A key advantage of home gardening: Taste!

The benefits of having even a small home garden are numerous, but prime amongst them is the overwhelming advantage of truly superior taste. Your crops will have over any heavily processed store-bought produce. Though our house’s proximity to Lake Michigan has meant that our gardens have just begun to produce their first fruits, the little herb garden in the front yard has been cranking out good stuff all along. This was proven to me once again today by two leaves from that garden’s spearmint plant.

Today was a little different in some ways. For one, I managed to do the smart thing today and pack a lunch rather than eating from one of the campus food shops. Knowing it would be good to have a breath freshener after eating the nice talapia dish that Stacie had made the night before, I plucked two handsome leaves off the spearmint plant and tucked them in my lunch bag. (My dorkiness remains undeterred.)

After I’d eaten, I was rewarded with gentle washing flavor of the two spearmint leaves. To me, they worked much better and more soothingly than any commercial breath mints I’ve had. (Though nothing will quite compare to the 1998 Atlanta Linux Showcase, when the caffienated Penguin mints propogated across the show floor!)

The best thing about growing your own herbs is that they’ll keep producing month after month. Barring a horrible drought, nothign will stop them from growing and providing wonderful flavors for your meals, for a snack, or just to enjoy. Even if you have a small space on a balcony, or perhaps an unused public space, you can easily grow your own herbs.

Also, I meant to start this by talking about the French term terroir, which refers to the “flavor of the earth” that is present in the plants that come from a home garden. Indeed, the spearmint from our new place is distinctly different from the spearmint at our old place. I would say that the leaves from our new house are even better than what we had grown last year. Life is good!

A ” terroir ” is a group of vineyards (or even vines) from the same region, belonging to a specific appellation, and sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions, grapes and wine making savoir-faire, which contribute to give its specific personality to the wine.

A ” terroir ” is a group of vineyards (or even vines) from the same region, belonging to a specific appellation, and sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions, grapes and wine making savoir-faire, which contribute to give its specific personality to the wine.

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Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.