Featured Kitchen

Kitchen Herb Garden

Written by Ranae Aspen

Now is the time to think about planting a kitchen herb garden!  During this month, I typically begin to receive seed catalogs and begin plotting my garden for the year.  Herbs are a great addition to any cooks agenda.


I love herbs as they help me reduce sodium in my diet.  My three favorite herbs are oregano, basil and parsley.  You can grow these in small pots and have them in your house year round.  All you need is pots, potting soil, seeds, sun and water. Check out this resource from Oregon State University,  as well as this resource from West Virginia for more tips!

Now that you have an idea of how to grow your kitchen herb garden, let’s talk about how to use your herbs.

Here is a great resource for herbs.  This will tell you how to prepare the herbs for cooking, how to convert dried herbs in a recipe and how to use fresh herbs from your kitchen herb garden.  The best part about a kitchen herb garden is that you have the herbs year round!  

 One of my favorite things to do with my herbs is to make my own oil and vinegar dressings.  There are a lot of different varieties, but here is my favorite:

Fresh Herb, Oil and Vinegar Dressing


1/3 c. olive oil

1/3 c. apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

½ tbs. oregano

½ tbs. basil

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 tsp. honey mustard



In a pint fruit jar, add all ingredients, seal with lid and shake vigorously. If you are making this in a large quantity, you will need to refrigerate with the fresh herbs. The best way is to make just enough for the salad you are using it in.

*Feel free to be creative with the herbs you use.  You may also use your favorite kind of vinegar.  Also, you can use canola oil in place of the olive oil.

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About the author

Ranae Aspen

Ranae Aspen graduated from UNL/UNO with her BS in Consumer Science and Education in 1991and with her Masters of Applied Science in Ag Leadership and Community Nutrition from UNL in December of 2012. Ranae has enjoyed careers in the Health Food industry and in the field of Human Services assisting low-income families with self-sufficiency and nutrition.
She and her husband Dan have two children, Daniel, 15 and Leslie 13. Ranae and family live on a small acreage and they are establishing a fruit orchard, they garden. They share their acreage with their dog Sampson, numerous cats and chickens. Life is busy and Ranae’s passion for sustainable agriculture and nutrition is evident with her blog, Eating Healthy in a Tough Economy, hhttps://raspen2.wordpress.com/ and in her daily life. Julia Child once said, “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” This describes Ranae, her passion runs deep and she loves to share it with the community.