange our own corner of culinary inspiration and rediscover the joy and pleasure of producing our own herbs.
Most indoor plants need plenty of light, a moderate amount of heat and a well-drained soil mix that is not too rich for an optimum growing process. Window sills are great spots for placing pots, as well as balconies and patios, and depending on your apartment’s orientation to the sun, you can start choosing the best variety for your space. Winters in Chicago can get rather harsh, we all know that, so you’d better be prepared to take your plants inside during the cold season.
Beginning gardeners should take it one step at a time and start with a couple of low maintenance, easy to grow indoor plants.
Basil: ideal for salads, the spicy-scented basil leaves will zest up your fish and chicken dishes in a matter of seconds.
Oregano: also called “wild marjoram”, oregano is the key ingredient to a tasty pizza, deep dish or thin crust, your choice, and goes well in just about any Italian dish, anything with tomatoes, eggplant, or zucchini.
Dill: the subtle flavor of dill may accompany various dishes, from fish and potatoes to soups, specialty breads and dips. Greek cuisine enthusiasts will appreciate having dill weeds in the house even more as no tzatziki sauce is complete without the invigorating aroma of fresh dill.
Parsley: high in vitamin A and C and iron, parsley is one of the most fragrant and popular of all herbs. Its leaves can be used either fresh or dried and it’s used for both garnishing and flavoring. Sprinkle parsley on top of mushroom dishes, soups or roasted potatoes for a plus of aroma and aesthetics.
Savory: known for its aromatic, strong flavor, summer savory makes a superb addition to a container garden; it seamlessly complements vegetables and lighter meats such as chicken or turkey.