Some time ago I had the chance to visit the Nestle Food Museum Alimentarium, in Vevey, Switzerland. Over there, right at the entrance of the museum, there’s a unique garden, one made of herbal plants.
As I walked close to it, the amazing smell of different fresh herbs, all combined, made me close my eyes and take a very long and slow deep breath.
Ever since, I got fascinated with the idea of growing my very own herbal garden. Although I’m still trying to put it together, I’ve done some successful attempts to grow plants like chives, coriander (cilantro), celery, oregano and parsley. Some other herbs are a little more difficult to grow such as dill and basil (they come and goes).
To accompany on my efforts, I’ve found a very comprehensive book, which contains not only different ways to grow herbs, but also practical solutions to different problems.
The little guide of Herbs, published by Fog City Press, stars talking about a very important thing: Understanding your garden, as it explains that different variables will bring different results, so things like the weather, the environment, the topography, the sunlight and the soil will have and impact on your garden. Getting to know your garden, will help you to grow “the right plants at the right time in the right place”.
This part of the book also contains advice on how to maintain the plants healthy, and the way they should be harvested and stored.
The second part is a guide in which can be found some basic physical details of each herbal plant, their preferred weather and their primary uses in the kitchen.
One last part brings different options to work with the herbs once they’ve been harvested as to produce different goods such as oils, aromatherapy liquids, vinegars, salad dressings and herb butters.
So, while I keep on going through the book, enjoying the singular experience of learning this much about these herbs that so many times are taken for granted, I’ll keep on trying to set, some day, my dream tasty garden.