Cultivating & Drying & Cooking With Delicious Culinary Herbs

Fresh herbs add flavor and texture to meals, from soups and stews to root vegetables or roast chicken dishes. So, use your herb harvest this year to add fresh flavors to your cooking. Add whole sprigs of thyme or rosemary needles to soups or stews, or simply scatter over vegetables as an attractive garnish!

Taste is provided by oils found in their cell walls. To dry herbs later, tie small bunches together and hang them in a warm, well-ventilated location.


Parsley is a fast-growing biennial herb suitable for planting in soil, raised beds, and containers; hydroponic growing can also be done successfully with this species. You can start it from seed (which takes 6-8 weeks for its seeds to germinate) or purchase seedlings at garden centers and nurseries during springtime. For optimal performance, look for flat-leaf parsley, as it offers more versatility.

Vitamin C, iron, and chlorophyll provide powerful natural antiseptic benefits, while flavonoids such as limonene, eugenol, and myristicin create a delicious citrus salad aroma that’s hard to resist!

Folic acid found in parsley helps prevent heart disease, aids digestion, and has antimicrobial properties to combat urinary tract infections (UTIs). Furthermore, parsley contains many antioxidants that fight aging and cancer—one cup of chopped parsley provides approximately 89% of the daily value of Vitamin C, which supports immunity.

Parsley is an excellent source of calcium, helping maintain bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Additionally, it provides potassium, magnesium, folate, and iron, which are vital components in blood production.

Parsley is an excellent source of vitamins A and C and eye-health-promoting lutein and zeaxanthin plant pigments that contribute to eye health. A diet rich in vegetables and fruit may also help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Parsley is low in calories and a great source of Vitamin K, an essential nutrient in blood clotting. Furthermore, its fiber content helps lower the risk of digestive disorders. At the same time, test-tube studies have demonstrated how its phenolic compounds (including those in the glucosinolate and isothiocyanate families) inhibit bacterial growth.


Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) adds an aromatic springtime flair to dishes and drinks, making it an easy and versatile herb to grow at home. It is perfect for salad dressings and sauces made from fish, chicken, or vegetables, an excellent garnish for green salads and soups, and an ideal ingredient when creating flavorful vinegar!

This perennial herb thrives in full sun to partial shade environments with fertile, well-drained soil. It requires regular watering, but don’t overdo it, as this could cause roots to rot and disease problems to arise. When watering your herbs, it is best to apply water evenly across all of their surfaces rather than simply on top of the dirt—this helps avoid potential issues related to fungus and disease problems.

French tarragon should be started from nursery plants or root cuttings obtained from nursery shops and then planted outdoors in sunny garden plots or window containers with sound drainage systems. Unfortunately, its seeds cannot be started successfully as this variety lacks essential oils that give French tarragon its flavorful characteristics.

To harvest tarragon, simply trim away its narrow, pointed leaves from the outside of the plant. Do this frequently during the growing season to encourage new growth—no more than one-third should ever be cut at one time—and be sure to remove flower buds prior to their opening, as this prevents their flavor from turning bitter.

When stored properly, tarragon can be dried to last a year or longer. To do this, strip its leaves from its stems and hang upside-down in a dark, cool place until wholly dried (watch this video on how to flash-dry herbs). Dried tarragon retains more unique flavors than herbs cooked or dehydrated before drying.


Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) is an aromatic perennial herb from the mint family that thrives in sunny, well-drained soils. Its narrow leaves emit pine-like aromas and are perfect for Mediterranean dishes. Rosemary blooms from winter through spring with small pink, lavender, or blue blooms that attract pollinators.

Rosemary is an ideal addition to herb, vegetable, rock, children’s gardens, containers, and low hedges. Rosemary is generally resistant to pests and diseases; however, it may become susceptible to powdery mildew and root rot if soil moisture levels exceed 6-8 inches. Rosemary can easily be propagated via seed sowing, stem cuttings, or transplanting; its moderate-fast growth rate of 4 to 5 feet in gardens and 6-8 feet landscape settings allows it to become prolific over time with many cultivars like fastigiate Miss Jessopp and Mrs Jessopp’s Upright’ among many more!

When used dry, dried rosemary offers an intense and complex flavor profile, creating dishes with depth. Try using dried rosemary in baked goods, oil-infusing vinegar, or seasoning roasted vegetables for an exceptional dining experience.

Rosemary is an essential addition to pork and lamb dishes, adding extra depth of flavor before roasting or grilling them for one of the most delightful dinners you will ever experience. Rosemary also makes a fantastic addition to soups and stews and pairs perfectly with other herbs such as thyme, garlic, and bay leaf. Finally, as a satisfying snack, rosemary makes an exquisite garnish on focaccia bread or cheese-topped focaccia snacks!


Basil is an easy annual that grows from seed or transplants, providing sun exposure, sufficient watering, and well-drained soil conditions. Frost damage occurs if temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit; many commercial growers have developed varieties resistant to fusarium wilt, one of the main issues plaguing basil plants.

Basil leaves are our primary source of nutrition from this herbaceous perennial plant, but the flowers also add visual flair. Basil contains vitamins A and K and iron, magnesium, potassium, folate, and calcium for maximum benefit;  its potent antioxidant properties protect free radical damage while mitigating oxidative stress.

Basil contains two powerful water-soluble flavonoid antioxidants, orientin and vicinage. These antioxidants combat oxidative stress by providing extra electrons to unstable molecules that stabilize themselves, helping to stop cellular damage.

Basil is an effective anti-inflammatory herb. Its oils contain eugenol, linalool, and citronellol, which have been scientifically shown to decrease inflammation. Basil has long been used to aid digestive issues, including bloating, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, and acid reflux; furthermore, it’s effective at treating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improving immunity overall.


Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) is an often-overlooked herb in both the marketplace and the garden. While its more popular culinary cousins like parsley or cilantro may boast bolder, more robust flavors with anise or licorice undertones, unlike them, it offers subtler notes. Chervil belongs to the Apiaceae family and can quickly be grown but requires excellent conditions as it is susceptible to heat; unlike most herbs, it prefers direct seeding in its chosen location rather than transplanting from its source.

Chervil is an easy, cool-weather herb to cultivate in gardens with partial or filtered shade, proliferating outdoors and in containers. Harvest can begin as early as spring and continue through September when leaves are most tender; harvest can even occur during autumn if appropriately stored in cold, dark temperatures. Leaves can be harvested early or late, using cold water swishing or a sharp knife for finely chopped, dried, or frozen applications as long as they are kept at cool, dark temperatures.

Chervil’s delicate flavor adds depth to many dishes, such as eggs, white fish, chicken omelets, vinaigrette dressings, and soups. It is one of the main components in classic French green sauce (sauce verte). Chervil should only be added nearing completion, as overcooking will destroy its unique taste and aroma.

Due to its excellent season and mild flavor, celery makes an ideal companion plant in vegetable gardens, pairing well with carrots, lettuce, and radishes. Furthermore, celery may also help repel harmful insects when grown alongside other members of the Apiaceae family, such as dill or marigolds—both being part of the Apiaceae family themselves!

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