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Take a Minute: Plant an Herb Garden

In honor of National Herb Week, we would like to take a minute this morning to encourage you to plant an herb garden of your very own. Do you currently cook with many fresh herbs? If so, you already know how the various flavors can really infuse any meal with intense flavor. If you don’t, you may not quite understand that yet. But, today’s the day, stop by the grocery store on your way home and pick up some fresh herbs to spice up your dinner.  Whether you’re having spaghetti, baked chicken or grilling out, throwing some fresh herbs in the mix will really wake up your taste buds. After you taste the difference, you’ll be excited to plant your own herb garden to enjoy these irresistible flavors all the time!

Now that you’re ready to have your own garden, where do you start?

Where to plant your herbs?

  1. Be sure to plant close to your kitchen. One key to success is making sure that you can access your fresh herbs as easily as you can access your pantry.
  2. Plant your herbs where they will get full sun.  Herbs grown in full sun will be stronger and more flavorful than those grown in the shade.

What to grow your herbs in?

  1. A decorative pot is always a good choice, especially if you are limited for space on a full garden. Planting in a pot allows portability so that you can adjust the level of sun your herbs are receiving.
  2. Soil that is healthy and easy to mix around will help your herbs grow better. Herbs will not grow in just any soil. They need to be cared for similar to any flower that you would plant.

What herbs should you grow?

  1. Be sure to grow some Oregano. This is a very common seasoning. You can use it in almost anything! So, plant plenty of this one so that you don’t run out.
  2. Basil is another great herb to have on hand. Although basil provides a great flavor to the dishes you add it to, it takes a lot to get the flavor to be noticeable. Make sure you plant a few of these so that you don’t deplete your supply for every dish you mix it in to.
  3. Mint is a fun flavor that a lot of us don’t use often. So, planting this may encourage you to incorporate it in to your meals, or dessert.

Now that you know the basics, you can get started planting your very own herb garden. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big or overwhelming. Just start small and let it grow every year. Also, be sure to experiment with different herbs. You never know what flavors you may discover that you’ve never tasted before.

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Low Carbon is the New Low Carb (“7 Nutrition Trends of 2010”)

Looking back at our post on “7 Nutrition Trends of 2010” we can see that carbon footprints are being improved in the health and nutrition education areas. Going green isn’t just for homes and cars anymore.
When something goes from garden to grocery store these days, it tends to travel a little farther than we realize. Take, for example, that can of corn sitting in your cupboard. If we were to track how much fuel and energy it took to get there, you might reconsider going straight for the canned goods aisle next time.
First of all, before it’s even grown, fuel is spent to fertilize and plant all of the corn seeds in large farms. When it’s harvested, more fuel is spent to gather all of it up. Immediately after, the corn is stored and either heated or cooled to optimum temperature, yet another use of some energy.
Then, it’s taken, by a fuel-powered truck, to a processing plant, where the machinery uses its vast energy resources to process and pack all of the corn into those cans that fit so nicely into the cabinet. The corn then flies by plane, and then is moved again, by truck, and finally arrives at the store. While it sits in storage for you to buy it, more energy is used.
It’s a bit excessive on an example, but the truth is, buying local can make a bigger impact on our world than you think. If a local farmer goes out and plants something by hand, then grabs the ear off the stalk, washes it, and brings it to the local farmer’s market, you have a product that took a lot less fuel and energy to make. And, it probably tastes a lot better too!
This story is summed up in a pretty fun illustration in the book “Go Green Get Lean,” which talks a lot about how eating more ‘green’ foods can improve your waistline, and preserve our world. Check out “Go Green Get Lean” in our catalog or online at www.ncescatalog.com.