XJ0002. Herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow because they tolerate a variety of soil types and have relatively few insect and disease pests. Herbs can be incorporated into any garden, planted in spaces between shrubs and trees, or be grown formally in a garden of their own.
XJ0015. Before learning about the history of herbs and spices, it is necessary to define these terms. Herbs are the fresh and dried leaves generally of temperate plants and are usually green in color. In Pennsylvania, we live in a temperate climate characterized by summers and winters of similar length. Spices are the flowers, fruit, seeds, bark, and roots typically of tropical plants and range from brown to black to red in color.
XJ0036. Herbs make a great addition to a garden, but they can also be grown indoors as year-round houseplants or just during the winter months to protect tender herbs such as rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) or basil (Ocimum basilicum). Herbs grown indoors offer many benefits including fragrant foliage, various foliage colors and shapes, a constant supply of herb leaves for cooking, and continual leaf production after the outdoor growing season has ended.
XJ0037. Cooks realize that most recipes will require herbs and spices as ingredients to flavor dishes. Instead of relying on herbs and spices purchased from the grocery store, gardeners can grow, harvest, and preserve their own. The method used for harvesting herbs and spices is dependent on the plant part desired. Separate fact sheets have been written on each commonly used herb with detailed descriptions of the plant part used as well instructions for their use in a recipe.