Grow Your Own Herb Container Garden

Spring is in full bloom!  Farmers markets and grocery stores are packed with plant starts.  Whether you have never gardened before or are a seasoned pro, growing your own herbs is easy, enjoyable and allows you to affordably add some greens and most importantly FLAVOR to your meals.  Container gardening is manageable, no matter how much or how little space you have - making it the perfect way to get started with a garden.

Follow these simple steps to start your own herb container garden!

1.   Get Starts.

Visit your local market, garden center or best of all – Farmers Market!  Pick out a couple herbs that you like and try a few that you've never had before.  A few of my favorites are Basil, Rosemary, Dill, Parsley, Sage, Thyme and Chives.

2.   Prep your gardening supplies. 

You’ll need some good quality potting soil (try Ocean Forest Potting Soil), containers and a watering can.  Get creative with your containers!  Up-cycle old bins, buckets or even wine barrels!  Just make sure your containers have drainage holes to allow excess water to get out.

3.   Get to planting! 

Fill each container about half way with potting soil.  Gently remove the plant from the container you purchased it in.  Nestle the plant down in the soil then add some more soil to cover all of the roots.  Lastly pack the soil down a bit with your hands and give the plant a good watering.

4.   Pick a sunny spot.

My favorite spots are on sunny windowsills, near my front door and on the back porch – where I can quickly snip some herbs to add to my meals.

5.   Keep plants nourished.

Check your plants daily for watering.  A good way to tell if your herbs are thirsty is if they look wilted.  Or poke your finger a few inches into the pot – if the soil is dry it’s time to water, if it feels damp you can leave them alone for another day.

Keep in mind that the plants won’t have the benefit of all the nutrients from the ground so you will have to feed them every so often to keep them thriving in the containers.  Invest in an organic feed like Big Bloom.

A few tips and tricks:

  • Pinch off the top of your basil plants to keep them from getting too leggy.  Leave the leaves at the bottom as they are what I like to call the plant’s solar panels.
  • When there is no danger of frost, water your plants in the evening.

Questions?  Leave them in the comments!

Five Reasons To Join A CSA

Join A CSA: Typical CSA Produce

For the last three years, I’ve been an avid CSA member and I love just about everything they to offer.  Have no idea what I'm talking about?  Keep reading to learn what a CSA is and five top reasons to join a CSA.

Community supported agriculture, or CSAs as they are commonly called, are organized groups of customers who agree to purchase seasonal “shares” of a farmer’s crops for a pre-determined season.   When you join a CSA, you sign up for regular deliveries of vegetables and in some cases fruit, meat, eggs and/or dairy from the participating farm.  The price tag might seem high, but in my opinion, the investment is absolutely worth it.  Here's why:

1. Know Where Your Food Comes From

Most Americans know next to nothing about where their food comes from or what goes into growing it.  Weekly visits to the CSA provide a chance to get to know the head farmer, tour the growing fields, and sometimes even work at the farm (i.e. work-share programs).

2. Experiment with New Produce

CSAs grow local, seasonal produce, some varieties of which you may never have heard of, seen, or used.  By joining a CSA, you always get a variety and are given the opportunity to experiment with different fruits and vegetables, including things like celeriac, kohlrabi, and parsnips.

3. Access to Fresh, Seasonal, Local Vegetables

With a CSA, everything you get will likely be grown within close proximity to your home and picked when ripe, not frozen or chemically-treated to prevent spoilage and trucked across country before getting to you.

4. Support Local Farmers

In the age of large-scale, commercial farms, the small-scale local farmers are at a major disadvantage.  By partnering with a farmer through a CSA, you are financially supporting the farm throughout the entire current growing season.

Additionally, the CSA model is built on the concept of shared risk.  Typically, members pay up front for the season and the farmers work to provide an abundant box of produce each week for the duration of the CSA.  This notion of shared risk is part of what creates a sense of community among CSA members and between members and farmers.

5. Protect the Environment

On average, food travels 1,500 miles from the farm to your plate, requiring high fossil fuel consumption and leaving a large carbon footprint in its wake.  By supporting local agricultural, you are decreasing the agricultural demand on fossil fuels for transportation.  Also, although many CSAs are not certified organic due to the hefty price tag associated with certification, most use few, if any, chemicals in their growing process.  Ask your farm what their growing practices are (and any other questions about how they operate!) before you sign up.

Join A CSA: Typical CSA Produce


Want to find a CSA in your area?  Check out, which has a great database of regional CSAs.  The harvest season is starting, so now is the time to get signed up!