Urban (or Dorm) Gardening: Make Friends and Go Green!

Looking for a new way to go green and make friends? Why not try growing your own plants and herbs! Many schools have community gardens where you can volunteer to help perform general maintenance in addition to growing your veggies, plants and herbs. If you attend school in a city, there’s a good chance they have their own up-and-coming urban garden. If not, do some research of the surrounding area – it’s likely there is another one nearby! Also, be sure to take advantage of local food co-ops – at your school or in the vicinity – where you can buy local and often organic fruits, vegetables, and other groceries.
urban garden

So why do we love the idea of gardening so much?

  1. There are tons of different kinds of plants and herbs that can be grown right in your dorm or apartment!
  2. Herbs are a great way to add flavor to your cooking.
  3. Plants are known to improve air quality (yay for health benefits!)
  4. There are plenty of DIY herbal remedies to help treat things like trouble sleeping or skin blemishes.

Urban Gardening 730x200

 

Ready to explore your green thumb? Check out some of our favorite herbs below.

Herb Cheat Sheet:

Peppermint:

  • Adds extra flavor to a variety of recipes
  • Aids in digestion and helps relieve stomach pain
  • Helps with relaxation and sleep

For a healthy, home-made tea recipe, try YumUniverse’s Fresh Peppermint Tea!

Lemon Balm

  • Helps with digestion and stomach pains
  • Provides relief for headaches and toothaches
  • Aromatic scent is known to be calming
  • Perfect flavoring for ice cream, fruit dishes, and candies

Plus, if you like a little extra sweetness in your tea, you can add a couple of Lemon balm leaves to your Fresh Peppermint Tea that we linked above!

Basil

  • Delicious addition to tons of recipes (margherita pizza, anyone?)
  • Easy to grow right from your dorm room windowsill
  • Did we mention it’s a delicious addition to tons of recipes?

Herb Examples

 

Calendula

  • Beautiful, vibrant flower – traditionally used for alter decorations in India
  • Great garnish for soups and stews
  • Anti-septic and anti-fungal
  • Treats acne and dry skin

For a terrific acne-calming remedy, check out Mightyherbs’ Calendula Cream recipe.

Lavender

  • Flowers attract bees and butterflies, while deterring pests like fleas and flies
  • Relaxing scent that’s great for soaps and lotions
  • Tasty addition to fruit salads, jellies, and chicken dishes
  • Helps with sleeping

Our favorite recipe for lavender? Cookies.

Feeling inspired to try out some herbal recipes or try your hand in the garden? Look into local co-ops and community gardens and get involved! It’s a great way to expand your horizons and gain some awesome experience…and new recipe ingredients for dinner!

Written by Guest Blogger, Ilana S. of Rutgers U 

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Are you a gardener, have a favorite herbal recipe or involved with a co-op!? Share your experiences and tips with us @BNCollege.

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