When we’re asked about our favorite healthy cooking tip, without hesitation we answer, “Grow and cook with fresh herbs!” A handful of these fresh and healthy leaves can brighten up just about any dish, from savory to sweet.
In Indiana, the itch to plant starts this first or second week in May: the days get longer, and there’s enough sun in the morning to make you want to jump out of bed and get outside. We got the itch last weekend, and picked up some herb starts from a local farmer’s market.
This year, we decided to snazz up our pots a bit. If you like the look, here’s what you need:
- Standard clay pots (from any local hardware store)
- Metallic gold spray paint (same as above)
- Alphabet stickers (we got ours at Staples)
The painting process is simple:
- Apply the alphabet stickers with the names of your herbs.
- Apply one coat of gold spray paint and let dry for at least 2 hours.
- Apply a second coat of gold spray paint and let dry for another 2 hours.
- Remove the stickers.
After drying, filling the pots with plants takes almost no work (see our How to Grow Fresh Herbs video). Just put a few stones in the bottom of the pots for drainage, add some potting soil, and plant the starts. We recommend using starts over seeds because you’ll get to use them a whole lot sooner! Our finished pots are now sitting in the sun on our front porch — a few quick steps from our kitchen, and a bright green and gold welcome to all visitors.
In addition to these pots, we have more in the garden this year! Duplicates of all four of these (just in case), as well as lavender, cilantro, chives, lemon thyme, mint, sage, and some newcomers: cutting celery and epazote.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.