Home / Herbs & Salads Info

Call us a little nerdy, but we like to get to know our herbs and salads. Each has an interesting history. Here's some info about what's in our starter kit. More seed info when we add a few more varieties to the shop.

Cress (Lepidium sativum)

    History

    Cultivation of this species, which is native to Southwest Asia (perhaps Persia) and which spread many centuries ago to western Europe, is very old. Xenophon (400 BC) mentions that the Persians used to eat this plant even before bread was known. It was also familiar to the Egyptians and was very much appreciated by the Greeks and Romans, who were very fond of banquets rich in spices and spicy salads.

     

     

    Species

    The genus Lepidium is made up of about 150 species - quite a lot of cress!

    Usage

    As a medicinal plant, it is considered to have antiscorbutic, diuretic and cooling properties. 

    Cultivation

    Growing cress in the UrbiPod is very easy. Cress shoots should appear within 3 days and a full crop ready for harvest in about 7 days. Enjoy whilst fresh. Once harvested cress will not grow back, so its time to use the coir and Pod for more cress or another herb. 

    Culinary

    Widely used in all manner of foods and dishes. It has recently become a must have addition to salads, soups and seafood to add a touch of spice. It is also eaten as sprouts, and the fresh or dried seed pods can be used as a peppery seasoning.

    Rocket (Argula)

     

    History

    The proper name is Arugula and it is one of the nutritious green-leafy vegetables of Mediterranean origin.

    Species

    There are up to 20 known varieties of rocket, the two main ones available in Australia are simply 'rocket' and the hardier punkier sounding 'wild rocket'. The UrbiPod has rocket. We can go wild later. 

    Cultivation

    Fast growing. In general, arugula grows to about 60-90cm (2-3 feet) in height with creamy-white edible flowers. In the UrbiPod Its leaves can be ready for harvest within 15 days of sowing the seed. Enjoy.

    Uses 

    It is a very low calorie plant - 100g of fresh leaves contains just 25 calories. Nonetheless, it has many vital phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals. 

    Culinary

    When young, leaves are very mild but the "spiciness" intensifies with age. The edible creamy white flowers have deep purple veins which eventually produce thick seed pods and can also be used as a garnish.

    Basil (Ocimum basilicum) 

    History

    The "King of Herbs" . Not from Italy as you may think. It has a rich history - from being at Jesus’ tomb to belonging to the devil. Either love it or hate it – nothing in between! 

    Species

    There are more than 40 known varieties to choose from. To help narrow your selection, determine how you will use the basil: as an ingredient in food or drinks, as a garnish, or to make a year’s supply of pesto.

    Cultivation

    Harvest aggressively to stimulate more growth.

    Uses 

    Fly repellent. Crush a leaf and rub on skin as mosquito repellent. Historically used as a sedative, an aid to digestion, bath vinegar or antiseptic. 

    Culinary

    It is one of the few herbs that increases its flavour when cooked. For best results add at the very end of cooking. Perfect for fresh salads. Add to a calabrese salad for a taste of Italy! 

    Oregano (Origanum vulgare) 

    History

    Called “Joy of the mountain” by ancients Greeks, its popularity in the US began when soldiers returning from WWII brought back with them a taste for the “pizza herb”. 

    Species

    Did you know it's part of the mint family? There are between 3 to 4 dozen species. From the most famous “Italian Oregano” to the almost unknown “Bristol Cross”. Perfect to mix all together!  It is native to temperate western and southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region. 

    Cultivation

    Low-maintenance herb that loves the sun - so will grow well under the UrbiPod's LED lights. After growing to 10 cm (4 inches), pinch / trim to encourage more growth.

    Uses 

    Used for sore throat, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, and nervous system. Believed to have a possible role in prevention of cancer due to being rich in antioxidants. 

    Culinary

    The flavour is stronger when dried than fresh. Oregano can become overpowering and bitter if too much is used on foods with mild flavour. Taste as you go.