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A home herb garden is a beautiful way to add aroma and flavor to your kitchen. It’s easy for any beginner or advanced gardener to get started growing a variety of herbs. Herb gardens are simply a group of live herbs growing in a container of soil. Usually, an herb garden is grown indoors so the freshest seasonings are right at your fingertips. Then you can grab some garnish for a ‘Gram-worthy plating or whip up homemade sauces quickly!
An indoor herb garden is easy to care for because you can keep a close eye on it. It requires just a small amount of maintenance for a big, tasty payoff. Use whatever herbs you want! Common herbs to start your herb garden include basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, dill, and sage. These are used often to cook dishes in cuisines all over the world.
Herb gardens are a great way to save money and waste less, too. Purchasing packs of herbs in plastic packaging is a thing of the past! You can simply pick them fresh from your herb garden whenever you need a little extra something for your meal. A pretty kitchen and tasty food has never been so simple.
Starting an Herb Garden
Starting an herb garden is one of the easiest ways to add extra pizazz to your meals. It’s as easy as picking a sunny spot (like the kitchen windowsill) and selecting your favorite herbs. Avoid invasive herbs like mint, which grows abundantly like a weed. Pre-made kits make starting an herb garden quick, but it’s easy to put your own together with fresh starts or cuttings of plants. You can use herbs already planted in soil and just transplant them to your container of choice. Tacoma Boys offers a wide range of potting soil for your fresh herbs to grow in a raised bed or container.
If you’d rather take it outside or take things on the go, Tacoma Boys’ various ceramic pots are a beautiful option. Our guide on planting herbs in ceramic pots offers some great tips on choosing just the right pot.
How To Care For Herb Gardens
One reason starting an herb garden is so simple is because of the low maintenance required. It’s quite easy to care for your herb garden and doesn’t require extra materials. Some people may opt for plant food or fertilizer, but it’s not necessary.
- Water the herbs once or twice a week, depending on what herbs are planted. To see if your herbs are thirsty, touch the first inch or so of the soil of the plant. If it feels dry, go ahead and gently water the roots.
- Harvest the herbs regularly as you cook and eat. Frequent harvesting is good! It encourages further growth of the plant. Go ahead and dry or freeze the fresh herbs if you won’t use them immediately.
- Sun is important for your herb garden. Some herbs like more or less sunlight, but most will do well with an average of a few hours per day.
- Prune flowers when they pop up. It’s not necessary, but some herbs such as oregano and thyme will sprout flower blooms in the spring and summer. To keep your plant bushy and encourage growth of leaves (the part you harvest), snip the buds.
Cooking with Fresh Herbs
Cooking with fresh herbs is an easy way to elevate many dishes. It’s also super rewarding to reap the benefits of your gardening skills (fork, meet mouth)! Some meals and dishes can be based entirely on an herb, or simply use it as an extra ingredient or garnish.
Persian Herb Frittata by The Kitchn makes great use of fresh dill and other herbs. Just start with Smith Brothers Farms Premium Eggs.
Pesto pasta is made with fresh basil or parsley, lemon, pine nuts, and quality olive oil and grated parmesan cheese. Our favorite ingredients for a pasta pesto include Tacoma Boys Olio Dorato Lemon Garlic Olive Oil and Delallo Organic Farfalle Pasta.
Strip Steak with Chimichurri Sauce by Jessica Gavin with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes by Rachel Cooks. Fresh oregano, cilantro, and parsley come into play in the chimichurri while rosemary perfectly seasons Baby Red Potatoes. We like Prime Grade Top Sirloin for this meal.
Pull-Apart Sour Cream and Chive Rolls by Bon Appetit. Cooking with fresh herbs makes these buttery tolls tasty enough to enjoy as a snack any time of the day. Bob’s Red Mill Bread Flour makes them soft and flaky.
Basil alongside mint or lime is one of the tastiest ways to use fresh herbs in a drink. This recipe uses fresh basil alongside cocktail basics like simple syrup and club soda.
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- Juice of two limes (2 ounces)
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 4 ounces white rum
- Club soda to top
- 2 lime wedges and basil leaves to garnish
- Lightly muddle the basil and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
- Add the lime juice and white rum and shake with ice for 30 seconds.
- Strain into two glasses and fill with club soda to preference.
- Garnish with lime wedges and basil leaves and enjoy!
Get Creative In the Kitchen
Swing by your local Tacoma Boys to get prepped for those fresh and flavorful meals made with your herb garden. No matter what you have planned for the menu, fresh herbs are almost always a thoughtful addition. To stay up to date on insider deals and specials, sign up for Tacoma Boys’ text list. Just text (253) 246-1661 to tell Paul you want to be on the list!
The last frost is melting, flowers are blooming, and it’s just about time to start eating some healthy spring snacks! Spring is a great time of the year to get creative in the kitchen and enjoy light and bright refreshments. And it’s always a good time to look forward to eating healthy. Tacoma Boys is always sure to have a variety of ingredients and seasonal foods for your favorite healthy spring snacks.
Healthy Spring Snacks
Enjoying healthy spring snacks can be as simple as pairing some of Tacoma Boys fresh local seasonal produce with another bite of protein or healthy fats. Something like Tillamook’s Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar, Wild Friends’ Classic Creamy Peanut Butter, or a handful of Tacoma Boys’ Mixed Nuts will round out the snack. It’s a great time to get the kids involved and teach them about healthy eating. For quick packaged (but not processed) bites that the kids can grab themselves, try:
- Delreal Organic Coconut Date Rolls
- Karen’s Freeze Dried Fruit like strawberries and bananas, apples, raspberries, pomegranate, mango, and more.
- Northwest Delights Veggie Crisps
- Field Day Organic Apple Sauce
Local Seasonal Produce
What better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than by enjoying some of the Pacific Northwest’s best fresh seasonal produce? Washington has abundantly great produce all year-round. But when the sun starts shining and spring harvest rolls around, this is especially true.
Cooking with local seasonal produce is a sustainable and helpful way to support your local economy. That’s why Tacoma Boys has all the classic seasonal produce for your healthy spring snacks! Just be sure to browse our weekly specials and stop by regularly to enjoy rotating options. And if you need a guide to the basics of eating local seasonal food, check out our blog all about the topic.
Each spring, the Pacific Northwest and South Sound is ripe with these fruits and vegetables that are great for snacking.
While mushrooms grow abundantly year-round, spring is one of the best times of the year to forage. This means it’s also a great time for mushroom farmers with the likes of cremini, baby bella, chanterelle mushrooms, and more.
Watercress is a leafy green that is in the same family as kale and broccoli. The vegetable is often used as a garnish. But since it’s packed with all the good nutrients of a dark leafy green, it’s become even more popular as a simple salad foundation.
The pitted fruit is not as juicy and more tart than others, making it perfect for snacking on the go. They tend to last a little while too, compared to sensitive soft fruit that’s more prone to bruising and rapid rot.
Cherries usually come into play for Washingtonians near the tail end of spring and beginning of summer. Rainier and Bing cherries are popular varieties that grow in Washington state. Small and sweet, cherries make for easy snacking at home.
The winter citrus fruit stays flavorful and juicy throughout the beginning of spring, too. It’s a great option as a healthy snack because all you need is a spoon and maybe a sprinkling of sweetener if you’d like.
Healthy Snack Recipes
A few of our favorite healthy snack recipes are simple to make and always tasty. Get creative or start here for some ideas for healthy snack recipes.
- Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits by A Cup Full of Sass. We like Ellenos Yogurt and the freshest local seasonal produce. Fruit & overnight oats is another great option.
- Black Bean and Corn Salad by Two Spoons. This recipe can be a snack all on its own or served as a side to sandwiches or tacos.
- Beet and Watercress Salad by My Darling Lemon Thyme. For an extra dose of the spring season, sprinkle in some of Tacoma Boys’ Humble Honey Co. Bee Pollen!
- Homemade Trail Mix recipes by Fresh Off The Grid. This is a great way to customize your snack to exactly what you want. All you need to start is Tacoma Boys Nuts, Seeds, and Dried Fruit.
- Hummus and Raw Vegetables is a simple healthy snack recipe that’s quick to assemble together. Tacoma Boys likes Nomad Food Co. Garlic and Lemon Hummus with fresh snap peas and sliced bell pepper.
Shop For Spring Snacks
Enjoying healthy snack recipes is easy when shopping at Tacoma Boys for local spring produce. You can get all the ingredients you’ll need for a week’s worth of healthy snacking. It’s the perfect time of year to refresh your eating routine and try new fun food! To stay up to date on insider deals and specials, sign up for Tacoma Boys’ text list. Just text (253) 246-1661 to tell Paul you want to be on the list!
We have no doubt that vegetable gardeners are behind the scenes, plotting, planning and even beginning to sow for their summer gardens. February and March are still plenty cold, but our moderate climate allows for some early planting. When you come in and visit us, you’ll see that we, too, have the gardening bug and are filling our lot with everything you need for your summer garden. However, not everyone has quite the same zeal for gardening a large plot. Tilling and sowing and maintenance on a large scale might not be your thing. Enjoy a small scale garden and add beauty that you can savor with a patio herb garden.
A sprinkle of fresh chopped herbs at the end of cooking time elevates a dish from good to spectacular. Why not grow your own herb patch just outside your kitchen window? A patio herb garden grown in containers is just as stunning as a non-edible arrangement. Try some of these combos to add beauty, aroma, and flavor to your patio garden.
Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme
You can use the gardening concept of using a “thriller, filler, and spiller” even in an edible garden, though nothing in this arrangement counts as just a filler, when it is all edible! For this arrangement, place an upright growing rosemary in the center of the pot as a thriller. Sage comes in a variety of leaf colors and acts as a great filler next to the rosemary. Along the outside of the pot, a few thyme plants will fill in the added space and spill over the edges as it grows. This perennial arrangement should provide beauty and flavor for years to come.
Parsley, Marigolds, and Nasturtiums
This is another great, and edible, “thriller, filler, spiller” combination that will wow with its vibrant color. Parsley, at the center of the pot, will provide an upright green spray as a backdrop for sunny marigold plants. Marigold petals add stunning color and a peppery kick to salads.
Plant nasturtiums around the edge of the pot and they will dramatically spill over the edge. Both their leaves and flowers are edible, with a spicy taste akin to arugula. Add the flowers to salads or rice dishes for a pop of color. Don’t be surprised when the hummingbirds constant your patio. They are fond of the nectar from nasturtiums’ vibrant flowers.
For more great edible flowers, check out this list.
Mint, Mint, and More Mint!
Mint gets a bad wrap in the vegetable patch because it is a vigorous grower and becomes invasive, but it lends itself perfectly to container gardening. The plant will be constricted by the pot and will grow lush without taking over.
Spearmint is the most commonly used mint for mixed drinks, especially mojitos. If you only want to grow one mint variety, this is a great standard. The variety of mint flavor profiles and leaf colors is quite diverse. You might find that pineapple mint, chocolate mint, or lemon bergamot mint is more your speed.
If you choose to grow more than one variety of mint, be sure to plant each in separate pots. The flavor profile of each mint tends to get muddled and bland when they are grown together.
Pocket Planters: Not Just for Strawberries
Fill a pocketed, strawberry planter with your most used herbs for a quick one-stop shop, when it’s time to prep dinner. Place an upright herb, such as basil, in the top of the planter and tuck herbs with a trailing habit into the side pockets: oregano, lemon balm, tarragon, rosemary, and thyme are all good options. Just avoid mint in this planting, unless you fancy a pot full of mint.
With a few simple plant pairings in your patio herb garden, your patio can become a sanctuary and a culinary inspiration. Stop in to see which pots and herbs call out to you. Our ceramic pots are always Buy One Get One Free, so you can make a big impact quickly.
For insider tips on how to keep plants and flowers fresh and longer lasting, download Tacoma Boy’s how-to guide here. Then, stay up to date on insider deals and specials when you sign up for Tacoma Boys’ text list. Just text (253) 246-1661 to tell Paul you want to be on the list!
Lemon Blueberry Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Who knew a layered cake could be so easy to make?! This layered blueberry lemon cake is an easy way to spruce up any boxed cake mix. The best part? Homemade lemon cream cheese frosting - yes please! This recipe is a great way to impress family and friends with minimal work - we'd say that's a win! (more…)
Irish Beer Cheese Dip
Looking for an easy and approachable recipe to help celebrate the arrival of the spring season? This beer cheese dip recipe is just for you! Pour over a quality sausage from the Tacoma Boys deli or serve alongside your favorite pretzels. The options are endless.
Roasted Feta & Cherry Tomato Pasta
Just in case you needed another reason to make pasta, this recipe is it! We thought we’d take a spin at the viral roasted feta & tomato pasta utilizing fresh and local produce, Mt. Vikos Feta, and pasta from Tacoma Boys. Nothing beats a quick, easy, and delicious dinner. (more…)
Roasted Potatoes With Herbed Olive Oil And Goat Cheese
Some appetizers garner more anticipation than the main course— And these crispy roasted potatoes certainly live up to the hype! Soft and tender on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside, these potatoes are loaded with flavor. (more…)
Grilled Zucchini & Corn Salad with Goat Cheese
If you need a reason to whip your grill out, this is it! This grilled zucchini and corn salad makes the perfect side dish for any outdoor barbecue. Tossed with simple seasonings, olive oil, lemon, and your favorite goat cheese find at Tacoma Boys for the most delicious finish. Find all of these ingredients at your local Tacoma Boys. Swing by and bring this recipe to life! (more…)