Become a Biodynamic Gardener, and grow your own. Learn about “the buddy system” and “companion plantings” as well as composting and crop rotation. Certain plants benefit by growing near other plants: tall crops can provide a canopy for shorter crops; leeks will repel carrot flies; include flowering herbs and perennials to attract beneficial insects. 
Illustration:  Genevieve Simms 

Become a Biodynamic Gardener, and grow your own. Learn about “the buddy system” and “companion plantings” as well as composting and crop rotation. Certain plants benefit by growing near other plants: tall crops can provide a canopy for shorter crops; leeks will repel carrot flies; include flowering herbs and perennials to attract beneficial insects. 

Illustration:  Genevieve Simms 

Herb Garden Design with Essential Fruits and Vegetables 
Before planning an edible garden, think about the purpose of the garden first. These four window boxes were designed so that the client can easily open her windows and make a selection, or water everything from the convenience of her kitchen. We chose all my client’s favorite herbs and edible flowers: garlic chives, marigolds, parsley, several varieties of basil, creeping thyme, cilantro, and even a couple of strawberry plants.  
Some herbs are also “perennials” and will last year round, while others (like basil) are seasonal. Group seasonal items together so that they are easily replaced with something else once their growing season is complete. 
When replacing plants, don’t forget to replenish the soil, especially if you are planting in window boxes or containers. Valuable nutrients pass through containers quickly, so fresh soil amendments will ensure that the new plants get off to a great start. 
Theme gardens are popular right now. Consider grouping herbs and vegetables together in a raised bed for cooking purposes. If you love Asian cooking, you might want to grow lemongrass, Thai basil, Vietnamese coriander, Chinese eggplant, and dwarf pepper plants (like ‘Baby Belle’). A great way to introduce children to the concept of gardening is to grow something they will also consume. Create a “Lemonade Garden” with all the plants you might use to make fresh lemonade: pineapple mint, orange mint, basil, cucumbers, and lemongrass. Plant a Meyer lemon tree, dwarf blueberry bushes, and strawberries in containers to complete the Lemonade Garden. Don’t forget to make ice cubes with the blueberries and strawberries for the lemonade. 
Get creative. Did you know you can regrow many herbs and vegetables from your own garden, or re-root favorite edibles from the farmers market (celery and mint, for example)? Mother Earth Living provides a great how-to, HERE. Many of these can be started indoors on a sunny window ledge, and then transplanted outside after all danger of frost has passed. 

Herb Garden Design with Essential Fruits and Vegetables 

Before planning an edible garden, think about the purpose of the garden first. These four window boxes were designed so that the client can easily open her windows and make a selection, or water everything from the convenience of her kitchen. We chose all my client’s favorite herbs and edible flowers: garlic chives, marigolds, parsley, several varieties of basil, creeping thyme, cilantro, and even a couple of strawberry plants.  

Some herbs are also “perennials” and will last year round, while others (like basil) are seasonal. Group seasonal items together so that they are easily replaced with something else once their growing season is complete. 

When replacing plants, don’t forget to replenish the soil, especially if you are planting in window boxes or containers. Valuable nutrients pass through containers quickly, so fresh soil amendments will ensure that the new plants get off to a great start. 

Theme gardens are popular right now. Consider grouping herbs and vegetables together in a raised bed for cooking purposes. If you love Asian cooking, you might want to grow lemongrass, Thai basil, Vietnamese coriander, Chinese eggplant, and dwarf pepper plants (like ‘Baby Belle’). A great way to introduce children to the concept of gardening is to grow something they will also consume. Create a “Lemonade Garden” with all the plants you might use to make fresh lemonade: pineapple mint, orange mint, basil, cucumbers, and lemongrass. Plant a Meyer lemon tree, dwarf blueberry bushes, and strawberries in containers to complete the Lemonade Garden. Don’t forget to make ice cubes with the blueberries and strawberries for the lemonade. 

Get creative. Did you know you can regrow many herbs and vegetables from your own garden, or re-root favorite edibles from the farmers market (celery and mint, for example)? Mother Earth Living provides a great how-to, HERE. Many of these can be started indoors on a sunny window ledge, and then transplanted outside after all danger of frost has passed. 

sustainable-sam:

herbalwellness:

Chamomile (Chamaemelum mobile)-
An herb we all know for its calming properties, but has a few more cool things than you may think.
Digestion
Soothes nerves
Sleep/ insomnia
Kidney/spleen/bladder issues
Circulation
Drug withdrawl
Regulates menstrual flow
Uterine tonic
Antispasmodic
Diaphoretic (stimulates sweat glands, good for fevers) 

Planted some of this in a bed, and am going to border part of the Hulgekultur with some as well. After we harvest some lavender, I’ll attempt drying both together for one of my favorite tea combinations.

sustainable-sam:

herbalwellness:

Chamomile (Chamaemelum mobile)-

An herb we all know for its calming properties, but has a few more cool things than you may think.

  • Digestion
  • Soothes nerves
  • Sleep/ insomnia
  • Kidney/spleen/bladder issues
  • Circulation
  • Drug withdrawl
  • Regulates menstrual flow
  • Uterine tonic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Diaphoretic (stimulates sweat glands, good for fevers) 

Planted some of this in a bed, and am going to border part of the Hulgekultur with some as well. After we harvest some lavender, I’ll attempt drying both together for one of my favorite tea combinations.

(via botanikopress)

Inspiration for an Urban Kitchen Garden.

Tucked snugly around a terra cotta garden cloche in raised beds: lettuces, chives, rhubarb, and borage occupy a fairly small space. More ideas for the modern urban kitchen gardener include the use of creeping thyme as a ground cover and growing herbs and other vegetables in pots vertically, by arranging them on a vintage step ladder. The cold frame is built into the eaves of an A-frame structure. Take a look at your own outdoor space, and figure out which areas can be transformed into a more serviceable garden

Photos from the Malvern Spring Gardening Show by Sally Nex.

The Lavender Labyrinth, Cherry Point Farm and Market, Michigan. Upper photo: Barbara Bull. Designed by Conrad Heiderer. Installed 2004. 

Inside the stacked-stone circle that encloses the labyrinth, lies a beautifully-orchestrated sensory bouquet, created with more than fifty kinds of herbs, including several varieties of parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, and calendula. The 26 arbors surrounding the herb garden were built with 52 posts, representing the weeks of the year. Outside the stone circle, rows of lavender planted on mounds of concentric circles, look like waves of undulating sunbeams surrounding the labyrinth. 

The labyrinth was designed in the style of a 12-point vesica piscis pattern (“Flower of Life”), in which the center of two equal circles are off set by a distance equal to the circle radii. The ancient Egyptians practiced sacred geometry based on the shape of the vesica piscis, where it can still be seen today at the Temple of Osiris, Abydos, Egypt. 

Lower photo: Flower of Life, Luca Giarelli / CC-BY=SA 3.0 from the portal of an ancient house, Erbanno, Val Camonica, Italy. 

motherearthnewsmag:


Preserving Herbs for Best Flavor


By Vicki Mattern

What’s the best way to preserve culinary herbs? 
It’s best to dry herbs that have pronounced flavors and tough or needle-like leaves — such as rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, lavender, mint and bay. Freeze herbs with more subtle flavors and tender leaves — such as parsley, cilantro and chervil. Preserving basil is the exception: It dries well, but its flavor is brighter if frozen.

motherearthnewsmag:

Preserving Herbs for Best Flavor

(via uglytomatoes)