Time to start getting the kids involved in planting and harvesting fresh herbs. It’s an easy way to get them involved in the garden, and kids are very open to trying snipped herbs on their foods, much more so than trying new vegetables. Fresh-picked herbs are a nutritional powerhouse, and they just make food taste better. This spring, I had some very aggressive parsley, mint, scallions, and thyme that survived the Michigan winter and came back bushy and strong (check out our giant parsley clippings (see left)!). New seedlings included basil, rosemary, cilantro, and dill. With the warm spring, they have taken off quickly.
I recommend Jerry Traunfeld’s THE HERBAL KITCHEN and THE HERBFARM COOKBOOK for incredible recipes showcasing herbs, also Martha Rose Shulman’s NYT column. I’m going to make the kids some tabbouleh (dice the tomatoes tiny or they won’t eat it) with my parsley crop, as well as Mark Bittman’s Lemony Parsley and Egg Soup. Did I mention that the kids munched on our spring onions plain? If picked early, they are crunchy and sweet. Herb gardens are very low maintenance and they improve the flavor and nutritional quality of everything you cook.