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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Herbs: Economical, Extravagant & Efficient

copyright 2010, art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc

Guest Author: Emily Brauchle

It’s been a long day at work, and a luxurious Italian dish sounds welcoming. You pull out the needed ingredients of your favorite red sauce recipe from the pantry and spice cabinet. Wait. The spice cabinet? Could that sound any more predictable? I think not.

Instead, picture yourself walking to an aromatic balcony blooming with fresh herbs from decorative planting pots, and plucking a perfect basil or oregano stem from its place. These fragrant herbs are free from pesticides and chemicals, and they’re costing you about a fourth of the money you would have normally spent to buy fresh herbs at any farmers’ market. These herbs could make your favorite red sauce all the more special.

As the season metamorphosis into spring, the perfect opportunity for planting waggles it’s eyebrows at you as you read this. Yes, planting a garden can be hard work. No, you really don’t have time for all that sweat and weeding, nor do you have space on your lawn to flip into a construction site. It’s just too bad, because you would really love all of those fresh herbs, right?

Well, here’s a secret. Anyone and everyone can easily manage an herb garden. You don’t even need a lawn. Herbs can be effortlessly grown and managed in planting pots (the same planting pots you glanced at in your favorite store few weeks ago to notice the cute color schemes). Seeds cost no more than a few cents, and all you have to do is plant, water, and repeat. If you were to plant some of the basic Italian herbs (such as sage, oregano, basil, fennel, and rosemary for example), the whole garden would cost you about $50-$60 to create.

Mind you, there are a few precautions when dealing with herb gardens. For instance, herbs need soil that is well managed. Don’t freak out. All you would need is a planting pot that has drainage holes in the bottom to let excess water leak. Make sure the herbs get plenty of sun, as most herbs reach a fuller plumage with sunlight. Most herbs are also sensitive to cold weather, so if you’re expecting a frost, just place the pots in your kitchen or foyer for the night.

Come on. You know you want to. Herb gardens are beneficial and economical, as well as a great way to make your food taste better. Go for it and better yourself, as well as your favorite dish.

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Get recipes for your herbs in the Award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions
 **Special Appearance: May 25th, 11 AM, Book Expo America, Javits Convention Center, NY, NY, The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions pre-release of second edition with Maria Liberati. First 100 visitors receive a free mini  version of the book

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