One thing I like about living in the Bangkok suburbs is that there is still a bit of nature to enjoy and fresh air to breathe. Houses around here are cheaper and with more space. And the space is what’s awesome. I just love that it allows me to grow food, especially herbs, because I use them a lot in my cooking.
Despite this blog being a Thai food blog, I actually also enjoy cooking dishes from other cuisines and I use a lot of foreign herbs. I find their scents very interesting and pleasant and I get excited for the first bite of a new dish I use them in. It’s a no brainer that I keep a collection in my garden myself. Currently I’ve got thyme, lemon thyme, Italian sweet basil (green and purple), lemon balm, sage, oregano, parsley, tarragon, and rosemary.
Now, I want to be clear that I didn’t start the plants from seeds because it’s almost impossible to do so in BKK for most of the ones mentioned. I get them from people who start seeds in cooler parts of the country and propagate them. But it’s really hard trying to keep them alive and well so I can’t say I’m not proud. 🙂 If you’re deciding what to grow or weather you want to grow plants or not, read on and you’ll find your answer!
5 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Own Herbs
1. No Pesticides
Let’s be real, fresh produce that’s labelled organic and has been certified by this or that huge organization is still not the safest food. And if you live in a third world country like I do, the consumer law just doesn’t really do much to protect you. Anytime I hear someone go, “eat lots of vegetables and avoid A and B so you don’t end up getting cancer,” I’m like, oh yeah? I doubt it. You never know if your food is free of pesticides unless you grow it yourself.
2. It’s Rewarding
Growing plants is not always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes it’s the weather, sometimes it’s the pests and sometimes it’s you being really busy. At the end of the day, these are what makes it so rewarding! Like mentioned above, you don’t even have to start seeds to be proud of being able to eat the food that you grow yourself. Not to mention that you can share it with other people as well. Taking care of plants like herbs can be difficult, although nothing drastic, but it also gives you a sense of an accomplishment. It’s a simple and cheap way to feel good about yourself.
3. It Teaches You Responsibility
Every herb is different. Some herbs need to be watered every day while others don’t. You have to find out how to take care of each individual one and do so accordingly or they die. Most herbs need pruning because it allows them to stay healthy and stimulates new growth which ultimately results in more harvest for your kitchen! So you need to be responsible to keep your herbs alive. That said, if your herbs die, it doesn’t always mean you’re not responsible. Many circumstances can cause a plant to die and sometimes we can’t even see it. Actually, #3 should be, “It either teaches or doesn’t teach you responsibility” – you know what I mean, right?
4. It Saves Money
Western herbs used to be more expensive here in Thailand both fresh and dried. They’re slightly cheaper now because we can grow some of them in the country but still they’re not the cheapest thing in the world. Now, if you’re from a country where there’s an abundance of what I grow and you don’t think growing herbs will save you money, think again.
Before my father started growing Thai herbs (he’s the reason why I don’t grow any!), there were a few kinds that my mother and I would always, and I repeat always, get anytime we went to the market. Most of the time we just thought we might use them and they ended up in the trash. Although they were like 5-10 baht each, these little things definitely added up over time. Why would you spend money to throw herbs away when you could just cut them when you needed them?!
5. Herbs Are Pretty
Herbs can work as great decor. I used to by flowers for my tiny room when I was a student. Now that I have a garden, I use stuff I grow in there instead. And believe me herbs aren’t any less pretty than flowers or cactuses. I work on my computer almost all the time and it’s just nice to look at them when I’m on a break from the screen. Plus they smell good, too. And did I say they’re pretty and they’re pretty?
Do You Grow Any Herbs Yourself?
If so, let me know what you grow and if you have any problems. For those of you who are still unsure, just do it! Seriously even if you’re living in a condo or small apartment, you should still do it. It has made such a positive impact on me and I’m sure it’ll do the same on you as well. Get growing!
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