Edible houseplants


Baby basil less than half an inch tall.

I had a Haworthia in a bonsai pot in the kitchen windowsill for, oh . . . six, seven years? I think it had been at least that long since I watered it, too. (Great thing about Howarthias is you can’t tell when they’re dead. They look the same as when they were alive except they don’t flower.)

So I ditched it, refilled the pot with compost, and planted basil. I have half a dozen half empty seed packets of basil kicking around the house. I plant it outside every year and every year I either a) neglect to water it, b) accidentally kick it over while running to get the hose to the fire pit at the back of the property, or c) neglect to harvest it before frost kills it. None of those are issues anymore. Now I can have fresh basil year round. (Ooh, that sounded disturbingly like a commercial, didn’t it?)

Another herb that is not hardy in our climate and which I also plant and don’t get to harvest every year is French tarragon. This year I planted it in a handsome pot and I will (try to remember to) bring it in before frost. It can be a rustic, fragrant centerpiece for the table during the winter months when I have no cut flowers available (yet).

— Amanda


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