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Herbs are hawesome

By Penny Stine

I love growing herbs, mostly because they’re hard to kill and many are perennials, which means you don’t have to do anything and they keep coming back every year. I also like to grow them because I cook with them, and I’m incredibly cheap and they’re expensive in the store.

Parsley is great because it starts growing in February and keeps on producing as long as you keep picking and don't let it go to seed. It’s a pig, though; because it will take over whatever space you give it. One solution is to put it in a pot, or just let your herb garden be overrun with parsley.

Parsley: At least it's green, although it crowds everything else around it.

Thyme is also an easy perennial that eventually grows to gigantic proportions and flowers in early summer. Ditto for sage, but the purple flowers are showier. Rosemary is a perennial in milder climates, but I’ve never gotten one to last through the winter here. It’s the only plant I purchased this year as a plant rather than a seed. It generally doesn’t get too gigantic, since it only grows through one season.

Thyme: I like to grow herbs with flowers, which is handy when herbs are flowering, like the thyme in the picture.

Another cool thing about thyme and sage is that you can pick and use them all winter, although the plants get sad-looking by January. They don’t seem to be too picky about soil conditions, either, and thrive when they’re mildly mistreated.

Sage: These plants are probably three or four years old, and now I wish I would have planted them a little farther apart.

Rosemary: So far, this is the only plant I purchased for my entire yard this year. Everything else I started from seed.

So now that you’ve got parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme from your herb garden, make some Simon & Garfunkel potatoes:

  • A few potatoes (I generally go with one potato per person, more if the potatoes are small and the people are big)
  • A handful each of chopped parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
  • Some olive oil (a couple tablespoons?)
  • Salt and pepper

Cube the potatoes, but don’t bother peeling. Spread foil across a large baking sheet. Spray non-stick cooking spray on foil. Throw the potatoes on the foil, toss with herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 410 degrees until brown and crispy (could be as short as 30 minutes, depending on how many potatoes you’re cooking), turning at least once.

Potatoes: Don't take them out of the oven until they're crispy and golden. Yukon Gold and red potatoes are great in this, and russets aren't bad, either.


 

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