Plant Life – in the garden with Evie

My name is Evie Toombes, I've been writing since I was 12 years old when I set up a Facebook page to blog about my medical conditions and para showjumping journey. Since then, at the ripe age of 17 I've discovered a pretty strong, ever growing love for veggies and plants - especially in relation to their health benefits. Read on for Evie’s second BOL guest blog…

I’m back! We’re in the midst of a wonderful summer, some delicious new additions to the BOL range being released and this gorgeous weather I’ve been feeling really inspired to turn my hand to some gardening. And what better way to make use of your garden and the glowing rays of the sun than to grow some herbs to accompany your favourite plant based BOL meals!?

If you’re wondering whether this is for you, here’s a few things to know..

  • Herbs are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, perfect for supporting your general health alongside a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
  • Fresh herbs are a great addition to meals for an extra boost of flavour to accompany almost any dish, and with growing your own you’ll be sure to always have fresh flavour at the ready.
  • #dontwastecreate is BOL’s way of inspiring us to utilise the resources we already have for another use. BOL’s salad jars are the perfect size to grow small bundles of herbs.
  • Herbs produce a wealth of flavour and scents to stimulate your senses, making them a great way to destress after a busy day- I enjoy gardening as a mindfulness activity which really lifts my spirits and helps me to destress and refocus.
  • It’s so convenient! Fresh herbs mean you’ll never be short of flavour options and there’s no need to run to the shops and continually re-buy plastic packaged herbs for single use. 

If you’re looking to keep things simple, then buying them ready to use and living is a great way to start. Most supermarkets, green grocers and farmers markets sell a variation of potted herbs for under £2. If you’re a little pushed for time this is perfect as you have the luxury of beginning with a thriving plant that you can begin enjoying and maintaining immediately. 

Or, you can join me and start from scratch with these four easy steps.

  • Pick the herbs you’d like to grow and purchase the seeds for it- it won’t break the bank!
  • Fill your container or pot up to the 3/4 mark with a nutrient rich soil, this can be bought at most garden stores. You’ll want to make sure your container has holes at the base so the plant can drain- just like humans, what goes into plants must come out! If your planting outdoors, be sure your container is sturdy enough to withstand harsh weather.
  • Sprinkle a few seeds evenly onto the soil before covering with a finer layer of soil (roughly 1cm thick) so the seeds are no longer exposed but still sit comfortable near the top.
  • Place in a sunny environment, for indoors try on a windowsill and spray with water as and when the soil begins to dry. Indoor herbs tend to dry out faster than outdoor grown, and of course when there’s more sunlight they can dehydrate a little faster which is something to be mindful of.

So, you know how to get started, but what to grow?! I’ve rounded up some herbs with a few pros and cons, alongside my recommendation of a BOL to pair your creation with- just as an incentive and to get your taste buds tingling!


 

Personality

Timescale

Goes with…

Use for…

Basil

-Requires  around 8 hours of sunlight to thrive

-Best grown I the summer when there’s no risk of frost

8-14 days

Perfect for BOL’s smokey tomato and red lentil super soup or Sicilian Veg Pot.

Blitz up a homemade pesto, sprinkle over bruschetta or serve with fresh tomato pasta. Anything with tomatoes or Italian inspired works beautifully.

Parsley

-Best grown indoors

-Low maintenance

3+ weeks

Pairs beautifully with BOL’s Tomato and Lentil Ragu Linguine.

Another perfect herb for pesto, topping salads and soups. You won’t be short of ways to use it!

Chives

-Thrives in moist soil and light shade.

-perfect for a growing indoors on a windowsill.

2-3 weeks

I enjoy chives on pretty much anything, especially BOL’S salad jars.

Try roasting baby potatoes or any in season veg in fresh chives for an extra flavour boost.

Coriander

-Needs full sun (ideally)

 

2-3 weeks

I enjoy coriander on pretty much anything, especially BOL’S salad jars- my favourite being the Mexican salad.

Team with Cumin for endless Indian dishes, or roast with garlic alongside your favourite veg.

Oregano

-Should be started from indoors

-Dries well for longer term use

5-10 days

I love a hint of fresh Oregano with BOL’s Med roasted veg pot.

Great for Greek and Italian dishes, perfect for ratatouille.


I’ve been told (and hope it’s true) that keeping a herb garden is a really simple hobby to take up that anyone can do- whether you have a huge garden or a spare window ledge, you can do it! I’ll be testing this out for the next few weeks and will be sure to report back. If there’s one thing eating BOL has taught me, it’s that wonky veg tastes amazing- so I’m okay if my plants are a little limp or odd to begin with, perhaps I could bring wonky herbs into fashion!

Who wants to join me? Let me know if you too begin to grow a herb garden too, I’d love to see your plant based creations online- let’s see if we can grow some flavour forests (or I call them, herb gardens) this summer!

To check out Evie’s other guest blog, head to: http://www.bolfoods.com/plantlife/meet-plant-based-para-rider-evie-toombes