City Garden: Sage

There's no better time to talk about sage than in November. Its fresh woodsy taste is a mainstay in Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes, because it pairs well with warm, hearty ingredients. And stuffing. That, too. Growing your own is easy and more economical than buying it from the grocery. For less than the price of one of those plastic containers holding a few yellowed, wilted stems of sage, you can pick up a packet of seeds or a starter plant from your local nursery.

-Sun: Sage thrives in sunny spots. It will do well through the winter placed in a sunny, south-facing window, if you have one.

-Water: Like rosemary, sage likes to keep its feet dry. Frankly, who doesn't? Line the bottom of your pot with rocks before adding the soil, to allow for proper drainage. Water your sage plant once or twice a week, only when the soil is starting to look a little dry. If the leaves start to yellow, it's a sign that you're overwatering.

-Care: Besides ensuring the proper sunlight and water, sage doesn't need much help. When it starts to seem a little too large, cut it back. Cook with some of the fresh leaves within a few days; air dry the rest by laying them out on a plate in a dark, cool spot (a cupboard shelf works well for me) and turning them over every few days until dried.

-Uses: Pair this herb with anything hearty--put a few sprigs in the pan while you roast potatoes, drop them in vegetable soups, add them to bread as you might add rosemary, include it while making homemade vegetable broth, and definitely put it in your stuffing at Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to trying this butternut squash pasta sauce and vegetarian bean bowl this season. (Meat eaters: I can't advise you much, but I hear that it's an excellent accompaniment to many types of meat and cheese. A quick Google search will point you on the right path).

Do you have any stellar sage recipes? If so, send them my way! You can find more tips on growing a city garden, here.