Why Grow and Forage Herbs?

Growing and foraging herbs are easy skills to learn that will benefit your preparedness plan, help with your budget, and maximize your health. 

Adding herbs to your preparedness plan only makes sense.  Are you planning to “bug in”? If so, you will want to be able to grow your own food. Growing herbs is an easy way to begin even if you have never planted your own garden.  Herbs can be planted directly in the ground, in raised beds, or in containers.  Many of them can be grown in indoor containers year-round. Are you planning to “bug out”? Then learning how to identify and harvest plants in your area will be crucial.  What can be used raw, what needs to be cooked, and what can be dried for later use are all good questions to investigate now before you find yourself needing this information. If circumstances become dire, having a way to add flavor to your food will help avoid food fatigue (a condition that can develop where, even though hungry, a person may not eat when given the same thing to eat over and over). (1) (2) This can be especially helpful with the young, who may not have yet developed the self discipline to eat if the food is bland.


Growing and foraging herbs can help save you money.  Having fresh herbs in your garden or in a pot means you do not have to buy them from the store.  While the seed is an initial investment (and the soil if you do not plan to use your own), you can easily recoup your money after a few cuttings. Beyond that, all it takes is water and perhaps some fertilizer (which you can make yourself) on occasion. To be even more frugal and self-sufficient, save the seed from your plants to use in your garden the following season.  Foraging herbs is practically free – all it takes is time and effort for you to find and collect them. Be sure to correctly identify any plant, to collect from spray-free areas, and to practice good foraging etiquette. 


Finally, growing and foraging your own herbs is beneficial to your health.  You can be assured of getting chemical free plants (do your research to avoid plants that may have been exposed to chemicals) to use in your teas and your dishes, which will decrease the toxic load on your body and increase your overall health. Discovering new plants to grow and forage broadens your repertoire of edibles and seasonings, adding variety to your diet. This expanded variety can help add vital nutrients to your diet, especially if times get tough or variety is hard to find in the stores (think of the shortages seen in the stores during the COVID era). Furthermore, some gut-health experts suggest that a wide variety of foods is important for a healthy intestinal tract.(3) Finally, many herbs have medicinal value and, if used properly, can help heal you in times of illness.

There are many resources out there for tips and tricks both for gardening and foraging.  My biggest foraging go-to is The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies. This is the book I tend to check first for plant identification and herbal remedy suggestions for just about any condition.  An herbalist friend recommended Wild Remedies: How to Forage Healing Foods and Craft Your Own Herbal Medicine to me last year. It even has some recipes for meals that you can try. The Self-Sufficient Backyard is another book that touches on gardening, foraging, herbs, and SO much more.  There are many more guides out there that are useful, some of which are specific to your own region. So, what is keeping you from starting your herb journey?  


(1) https://www.apetito.co.uk/news/how-to-combat-food-fatigue

(2) https://millerfortexas.com/why-am-i-tired-of-eating-food/

(3) https://www.wellandgood.com/eating-same-thing-every-day/

Note 1: Always be sure to properly identify all plants, forage from areas free from spray, and forage responsibly!

Note 2: This article includes affiliate links for your convenience. As an affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.



Orange Mint