Have more herbs than you can shake a sprig at? Most home gardeners are happy to harvest these pungent plants to use directly in recipes. Freezing, canning, and drying are also good ways to preserve them for later use. However, for those herbal enthusiasts looking to get a bit more creative, here are six novel ways to use your home grown bounty.
- Herbal infusions: infused oils and vinegars are not only great for enhancing recipes, they make beautiful gifts. Making herbal butters, salts, and even sugars is another delicious way to extend your harvest’s usefulness.
- Homemade gifts: lavender, rosemary, and bay all keep their scent long after they are dried, and make lovely additions to dried wreathes or scented satchels. Soaps, bath salts, and sugar scrubs are other easy craft ideas, and you can find many instructions online.
- Fresh bouquets: herbs aren’t just delicious, many of them are quite beautiful. Even if you don’t have enough plants to make a full herbal bouquet, adding a few sprigs of dill, chive, or fennel flowers will add a dash of color to any flower arrangement.
- Healthy chickens: adding supplemental herbs to chicken feed is a great way to keep your birds healthy and productive, and improve the quality of eggs laid. Parsley, oregano, mint, and sage are all plants that poultry enjoy. They can be fed fresh, or dried and added in with the rest of the feed. Some people also use aromatic herbs, such as lavender, to line nest boxes.
- Hair care: many herbs make for wonderful, refreshing, natural hair rinses, including chamomile, lavender, rosemary, and mint. Some recipes will even add a dash of temporary color or highlighting, and are good for overall scalp and hair health.
- Seed library: making sure to collect your seeds at the right time, you can keep and store seeds for many years (when properly stored). Not only will this prepare you for next year, it makes it easy for you to share a piece of your own garden with friends or family!