The sun is shining, the weather is warm and I have been bit by the gardening bug. I’ve never had a garden before, but there is something so alluring about growing my own fruits, vegetables and herbs. I even wrote two articles recently about gardening for My Carolina Town magazine. One was about Herb Gardening and the other focused on container gardening.
Growing your own herbs is a great way to get started in gardening. I bought an oregano plant recently and have been using it in my cooking. Oregano is a great herb to start with, not only because it’s fairly easy to grow, but also because oregano is rich in a whole host of nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin A and niacin. Oregano has more antioxidants than any other herb. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, oregano has forty-two times more antioxidant activity than apples, thirty times more than potatoes, twelve times more than oranges, and get this……four times more than blueberries! Blueberries are the antioxidant powerhouse of fruits, so this is absolutely amazing!
The essential oil in oregano contains thymol and carvacrol, which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiparasitic properties. This herb’s oil also has been used as a digestive aid and supports joint function.
Because the essential oils in oregano are most powerful when harvested fresh, it is especially beneficial grow your own oregano rather than buy the herb dried at the grocery store.
Oregano is also versatile in cooking and delicious in Italian and Greek cooking. I use fresh oregano sprigs in roasted chicken, homemade soup and tomato sauce. Try out this recipe for homemade pasta sauce and let me know what you think:
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 (28 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes
- 4 teaspoons dried basil
- 4 teaspoons dried oregano
In a large saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic. When onions are clear, stir in tomatoes, basil and oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Do you grow your own herbs? Do you have vegetable garden? Would love to hear your tips!