A couple of years ago I started trying to be healthier. Thanks to my Aunt Mary of Mahaffy Fitness I started working out daily using the Beachbody 21 Day Fix Program and following its nutrition plan. As I experimented with the 21 Day Fix recipes, I discovered a lot of them called for fresh herbs. There was the salsa recipe that called for fresh cilantro, the pizza recipe that called for fresh basil, and a salad that called for fresh mint.
Don’t get me wrong, I had cooked with herbs before; however, I always turned to dried herbs and spices. They were just easier. Each time I tried one of the above recipes I had to go track down the fresh herb at Wal-Mart and paid $2.38 for a small container that would go bad after a week, even though I often only needed a couple of cuttings.
Why Would I Buy Fresh Food from Wal-Mart?
At this point, you might be asking why I shop at Wal-Mart, especially for fresh food? Well, I live in a small city that has a Super Wal-Mart and a Gordy’s Market. While I would love to avoid Wal-Mart for my shopping, the selection at Gordy’s is limited and I don’t enjoy driving 45 minutes one way to get to a larger grocery store.
I have found that Wal-Mart often has a better selection of fresh produce and it will last longer than produce purchased at Gordy’s. I do get nervous about what gets added to the produce to make it last so long, but having a growing family I can’t afford to have produce go bad after two days. I think this is one of the main reasons I am motivated to get our outdoor garden planted this year.
Ok, back to my story…
After buying packaged fresh cut cilantro and having the remaining cuttings go bad after a week, I was not excited to buy another container the next time I wanted to make the 21 Day Fix Salsa. That is when I found a short rack of fresh herb plants next to the tomatoes. I was intrigued, especially since they were only $2.98, almost the same price as the small containers I had been purchasing. The cheapskate in me realized that as long as I kept the plant alive long enough to make two batches of the salsa I was ahead money wise.
I pulled the trigger and bought a fresh cilantro plant. This plant was placed on our kitchen windowsill and lasted a couple of months before I killed it off. Even though it didn’t last very long, I was excited, as I saved money over buying the individual containers. I’m not sure if my wife was as excited, as she isn’t a big fan of cilantro.
My next purchase was Basil. This plant lasted a lot longer and we still have it today. I enjoyed using fresh basil on the 21 Day Fix pizza recipe, and I love the smell of the basil on my fingers after I trim back the plant. I do get frustrated with myself, as we have made homemade pizza a few times in the more recent months and I forget to add the basil, even though it is right in my face above my kitchen sink.
Based on my success, I couldn’t stop after two… I add a parsley plant; however, this one doesn’t get much use. It is still hanging in there on the windowsill but is feeling neglected.
My most Recent Wal-Mart Herb Purchase
My most recent Wal-Mart herb plant purchase was Mint. I needed this for a salad, but I had forgotten how much I enjoyed mint. Since the mint plant joined my windowsill garden, I have added mint to salads and occasionally I will add some to my water or just grab a leaf and chew on it for a while. This has brought back memories of picking wild mint at the Boy Scout Camp, Camp Castle Rock (now Ed Bryant Scout Reservation), that I attended as a youth. We used to walk around chewing on fresh mint or adding it to the water to mask the iron taste.
Life After Wal-Mart Herb Plants
Since buying the herb plants at Wal-Mart, I have had high hopes to expand my selection and the quality of my herb plants. I received some seeds as a Christmas gift and attempted to grow some plants from seed; however, I failed due to what I am calling bad soil. As we plan out our vegetable garden, I am trying to determine how I should incorporate herb plants. I am still trying to figure out the best way to do this, as I want access to them year-round, and the Wisconsin winter weather makes this a tad difficult. I might have to keep them in containers outside in order to be able to easily bring them back inside when the temperatures start dropping.
So, thanks Wal-Mart for helping me enjoy fresh herbs!