Container Herb Gardening: A Growing Trend

Seasons on the Hudson’s container herb garden

Even though I have plenty of garden space, I love the flexibility that containers give me: pots of basil, parsley and rosemary are standard on my kitchen counter all year round. I keep big pots of chives on my front steps for snipping into salads and soups. I have been growing herbs this way with relative success over the years. I wanted to know more though. Should herbs be intermingled? Do some varieties just need their own private pot to thrive? What kind of drainage should pots have? How much water? And sun?

I reached out to Gerald Palumbo, the owner of Seasons on the Hudson in Irvington, NY and Seasons: A Floral Design Studio in Manhattan for the answers.  

Q: What are the biggest myths about container herb gardening? Is it true that you can grow a garden in a vessel as small as a teacup?

A: Myth: herbs will live indefinitely indoors. Many herbs like basil, parsley, cilantro, and dill are annuals and will only do well through one growing seasons. Other herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano are perennials and may live for many years if they are well taken care of. With regard to planting herbs in small containers such as a teacup, keep in mind that the smaller the container the smaller the plant will remain.

Q: What are the herbs that are ideally planted with each other? Which herbs should not be planted together and why?

A: You generally want to plant herbs together that prefer the same light and moisture conditions:  For example rosemary, lavender, thyme, and oregano tend to like drier soil and lots of sun. Herbs like basil, chives, parsley and dill prefer moister soil.  

Q: What are some considerations for containers with herbs which will be kept indoors?

A: With the proper light conditions most herbs can be kept indoors. Frequent cutting of the herbs and regular fertilizing will promote continual growth.

Q: What is the basic care of herb containers for outdoors living in the summer season?

A: When herb gardens are placed outside during the summer, proper watering is crucial. Plants tend to dry out quicker when in containers, especially terra cotta.

Q: What is the ideal container made of for herb planting?

A: I prefer terra cotta for the herbs that prefer a drier soil and I prefer plastic or ceramic containers for the moisture-loving varieties. Good drainage is always important.

Q: What are three rules of thumb for container planting?

A: Choose the proper container with good drainage. Use a good potting soil. Always water your container very well after planting.

Q: For herbs being mixed in container planters, does close proximity impact things like taste and growth?

A: Flavor of the herbs is not affected by how close they are planted to each other. I like to plant the herbs that I like to cook with and it is always nice to have fresh herbs on the kitchen window sill in the winter.

Seasons on the Hudson will host a container herb garden workshop on Sunday, June 19th, at “Celebrate Irvington” where you can learn how to create a beautiful herb garden for your kitchen table, patio, or as a nice gift for someone. The cost is $75 per person and covers the workshop and provided materials for an herb container garden you can take home with you. Timing is flexible. For registration and details visit:


Sunday, 19 June 2016 from 11:00 to 16:00 (EDT)


Seasons On The Hudson – 45 Main Street, Irvington, NY



Contributions made by Sam Donsky

Amelie Michel French Tablecloths – Ridgewood, NJ Pop-Up October 15-18

Amelie Michel linens - tablecloths, pillows, bedspreads and more using Provencal-sourced fabrics which are sewn in the US.
Amelie Michel linens – tablecloths, pillows, bedspreads and more using Provencal-sourced fabrics which are sewn in the US.
On visits to his family’s homestead in Provence, Amelie Michel French Tablecloths owner Michael Newburg and his wife would buy tablecloths from the open air markets. They used them to decorate their organic farm stand in Lyme, CT. The cloths were both beautiful and durable, and their customers wanted to buy them right out from under the produce. Amelie Michel French Tablecloths was born at the farm stand and grew to include surrounding farmers’ markets. The company now travels the US holding pop up sales. 

Amelie Michel ( offers a huge selection of tablecloths, placemats, napkins, kitchen linens, bedspreads, cosmetic bags, organic soaps and more. The company imports beautiful fabrics directly s directly from French textile mills and has them sewn in Fall River, Massachusetts. Amelie Michel welcomes custom orders for table clothes and bedspreads. The company also offers easy-care, stain-resistant jacquards and our acrylic-coated cotton “oilcloths.” The company’s Provencal prints are classic and festive, perfect for adding warmth to holiday celebrations or gift-giving. The company also offers easy-care, stain-resistant jacquards and our acrylic-coated cotton “oilcloths.” All items are discounted.

Ridgewood Pop-Up Sale – Amelie Michel
October 15-18, 10:00AM-5:00PM
The Woman’s Club of Ridgewood, 215 West Ridgewood AVE, Ridgewood, NJ

Upcoming Events @Bibi’z Westwood, NJ



OCT 8:  Wine’down Wednesday at 6:30 pm featuring delicious peach and raspberry infused prosecco courtesy of Fabellini Wines. The event is free of cover charge and ALL wine is 25% off without dinner.

OCT 22:  The Opera is coming to Bibi’z on Wednesday at 6:30 pm. The event will feature a night of fab food and operatic pleasure to benefit Peace4Paws. Tickets are $55 per person including tax and gratuity. Peace4paws is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit public charity based in Northern New Jersey. Since 2007, it has been dedicated to supporting sanctuary and forever homes for the animals retired from work in research and related fields through our foster & adoption program, fundraising events involving music, yoga, animal friendly events & more plus student outreach to kids from kindergarten through college.


Capoeira Classes at Sukha Arts in Harrington Park, NJ

Sukha Arts, located in Harrington Park, NJ, is currently offering a six-week series of Capoeira classes courtesy of master instructor Alex of Arts United Capoeira in Jersey City. If you’re thinking, “I have no idea what Capoeira is or even how to pronounce it,” here’s some quick background information:

Capoeira (pronounced cap-oh-air-uh) is a form of martial arts that originated in Brazil but was heavily influenced by African dance styles. It seamlessly combines elements of music, dance, acrobatics, and fighting in a rhythmic series of quick, complex movements. Although the exact origins of Capoeira is debated, there is evidence of its existence beginning in the 16th century. It was practiced by slaves in Brazil but was disguised as a dance in order to protect those who practiced the martial art from punishment by their captors. Capoeira is most often set to traditional Brazilian berimbau music.

The Capoeira classes at Sukha Arts are held every Thursday evening from 8:00 – 9:30PM. Thursday, March 6 will be the third class. The classes are intimate and geared to the beginner. Alex adeptly conveys the essence of capoeira within the confines of the 90-minute session and tailors the instruction to the participants’ skill levels. I found him engaging, warm and supportive – pushing people to their edge yet keeping the class fun. He welcomes questions about the rich history of Capoeira and answers them with intricate detail. Traditional Capoeira music accompanies the classes, which involve individual and paired movement. It’s an intense, rewarding physical experience and one that combines skill, grace, strength and agility. (Haven’t tried doing a cart wheel since you were ten? No worries. You will be doing them before the end of the class, even if you are taking baby steps to get to a modified version.) The videos below capture portions of the class.

This class was the second class for these female students.

To sign up for the remaining classes, call Sukha at 201.768.2455. The studio, run by the infectiously joyful dance and yoga instructor Christine Chan, is located in Harrington Park at 76 Schraalenburgh Road.

Gluten-Free Italian Dinners Offered at La Riviera Trattoria, Clifton

I received the below invitation from La Riviera Trattoria’s owner, Maria. The last dinner I attended was excellent in terms of quality, quantity and value.  The program is set up with communal tables adding a festive ambiance. Follow the instructions as per below if you are interested in attending and don’t wait. These dinner parties fill up FAST and they are absolutely worth every penny. See you there!


Because of the high volume of people, I can accept a maximum of 55 people each night. PLEASE CHOOSE ONE DATE AND LET ME KNOW YOUR ALLERGIES WHEN YOU BOOK IT. You must reserve first via email and then mail the check to: LA RIVIERA TRATTORIA.  


1st Course (Family style):

Fried Calamari

Stuffed Baby Artichokes

Clams Oreganata



2nd Course (Family Style):

Penne Vodka

3rd Course (Individual):


4th Course (Family style):

Veal Parmigiana

Chicken Milanese

French Fries

Eggplant Siciliana no mozzarella

Basa with baby shrimp in a scampi sauce

5th Course



It will be $50 per person including everything above, sodas, gratuity, and tax.  All liquor will be cash bar. Remember to save up for the products I will be selling. 

Thank you and look forward to our Party!!!!


La Riviera Trattoria

421 Piaget Avenue

Clifton, NJ 07011


Sous Chef Antonio and Sister Maria Carlino, Crafting Italian Traditional Cuisine With Gluten-Free Ingredients at La Riviera Trattoria
Sous Chef Antonio and Sister Maria Carlino, Crafting Italian Traditional Cuisine With Gluten-Free Ingredients at La Riviera Trattoria

A Magical Hour of Christmas – Riverside Church Assembly Hall, Monday, December 23rd

Ornament Graphic

The New York Conservatory will host its debut performance at Riverside Church Assembly Hall on Monday, December 23rd.  The program, “A Magical Hour of Christmas,” will feature beloved music in song and  instrumentals.  Arrive at 7:30 for a champagne reception; the program begins at 8:00pm and features world-renowned musicians including:

Flute/piccolo-player Lule Ballata of Kosovo

Vocalist (Baritone) Ergin Brahimi of Kosovo

Violinist Aleksey Shenker

Vocalist Beata Royzman (Soprano)

Vocalist and Actor Carter Unger

Special Guest Vocalist (Soprano) Sarah Gilbert

Accompanist Gary Norden

Pianist and Vocalist Deborah Greene

When:             Monday, December 23, 2013, Champagne Reception and Registration 7:30pm, Performances Begin at 8:00pm

Where:            Riverside Church Assembly Hall, 490 Riverside Drive (At 120th Street), New York City

Pricing:          Tickets are $100 per person and may be purchased at the door.   For more information, call 201-681-5878.

New York Conservatory Invitation

Julbord Swedish Christmas Feast Celebration at Ikea

Trevlig Helg!    (Happy Holidays in Swedish!)  On Friday, December 13, 2013 Ikea in Paramus, NJ will host a traditional Swedish Christmas Julbord, an all-you-can-eat-buffet at two seatings –  4:30pm-6:00pm or 7:00pm – 8:30pm.

traditional Swedish Julbord Christmas feast
Traditional Swedish Julbord Christmas feast

Adult tickets  $9.99; Children 12 & under $2.49

Adult tickets $12.99; Children 12 & under $4.99

Ikea is also one of my favorite places to pick up stocking stuffers and gifts for friends who enjoy cooking and baking.  Here are some inexpensive and nifty finds for those young and old on your lists, particularly those who are fans of organizing.  From wooden toys to art supplies and soft goods for children to decorative accessories for teens and all types of reasonably priced goodies, jams and kitchen organizers for adults, Ikea has some clever options for last-minute gift giving.

Rajtan Spice Jars, $3.99
Rajtan Spice Jars, $3.99
Wide array of glass storage options for fans of storage, pickling and infused oils and vinegar
Wide array of glass storage options for fans of storage, pickling and infused oils and vinegar
Burken squat jar, $3.99
Burken squat jar, $3.99
Snokul containers with lids, $3.99 - ideal for gifts of toffee and candy
Snokul containers with lids, $3.99 – ideal for gifts of toffee and candy
Tullia children's apron
Tullia children’s apron
Drommar 15 piece pastry cutter set
Drommar 15 piece pastry cutter set
Monstrad baking mat
Monstrad baking mat
gooseberry jam
Gooseberry Jam


100 Ikea Dr, Paramus, NJ 07652

Take the Local Based in Long Valley, NJ: A Celebration of Small Farmers


If you look at the statistics it appears that the days of the American small farmer are numbered.  In 1935, there were just short of seven million farms dotting our nation’s fertile landscape.  Today, that number has dropped to a mere two million.  That decrease doesn’t correspond with a decline in overall food production – on the contrary, we’re churning out more grains, meat, and produce than ever before to feed our growing population.  The difference is that in the past small farmers were the kings of agriculture but now they struggle to compete with the massive enterprises (aka factory farms) that dominate the modern agribusiness scene.

When a small farmer is quashed, we lose a lot more than just a vital fixture in the local community.  We lose access to fresh, locally grown, nourishing and flavorful food.  That farmer’s disappearance is linked to not only loss of economic stimulus to a local community, but has devastating consequences for insects that cohabitate with crops, namely the important honey bee.  And without honey bees, our nation’s entire agri system is deeply and irrevocably impacted.

Take the Local, a start-up in Long Valley, NJ has some ambitious plans to support the Garden State’s dwindling farmer population and the communities it serves.  Created by Anthony and Jonelle Hemsey, the couple drew much of their inspiration from Jonelle’s multi-generational roots in Alberta, Canada cattle ranching.  Jonelle witnessed firsthand just how desperate the struggle has become for small farmers to stay afloat and with Anthony organized Take the Local to support their shared passion for preserving local agri-culture.  Take The Local strives to be more than just a company – they want to encourage a movement to “create innovative, healthy and sustainable business opportunities around local farm economies.”

Take the Local aims to strengthen the connection between local farmers and their communities

In speaking with their founder and director Anthony Hemsey (who happens to be a former ad executive at Deutsch and more recently an EVP at a global software firm), I learned that the Take the Local team view themselves as “half technologists and half foodies.”  Take The Local wants to use modern technologies to connect local farmers with restaurateurs and individual consumers in innovative ways. The company is exploring several different avenues in pursuit of this goal, one of which involves using digital and mobile technology.

Anthony Hemsey, founder and director of Take the Local

An example of this techie approach to food solutions is their FARMventory which is basically a LinkedIn-like platform designed with farmers in mind.  Farmers can use this platform to list and track their inventories in real time as well as highlight the farming practice(s) they employ on their farm. It’s all in an effort to make the process streamlined, transparent, and easier for distributors, restaurants, and general consumers to see what’s available at the point of purchase. Take the Local is also working on something called AisleEatRight, an interactive food shopping platform geared towards people with special dietary needs or restrictions.  Both programs are slated to launch in Q2 2014.

Anthony’s wife, Jonelle Hemsey – Director of Community Events

Take the Local also hosts Supper Clubs which are traveling dinner parties featuring local chefs who create menus using locally sourced food.  These Supper Clubs are all about bringing farmers, chefs, and the community closer together.   Take the Local Winter Supper Club featuring Chef Jessica Geanoules will take place on January 18, 2014 from 8:00PM to 11:00PM in Washington Township, NJ ($100/ticket).  Guests will enjoy an intimate, three course meal of local seasonal fare as well as wine pairing served in a rustic setting (former lumber yard).  Proceeds from the Winter Supper Club will be donated to Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

TTL_KIDS-page-001Take the Local is also gearing up to launch a limited line of first run frozen food developed specifically for kids.  This line has a unique tech spin, featuring packaging iconography that is scannable by smartphones that includes information on the partner farms, interviews/videos, as well as detailed dietary information for concerned consumers.

Some of the “fresh from the farm” ingredients that go into Take The Local’s new frozen food line

Take The Local’s model may be just the ticket for the paradigm shift that needs to take place in order to ensure a healthy and sustainable future. Retail buyers can connect with the Take The Local team by emailing