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Hydroponic Herbs


Perhaps you’ve noticed Living Herbs in your local grocery store. They’ve become quite popular — as have hydroponic herbs. They are super handy to have especially during chilly months or if you’re not inclined to plant and grow your own herbs.

My Mountain View CA farmers market has a delicious variety of hydroponic herbs. I use the basil regularly. It sits on my window sill, ready to pluck the leaves for bruschetta or add to my chilled asparagus salad.* Convenient!

Hydroponic herbs last for weeks. They come in plastic pouches of sorts, along with their wet roots. To keep the herbs fresh, place them in a large glass (or vase, as I do) and fill with water to the top of the roots. No need to change the water, just keep the roots submerged. As the days go by, the roots won’t look as appealing as the photo above, but that doesn’t affect the flavor or vibrancy of the herb.  Note: If you need lots of herbs, basil pesto for instance, buy big bunches of regular basil.

And now hydroponic herbs are table-side in a Chicago restaurant!

  farmers market hydroponic herbs

*  To make my Italian-style asparagus salad (or broccoli salad or…),
click on Veggie Ice Plunge here.


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  1. Posted April 5, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Rita- I’ve bought the Living Herbs but thought the dirt was too ‘dirty’ in the kitchen. The vase is a brilliant solution, looks pretty and is convenient! Did I miss the instructions to do this with Living Herbs?

    • Posted April 5, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      OKAY! I just bought two Living Herbs oreganos in the grocery store. And… they are NOT hydroponic. Rather, tiny bunches of herbs in a bit of soil. Sooo, I put one of them in a small glass of water, along with the soil of course. In a couple days I’ll compare it to the other one that’s in the fridge in it’s original packaging (as it says to do on the label). Results: BLAH. Won’t buy these again

  2. Meghan
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Not sure if anyone else has been frustrated by these dying prematurely but if you have here’s the solution I’ve had success with! I am a weekly buyer of the store bought hydroponic herbs and was consistently disappointed because if I didn’t use them within a day or two they would start to die. One day I noticed a huge plant growing in a large clear jar at my mothers house. She found the secret to keeping them alive and thriving; in a wide mouth container keep the roots “just” covered with water and spread out the stems, so they get plenty of air flow – it really extends the life!

    • Posted April 5, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Yes Meghan! That’s exactly what to do. Here our water is “hard”, and my farmers market grower says that’s good — the more minerals the better.

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