If there was one good thing that emerged from 2020, herb and vegetable gardens are now part of our everyday lives. From small container gardens to full-scale urban mini-farms, many of us planted new – or expanded – our gardens and edible landscaping.

Haven’t yet jumped on this new trend? It isn’t too late to start!

Kitchen herbs and vegetables can be easily integrated into a current garden plan if you already do have a garden or yard.

Short on space? Herbs and veggies can be easily grown in containers on the patio and in the windowsill if you are an apartment dweller or lack growing space. And even when the snow’s soon to fall, many herbal containers can survive indoors with the proper care.

There are many places a beginning gardener can turn for growing herbal garden inspiration.

For eye-candy, perusing Instagram and Pinterest can get the creative juices flowing and even can get the most gun-shy gardener to try starting seeds indoors for springtime planting. Pinterest also is a great way to create both garden design boards and collect herbal recipes for your seasonal harvest!

These can also be a great starting place to learn the varieties of herbs, and maybe pick out a few seeds to start for spring transplants.

A few good catalog resources that offer a wide variety of hybrids, heirloom and non-GMO seeds include Johnny’s Select Seeds and Seeds of Change. One of my new favorites is Hudson Valley Seed Co – not only are they a small grower of the Great Lakes, they are doing amazing things with the art of their seed packets!

West Michigan is home to the largest horticulture industry in the country, boasting an abundance of wholesale and retail greenhouses. In the Greater Grand Rapids area there are many favorite greenhouses open in early spring where a gardener can stroll the greenhouses and shop for spring transplants, as well as gain expert advice from staff on growing tips.

Farmers markets are also sources of locally-grown herbs and vegetables, with most arriving as early as late April with transplants. Gardeners can peruse the aisles of the market for fresh fruits and vegetables while picking up herbs for their gardens. It’s a great way for the gardener to make that personal connection to the farmer that grows their food.

And once you get growing, let’s freshen up our menus with recipes that blend traditional herb flavors with new twists. So, grab your clippers and head into the garden to freshen up your culinary skills – and together let us make it a goal for 2021 to “remerge” with an entirely new portfolio of flavors and favorites.


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