Spice Up Your Herb Garden

Whether tucked in a windowsill or planted right in the backyard, every home should have an herb garden. Cultivating herbs is a rewarding hobby for people of all ages. Kids particularly love watching tiny seeds grow into full-sized plants, but gardening is shown to increase happiness in adults as well. One of the perks of an herb garden is that the fun doesn’t end when the plant is full-grown. Basil, mint, and oregano are common to find, easy to grow, and so tasty when added fresh in almost any recipes. However, it’s entirely possible to have an herb garden that’s unique and exotic without spending too much time tending to your plants.

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Za’atar is uncommon but extraordinary addition to any herb garden. Originally from the Middle East, this herb thrives in direct sunlight and doesn’t need too much water. It’s hardy enough to grow in a variety of climates all year long, but tolerates dry weather better than constant rain. The plant can grow happily in a pot or windowsill planter box, but Za’atar’s bright green color, delicious fragrance, and resilient qualities also make it an excellent addition to a drought-tolerant landscape.

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The leaves can be collected at any time throughout the year, but you’ll get a bountiful harvest twice a year–once at the end of spring, and again at the beginning of autumn. After harvesting, the leaves can be dried for a spice blend or chopped and used fresh. Za’atar has a strong, earthy flavor that is both unique and versatile. It’s most commonly used to season middle eastern breads, meats, vegetables, and dips, but it can easily be incorporated into recipes from all over the world.