Time to grow your own food? Start with healthful, easy-growing herbs

By Julie Bonnin

There are many reasons to grow your own food, and recent unresolved food safety concerns about summer favorites like tomatoes and cilantro, the official herb of Tex-Mex cooking – are likely to have more folks cultivating an interest in growing edible plants.

Herbs are the perfect entry-level plant for first-time food growers. Given the right conditions and a minimum of care, they’re quite easy to grow, even if your outdoor space is limited to a small patio.

There are many more fringe benefits — the taste and scent of fresh herbs can’t be beat. You’ll never again pay grocery store prices for a bunch of past-their-prime herbs. Often those prices are only a little less than you’d pay for the plant itself, though growing your own, you will have to invest in pots, good soil and a few other necessities, as well as make a small investment in time.

But perhaps the biggest advantage of growing herbs is what people have known for centuries – that they have considerable health benefits to give.