Savoring Simplicity

Growing your own herbs can add homegrown flavor to any meal.

By Maya Brenningmeyer


Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or cooking a quick lunch, utilizing fresh herbs can add flavor to your meal while also providing additional health benefits. We’ve gathered four common herbs for beginners that will get you into the garden and cooking fresh, homemade meals.


One of the most well-known herbs, basil is an easy-to-grow plant that’s great for beginners. Used in both cooking and as a garnish, basil is best grown in sheltered and sunny outdoor areas. A helpful tip is to not let the herb grow too long—trim and prune your basil to help it grow. Harvest your basil first thing in the morning before the heat sets in and don’t be afraid to harvest large amounts of basil. The more you harvest, the more it produces! With more than 60 varieties, this member of the mint family could become one of the most bountiful producers in your garden.


This herb comes from the Mediterranean and thrives when planted with other Mediterranean herbs like sage. Rosemary can be planted in the ground or in a pot, if you want to plant your herb outside, rosemary grows little blue flowers that attract pollinators. Best harvested in the spring and summer months, rosemary may need some winter protection depending on the level of cold. The plant will regrow each year but will need to be pruned annually to stay healthy.

Spice it up!: Add to soups, chicken or roasted potatoes for extra flavor! Mix rosemary with butter to upgrade your toast or mix the herb with olive oil to create a flavorful finishing oil.


Another well-known herb, cilantro thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. Cilantro is best planted in cooler temperatures, think early spring or late fall, and can be harvested once they grow to about 6 inches tall. While having a controversial taste, some individuals have a gene that makes cilantro taste like soap, the herb carries a multitude of benefits.

Spice it up!: Add fresh, chopped cilantro to salsas, dips, pestos and marinades for an extra kick of citrus!


Grown best in full sunlight and a spot well-protected from strong winds, dill is one of the easiest herbs to grow at home. Once planted, make sure to water the herb often to prevent excessive drying. When the plant has 4-5 leaves, it is ready to harvest! Dill is also a great addition to gardens that struggle with pests, it’s famous for attracting beneficial, predatory insects.

Spice it up!: Combine fresh dill with cucumbers to make homemade dill pickles!