Grass Roots – Growing Your Own Herbs

She cooks

We both love cooking, and love fresh food, so we decided about a year ago to grow some of our own food, to try and save money, and also have fresh herbs on hand.

Pity that neither of us really have a clue on gardening, or much of a green thumb! The other problem we had was living in an apartment, with only a balcony to grow things on. After a bit of research, we came across a site that delivers prepared half wine barrels ( They delivered us a half wine barrel fitted with caster wheels and all we had to do was visit the nursery and choose some plants!

We started small with herbs and agreed that if they worked, we would try something a bit more adventurous.

We planted out basil, parsley, coriander, thyme and rosemary (will leave he cooks to tell the story about finding ‘broad leaf’ basil!) in our new barrel, watered them every day (well HC did anyway!), and surprisingly we were successful in growing plants!

The biggest success of the experiment was definitely the basil. Whilst everything else did well, we had so much basil we didn’t know what to do with it all, and every time we cut some for a recipe it grew back even stronger!

So, we made basil pesto, put basil into pasta sauces, pizza sauce, and even sprinkled finely chopped basil into salads.

The experiment has gone so well that we have had another barrel delivered and are trying out lettuce and mini tomatoes.

He cooks

SC loves to get me to tell the story of the ‘broad leaf’ basil, because she thinks it is hilarious. It’s not really… I didn’t know any better!

HC junior and I leave SC at home and go hunting and gathering to find some herbs to plant in our new wine barrel. When we get to the nursery, we manage to find the parsley, coriander, thyme and rosemary, but can only see these ‘mini leaf’ varieties of basil.

I’ve seen basil before, so I know that it doesn’t look like that and try and find someone to help out. I show her the ‘mini leaf’ basil plants I have found, and ask if they stock any broad leaf basil. She looks at me strangely, and says, that no, these are the only basil plants they have. They are… seedlings. Of course! Seedlings… that grow into ‘broad leaf’ basil!

Junior HC rolls his eyes, slinks off and is very embarrassed to be seen with me! Anyway we take home the ‘mini leaf’ basil, and Junior HC very excitedly tells SC of my ‘problems‘ trying to find the ‘broad leaf’ basil!

Needless to say, I give all of the plants plenty of TLC and we end up with huge amounts of ‘broad leaf’ basil!

Click here to try our basil pesto recipe!