Eiteljorg Musuem Blog

Eiteljorg Video Series: Want Great Food? Plant an Herb Garden!

by Brian Poonpanij, Kahn's Catering Vice President of Food and Beverage | Jun 09, 2015


Kahn's Catering is the Eiteljorg's exclusive caterer. Please watch the video above to learn great tips on how to grow your own herb garden from Chef Sam, Kahn's Executive Chef. And, Brian Poonpanij, Kahn's Vice President of Food and Beverage also shares some wonderful tips on how to bring more flavor to our food in the blog post below.

So many of our recipes depend on fresh herbs. Fresh herbs impart a flavor that you cannot duplicate with dried herbs. Select the herbs you love, the ones you'll use in the items you frequently cook. Also select herbs that will grow well where you intend to plant them. Check the tag, or with your local nursery to learn where your herbs will grow best.

Whether planting in a garden or into a container, great soil matters. Composting your food and garden waste helps to reduce waste and create a valuable soil amendment.  Soil amendments add nutrients, and help to lighten or drain dense or heavy soils, helping plants to be healthier. Alternatively, you can purchase bagged soils or soil amendments. My favorite brand is Garden Magic, which has a great quality, dark, rich peat that I mix into the soil before I plant any vegetables, flowers, shrubs or trees. (Garden Magic Peat is available at Rosie’s Gardens in Carmel, IN)


When transplanting plants, don’t do it in the heat of day. Evening is a great time to get things planted. Start by preparing a hole about 50 percent deeper and wider than the root ball of the plant you are planting (This is so the plant has great soil into which it can establish new roots). Put some of your soil amendment into the hole, so that when you put in the plant, the top of the root ball will be equal to the surrounding soil. Carefully take the root ball, and use your fingers to loosen it a bit. Set the plant in the hole, and carefully fill a mix of soil and soil amendment back around the plant. Don’t pack the soil too tight as it needs to breath. Lightly water.

Keep in mind your plant will need more attention during the first weeks while it settles in.  Make sure to keep the soil moist while it establishes new roots.

You saw our Chef in the video pinch off the tip of the stem. This helps encourage fuller growth. You can do it when you plant it. Keep an eye on herbs like basil, which will want to flower in warm weather. Don’t let it flower, as flavor diminishes. Just pinch off the flower heads as they appear.

With very little effort, you can get great, fresh herbs, from your own garden. But, if you don’t have the time or space, you can get fresh herbs at your grocery. Don’t skimp, it’s the best way to get fresh flavor in many dishes.


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