These days there are not a lot of things aside school and work that I manage to do, but one of the things that still brings me joy is growing some herbs on my balcony. Even without time to repot some of them, and praying that it rains as much as possible so I don’t have to do anything, having fresh herbs when I cook is one of the best things ever. I used to enjoy flowers as much as herbs but I’m beginning to be more practical, and if it’s not something edible you’re not going to find it in my collection.
Been raised in a country where everybody has a garden in the summer, and whenever there’s cooking you just go and pick up all the veggies you need for the dish, I crave the taste and flavor of a ripe tomato or any other fruit…. For us, living in a big city, all our fruits and veggies reach grocery shelves a long time before ripening and that really takes away all the taste and flavor.
What you’ll find on my balcony?
Every spring I try to visit a couple of stores and buy the herbs that they have on stock and sometimes I get lucky and find even nettles, sorrel, rue, meaning herbs that you don’t usually see in a Home Depot, but you might find them in smaller, local stores.
The rest of my herbs and plants are just the usual: all kinds of mint, lemon balm, oregano, thyme, different kinds of basil, parsley, cilantro, sage, and some edible flowers – calendula, nasturtium, violets, etc.
How do I use them?
Besides cooking, I always get too many herbs after a lot of rain so I just cut and dry them, and here I am drinking tea from my own balcony and you have no idea how flavorful it is! I also make different infusions: vinegars, oils, honey. I make tinctures and salves, and I use them in my facial scrubs and masks.
And if I really have too much time on hand, you might even see me using edible flowers in ice cubes but that’s for when there’s really nothing to do and that’s not really the case these days. 🙂