Less Expensive Herbs

We use a lot of basil . . way more than I ever seem to be able to grow but I’m working hard on growing more.

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Every 4 to 6 weeks, I start more basil seeds.  They’re real easy to grow.  This is a pot of seeds I started about a month ago.  I started more seeds today and hope to have fresh basil right up til it gets cold, then I’ll start growing it in the indoor garden.

But today I was making a humongous batch of spaghetti sauce to can and I knew I needed more basil that I had here.  I went to Wal-Mart and here are the herbs they had in the grocery section.

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I’m not blaming Wal-Mart for having crappy fresh produce (and I use the term fresh very loosely!) because I doubt many people in our town buy some of the items they carry and the stuff just sits there and then when I need something fresh .. well, it was fresh a couple of weeks ago but not today.  Anyway, the herbs in these little packets usually look pretty sad . . sometimes they look so sad that I just walk away and use dried herbs.  In the basil packets, you get about 10 leaves for $2.92 . . except they had no basil today.  I wasn’t going to buy it anyway . . I just wanted to get a picture.

I went into the garden section because they sell basil plants for $3.00 and they usually have at least 40 leaves on them.  Yes, I’ve counted before.  I do this often!

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These are the three plants they had left.  I was lucky they had any plants left since planting season is pretty much over.  I asked the guy how much they were because the price tags were gone.  He said “make me an offer!”  I kinda looked at him.  He said “2 for $1.00?”  I was thinking . . this is Wal-Mart . . he wants an offer?? So, I just stood there and then he said “OK.  3 for $1.00?”  I said . . “all 3 for 50 cents!”  He said “OK”!

I topped all the stems and this will grow into nice bushy basil before winter gets here.

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This is the basil I got off those three plants.  What a deal, huh?

Seriously though, when you need fresh herbs and it’s not something you have in your own garden, if it’s growing season, your garden center may have full plants for less than it costs to buy a little packet of herbs in the grocery store.

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Comments

  1. 3

    says

    The only herb I grow is basil. I love it. But I would like to know more about using it. Do you have some recipes that use basil? I know about pesto, and we also use basil on cut tomatos with balsamic vinegar. But I could use more ideas!

    Also, do you dry basil or freeze it?

  2. 4

    says

    I have had so much trouble growing basil 🙁 I don’t know what I am doing wrong, but it is so sad. The stems look spindly and I dont’ get many leaves off. I bought a new plant a couple of weeks ago, and before I could even do anything with it, the leaves looked terrible. I did put it into a pot with good Miracle grow soil, and it looks like some new growth. But maybe it is too hot here, I don’t know.

  3. 7

    Lisa says

    That’s a great tip.

    When fresh isn’t available, I highly recommend http://www.penzeys.com. Their dried herbs and spices are ever so much fresher than the grocery store, and their catalog is fun to read. I am always excited when their catalog arrives in the mail.

    Basil and cumin are two of the things that are ever so much better from Penzeys!

  4. 8

    says

    Great deal you got there at wally-world today Judy. I used to love to grow everything I could when I lived on Long Island but my green thumb just has not been so lucky down here in the deep roots of Louisiana — maybe it’s just too hot and humid for my green thumb out there!

  5. 9

    says

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one having problems growing basil. I love to use it – love the smell, but I can’t seem to get it to grow past a week or two. I have gorgeous flowers, roses etc. but I seem to be the kiss of death for anything edible!

  6. 10

    Evelyn says

    The farmer down the street used to give me BAGS of basil every year – he always said he was just going to plow it under anyway. Everyone always got home-made pesto as part of their Christmas gift from me! When I moved away and went to the grocery store I just about fell over at the price of a few leaves!

  7. 11

    Bobbie says

    Basil ???? I think I have some in my spice cabinet, but can’t even remember using it. What for, if you all are growing it, I need to know why I should and then what to put it in. I’ve heard of “pesto”. but have no clue what it is.
    One seasoning I do grow is sage. I even keep some in a wall oblong pottery and it does smell soooo good. Hugs, Bobbie

  8. 13

    Jerzydeb says

    Hi Judy – first wanted to thank you – just got my first delivery from CSA – not quite sure what everything is in the box … if I take a picture and put it on my blog – can you tell me ?? LOL

    As for basil – I buy the bunches in the grocery store that still have the roots attached – usually around $2 – but it’s a nice size bunch (the wrap in with a special polywrap that holds water) I can then cut off the ends I want to use – replant the roots, and have a good supply of basil – problem is the kids are eating the tomatoes as soon as they turn red – so now I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all that basil….

    Deb