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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Practical Windowsill Herb Garden

When space is limited you can grow a few herbs in a windowsill herb garden. In pots or boxes that are placed in a window preferably facing south.

In cities all over the world where no garden is available you can see herbs grown in pots and other types of containers placed on the terraces, porches, balconies and windowsills to accommodate the household need for fresh herbs. There are a lot of herbs that can be grown in a windowsill herb garden that cannot be grown outside, and growing then indoors is a very good solution if you have that problem.

If you only grow in a few small pots on the windowsill you cannot expect to have enough to harvest and dry to use in winter, but if you choose to grow the evergreens you will be able to have them fresh almost all year. If you make the effort to find herbs of different varieties with more contrasting colors and choose containers with care, you can have a windowsill herb garden that is just as beautiful but obviously more useful than growing ordinary flowers.

Basil and Marjoram which can be frost sensitive are perfect examples of herbs to grow indoors in a windowsill herb garden.

Pick and prune every day to ensure fresh supply for cooking and also that they won't get too big. It is also recommended to shower them often if you face very dry climate, but don't be afraid to leave them for a few days as these culinary herbs typically are very tough plants.

When it comes to culinary herbs, a container that can hold 1/2 gallon of soil is a minimum, and if you consume more herbs and want to maximize yield, at least 1 gallon containers are to be used.

With bigger containers you can grow a lot more and if space is of concern this is often the best choice as you can actually grow multiple herbs in the same pot, it will carry more nutrients, can hold water longer, and it typically gives much bigger yield per square foot used compared to smaller containers.

By placing a suitable table by the window you can make your garden considerably bigger and it's also a good move if you don't have a windowsill in the desired window. If you can't find one that fits the purpose, you always have the option of having one made. And if you don't have a window that get a lot of sunshine, you can get growing lights to help those plants get the lighting they need. These are some ways you can get a lot more from your garden and will definitely be worth the effort to set it up, because it is no myth that fresh herbs is by far the best tasting and you will have just about an unlimited supply for your cooking, minor ailments or recreational use.

Mitchell L Williams is an herb garden enthusiast. For more great information on herb gardens, visit http://www.homegrown-herbs.com.



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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fire Pit Cooking Tips

The crackling warmth of a campfire evokes a nostalgia which is longed-for in today's hectic world. But many people are discovering that it doesn't take a trek into the woods or a night of roughing it in order to enjoy the experience of a campfire. In fact, the experience of a campfire awaits just outside the backdoor. All it takes is the simple purchase of a fire pit.

These pits have surged in popularity over the last few years and now include all manner of color and design. They are well-suited for every yard, from the most rustic to the extravagantly luxurious. And fire pit devotees use their pits for far more than just aesthetic value. In fact, many owners have turned these pits into an extension of their kitchens. And these kitchen pit enthusiasts are cooking a delicious array of foods.

However, when cooking on a fire pit, keep in mind a few considerations. First, decide what type of fuel you prefer. You should be able to use either wood or charcoal with your firepit. And with the purchase of a grill accessory, you can turn your fire pit into a large grill. With such an accessory, you can grill a wide variety of meats and veggies over the surface of your fire pit.

Of course, the ever popular camp method of foil-cooking can be used with a home pit. Just throw some meat and veggies into a double layer of foil. Fold into a neat packet and crimp the edges securely. Then just lay your foil packet on top of the smoldering coals, and toss a few coals on top. In a quarter of an hour or so, your tasty, pit-cooked meal should be ready.

And sometimes, sticking to the basics is best. Adults and children alike crave the simple joy of roasting weenies and marshmallows over an open flame. So, scour your yard for some long sticks or simply uncoil some metal coat hangers, and have a go at pit-roasting. Don't forget the chocolate to make s'mores!

These cooking ideas are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the versatility that a fire pit offers a home cook. Besides tasty cuisine, your pit will provide you and your family with memories that will last long after the fire burns out.

Geoffrey F. Moore
Fire Pit
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