I’ve always said that the best bang for your buck if you want to grow just a little bit of your own food is to grow herbs. Here’s another good reason to grow your own. According to the Chicago Tribune, the USDA has found an alarming number of unapproved pesticides on 44 percent of the cilantro it tested. That’s almost half of the cilantro that was randomly tested.

Ninety-four percent of all the cilantro tested had some sort of pesticide residue on it (approved or unapproved). If you’re concerned about pesticides on your food, you could purchase cilantro from a trusted organic source or you could grow you own from organic seed. It’s very easy.

This video from eHow has some tips on growing cilantro, but make sure you read my additional tips after the video.

How to Grow Coriander/Cilantro —powered by eHow.com

In the spring and fall, cilantro can last many weeks without going to seed, but in the late spring and summer when the days are long, cilantro plants go to seed within three to four weeks after maturing. To solve this problem, you can plant new seeds every three of four weeks so you can have a continuous supply of fresh cilantro.
  1. Plant your first batch of seeds, but leave enough area unplanted so you can plant two more plantings (or have three separate pots if you're doing the cilantro in containers).
  2. About three weeks after your first planting, plant a second batch of seeds.
  3. Three weeks later, plant your third and final batch of seeds.
  4. At this point, your first batch of cilantro should be ready to harvest and will go to seed in a week or so. When that happens, simply allow the plants to go to seed to harvest the coriander seeds or pull them out and replant new seeds in their spot.
If you’re looking for some recipes to use that fresh, organic cilantro, check out these recipes from the MNN archives:

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

34 unapproved pesticides found on cilantro
44 percent of the cilantro samples tested had residue from at least one unapproved pesticide. What's the solution? Grow your own.