With the arrival of numerous seed catalogs in the mail comes the knowledge that spring will soon be here. There is nothing more enjoyable in the summertime for me than going to my garden and bringing into my home fresh vegetables and herbs that I have grown myself.
If you are lucky enough to have the space to plant a garden you will know, as I do, that you can not buy vegetables and herbs that taste as good as what you grow yourself.
One of my favorite herbs that I like to grow and cook with is Rosemary. Rosemary is an evergreen shrub herb that has incredibly aromatic leaves. It is commonly used as a household spice and a flavoring enhancement in prepared meats, vegetables, herb breads and focaccia.
If you have never tried to grow this herb you may want to give it a try. It is one of the easiest plants that I have ever grown; not to mention that it is one of the most fragrant ones as well. The fragrance from this plant is incredible, and it is so versatile that you can use it for many different things.
Rosemary is believed to improve vitality and stimulate food digestion. It is believed to help with indigestion and help treat circulatory disturbances. It is believed to improve blood circulation particularly directed at the circulation to the head hence improving your memory and concentration. It is considered to be a powerful antioxidant. It can help raise spirits in people who suffer from mild to moderate depression.
To grow Rosemary you will need full sun and sandy, well-limed soil. If possible buy it as a plant because seeds are very slow to germinate and grow. You can propagate rosemary from cuttings of an existing plant. To do this cut a branch of new growth from the top of a thriving plant.
Try to get a piece about six inches long. Remove the leaves from the bottom of the branch (about an inch and a half). Put the stem in wet sand to root. This will take about six weeks. You can use a root enhancement product if you so desire. Or you can take an existing plant and pin down the lower branches to the soil until they root.
If you would like to grow herbs in the winter or outdoor space is a problem for you, you can grow Rosemary as a part of a window herb garden in containers. Use a good grade potting soil and grow in a sunny location. Keep the soil moist and don’t allow your plant to completely dry out.
You can use Rosemary leaves, stems and flowers fresh at any time. If you are going to dry your plant, cut for drying just before the plant blooms. Put stems and leaves on a flat surface in a dark well ventilated place to dry. Once dry store in an airtight container. You can also freeze for later.
When cooking with Rosemary, be sure to use it sparingly because the flavor is strong. Rosemary enhances the flavor of any food that it has been added to. Enjoy experimenting with many new recipes with Rosemary.