Curry

Curry plant or Helichrysum italicum is a member of the daisy family. They will eventually turn into a cute little bushy shrub and I cannot wait. Although they smell like curry powder they are not like curry.

This plant does have medicinal properties, although when I bought it I’m not going to lie- I instantly thought about the spice curry. The medicinal properties are: anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, moisturizer, fungicidal astringent, antibacterial and antiseptic. That’s a lot but that’s what amazed me.

This is not the only things that this is good for. No, that’s not all. It is also good for fevers, burned skin, healing wounds, internal bleeding and coughing. That’s just from the oil.

The flowers allegedly go well in herbal tea. This is also useful as a culinary herb and seems to go paired well with almost any type of dish. I am actually pretty excited knowing that there are so many uses for this herb. I am slightly disappointed that I can’t just throw it in a pot and boom curry, but that was wishful thinking anyway.

They flower from June to September but can be harvested year round and are a perennial. The taste is allegedly bitter and I cannot wait to find that out myself.

The curry spice is a mixture of different spices but this is a plant and allegedly can taste pretty intense. Excessive curry consumption should be avoided because it could cause stomach problems.

Not going to lie when I hear ‘excessive’ curry use, I think that maybe someone ate two spoon fulls of curry every day and it caused issues but they don’t explain further. So, the world may never know.

The leaves loose a lot of their aroma after flowering but is best known for it’s medicinal uses. Some sites even mention that it assists with stress and mild depression, I don’t know if I would use that as a fact though. Who knows what will help someone who is depressed, and I can’t contribute a recovery or even an improvement to one singular herb even if it does have symptom relieving properties.

Some fun facts about curry:

  • This plant is primarily used in perfumes. I had no idea that this plant was widely used in perfumes, but it is.
  • This plant is technically not a shrub but a subshrub and it doesn’t get more than two feet tall. I mean, sure I’m trying to break records but you know how it is.
  • This isn’t typically something you find in a grocery store
  • Again another one that is drought tolerant and requires little to no care or watering
  • A natural pest repellent
  • Deer resistant

I am really excited about this plant and can’t wait until I find more herbs to share with everyone.

Until Next time!

Golden Oregano: Aureum

Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’, also known as Golden Oregano, is a perennial that is grown in zones 4 to 9. These plants are not as invasive as other oregano varieties but still spready quickly and are fast growers. Usually they don’t get larger than three feet tall and can be an excellent ground cover.

They can be an evergreen in warmer climates, but still come back in cooler zones if they do not stay perky all year long. These plants are allegedly deer and rabbit resistant. I can confirm that they have the same great taste and smell as other oreganos, but it’s not as strong as their relatives. I haven’t really noticed much of a difference myself but I just planted this herb and it may change as it ages.

Now, we already have one successful oregano growing in our fairy garden. We were sure that it died during the harsh winter this year, but it didn’t. In fact, I feel as though the snow just made it stronger. That’s why we decided that adding different types of oregano would be beneficial to our forest.

Aureum enjoys full sun but can grow in partial shade. We planted this in several places in between our berry bushes and trees. They are still young and they are a nice contrast to the other greens that we have planted.

It blooms in the middle or late summer and attracts butterflies and other pollinators. I attempted to get more than one source but they all seemed to say the same things.

  • This is an ornamental plant
  • Aureum has little to no culinary value and that there are other oreganos that have a stronger flavor than this one. That only made me thing that this might be beneficial for people who have sensitive stomachs. I have not investigated this, it was only a thought.
  • It is edible
  • Aureum enjoys full sun and can be used as a lovely ground cover
  • The leaves are golden and their flowers are purple or pink

I wish I had more information, but I will show off the growth of this perennial as it continues. We haven’t used a lot of the herb since we have gotten it but as we use it in our recipes we’ll let you know if there are any true differences. Once I get more information I will put it out there, but there isn’t a lot to go on when it comes to Aureum or Golden Oregano.

Plant Names and Classifications

Are you like me and didn’t know that common plant names are not the best way of identifying plants because a lot of the common names get confused or could overlap with others? I mean there are trees that are called oak trees that are not in the same group. It’s just a bunch of craziness and I just want to make it clear: up until this point I was entirely ignorant. I’m cool with it.

Now there is a science to plant classification and in that science there are two categories that we should be aware of and that is the plant taxonomy and plant systematic systems. We used to go by common names but it often became confusing  for a lot of people. Today we classify all plants based on their genetic and evolutionary characteristics, this means that the plants are grouped based on who their common ancestors are.

In horticulture they are primarily concerned with the last three levels of classification: Species, Genus and Family.

The species is the most basic level of classification and below this there can be many subspecies. These plants are usually the most closely related to one another and they can interbreed freely.

The Genus is a group of related species.

The Family is the general group of Genus who are all related by a common ancestor.

There are two important flowering plant families that my professor made sure that we covered. Frankly, I’ve already learned more than what I knew before and I am pleased, but we’re only part of the way through so I’ll continue to let you know what I know or I am learning.

First is the dicot family, which is a flowering family with two cotelydons (embrodic leaves). Just to let you know those cotelydons are inside and this is the largest of the two families. There are over 200,000 types and they are everywhere. They are roses, myrtle trees and so many more.

The second flowering family is the Monocot. They are grass like flowering plants that only have one cotelydon per seed. In agriculture the majority of biomass is created through monocots. You might find a monocot as wheat, rice, bamboo, sugar cane, forage grasses and many others. This family includes many bulb flowers like daffodils, lilies, and iris. They are not simply flowers and grasses but also tumeric, garlic, and asparagus.

Both are angiosperms and very popular. I really enjoy these classes and can’t wait to learn more. How many more things am I going to learn? Who knows but I can’t wait.

Although this information may not be useful right away I am certain being able to identify plant families will be useful in the future. These pictures are by a wonderful lady named Vivian Morris.

Plant names are identified not my their family but by the genus and species. Common names change by region and can be confusing because a rose is a rose and can be any different species of rose if you are looking for a specific type. Although common names can be misleading botanical names are not. The Botanic name is a Latin name accepted world wide.

For example: Magnolia alba or Ligustrum album.

Until next time…

Rosemary Indoors

I am having a lot of fun with rosemary. It is one of my favorite herbs to grow in our garden. I started rosemary in 2020 and I fell in love. Have you ever just taken your face and moved your face between their leaves? It is the greatest experience.

Also this is another perennial for my area. One thing I learned is that perennial doesn’t mean that it will live forever. It only gives the promise of three or more years. The more you know, right?

Rosemary is evergreen that boosts the immune system and helps blood circulation. This plant is high in antioxidants, improves digestion, enhancing memory and concentration, neurological protection, protection against macula degeneration, and many other amazing uses. They have this disclaimer that says: do not bulk up on rosemary and try to just eat all of it. Eating rosemary in bulk can put you into a coma and many other not so cool side effects.

This has been one of the easiest herbs that I have been able to grow. Rosemary can get between 1.5 and 3 meters tall- which is awesome. It can be used as an anti fungal remedy as well.

Fun Fact: this is a beneficial herb to help prevent scurvy and certain cancers.

I love that it is one of the many herbs that grows well in containers. I enjoy the smell and that is an evergreen. It is so pretty. Smells good, tastes good in food and has all of the benefits a humble farmer could want. It makes an excellent border shrub and repels certain insects.

I have dried out a large amount of rosemary and I am really excited about grinding it down. I have been making it into a powder and putting them in cork bottles. One day I plan on doing a lot with it. Unfortunately, my plants aren’t producing large quantities of rosemary just yet.

I have been thinking of it’s uses because I do not use powdered rosemary for cooking. Who knows, but the uses are endless.

Not recommended for women who are pregnant, nursing or wish to become pregnant. If you are taking medications that are prescribed or provide long term medical care always consult a physician before adding rosemary to your diet on a regular basis- as in more than 4 nights a week.

Just putting that out there so that if people see it prevents cancer they don’t eat three pounds, put themselves in a coma then sue me. I don’t have time for all of that nonsense.

Just know rosemary is easy to grow, does well against cats using it as camouflage to attack one another and my children love running their fingers through it and it doesn’t die. I can forget to water it and it doesn’t act dramatic.

Year Zero: Serious Moment

I have a five year plan. It is not a good plan and it changes from day to day but it is a plan. Right now, I have just left year zero. January 2021 is starting a new year for me.

You may ask:

What is Year Zero? Year Zero has been my year of planning. I also went around the area and looked at local nurseries. I wanted to see what everyone had to offer. It opened my eyes. I also planned to go back to college and learn about plant things.

Why is Year Zero so important? Year Zero is my planning year. We moved in October 2019 and that only started our adventure. During this year I have walked the property over five hundred times. I have learned the land-ish. There is a lot more to starting a permaculture food forest then I anticipated.

This is where I outlined my goals. I learned my property and I planted starter plants- which I will get into later. We have a lot to cover so I will continue.

Some of the trees ready for new homes

What does having a poorly planned year zero do for someone who is just starting out? This is a tough one because I had to reset my Year Zero last year. It was insanity. I killed every plant I got my hands on because I just jumped in. I thought I could just wish my garden into growth. It was poor planning and I wasted a lot of money on plants that died. So, don’t waste money use your year zero wisely. Learn to work with your property and not against it.

Year Zero is the most important year of planning and development. This is my year of research and getting to know my property. Here I started and failed then restarted after some research. Even still I am not 100% sure that everything will work out. My year one began with medicinal plants and evolved into the dreams of a food forest. Somewhere it evolved and I wanted to have real food security.

I learned a lot about the native plants that already live here and it inspired me to start a Monarch Butterfly Santuary. I started by going online and joining many types of groups. They kind of inspired me and so I continued with my year zero goals. I did way better than I anticipated.

The reason Year Zero is important is because it lays the foundation for success but remember: you can always switch it up later if your plans don’t work out. I know it sounds crazy but a lot of people (myself including) thought they could just jump in (like I did) and fail. I’ve learned it’s only a true failure if I stop trying and so I will continue.

It took me the better half of the first year to figure out I was doing things wrong and I might need to talk to experts. That’s why I enrolled in classes but I’ll share all of that information as I get it with you.

Squash flower (I think?)

Sure, I was in the best Facebook groups. Unfortunately I hadn’t been utilizing them. So I went online and I just dove into research on permaculture, companion planting, ph levels, soil samples and I was blown away by how much was out there. I will never know everything but I had started down a rabbit hole that brought me here to this blog.

Spoiler alert: my plants stopped dying. I got better at planting the more I learned and there is this feeling of happiness when you are using your own vegetables and fruits.

All throughout year zero I sat outside my plants hoping they might grow. It does not make plants grow faster.

Now I know I need a plan and in year zero it’s the perfect time to decide what you want and where you see that going in five years. Make it fun and exciting but remember: your plan must flow with the tide. So make sure you are ready for those changes and adaptations as you go. For example: I thought I could just put seeds in the dirt and it would just grow. It doesn’t work that way and now I know thanks to countless people.

Goals for my property and my life for the next five years. This is important because it gives me a general outline to work with. Remember, I am making plans but they are like the wind- every changing and straightforward.

In five years, I want to have every individual breed of plant I want on my property. Even if I do not have every part of my land covered (Which I most likely will seeing my progress already- it is a possibility). I am not talking about a neat little orchard- I want trees and shrubs. I want to be overwhelmed with sight, smell and feel like nature surrounds me.

Keep that in mind- it is the foundation for our success. My goals are not primarily food security, even though it is a reoccurring theme, but instead a food based garden of eden, a place for me to retire my body and my spirit. So, not all of my plants will be solely food based. I am going to continue on that note, but keep your goals in your mind.

Another goal I realized: I want the species here to be closer to disease resistant and ready to produce in five years. This means that in the first few years I have to plant my trees that need to be producing as well as create a water source.

In Year Zero, I am going through plant lists to find edible plants, flowering plants, herbs, and pollinators. I am collecting seeds and planting what I like to call guaranteed success plants such as blackberries. During Year Zero I did a lot of planning but then I began planting samples.

For example: I don’t know of I even like certain fruits- this is a great time to plant one or two and try them. If I don’t like them I won’t plant more of that particular tree. It’s good to know before I make a mass planting decision.

The ones that do well and we like: we plant more of them. The ones that don’t we just move on from and don’t plant more. At least we are keeping those three blueberries (if any of them survive), but I am hesitant of planting more until we know they will survive. That is one of many examples. We keep what we like but we don’t want continue any difficult plants. If something happens we want to make sure we can take care of it. (Eventually I hope it will take care of itself, in my old age I don’t want to be chasing around a 7 acre mess)

I want to cover my entire property in plants that are useful primarily with a little playroom for beautiful things. I want to retire in my own hand made forest and I want to leave it for my kids to enjoy. I cannot wait until I make my dream come true, but Year Zero opened my eyes to the many possibilities.

Frankly, Year Zero did not go as planned and there is a good chance your Year Zero will not be magnificentbut don’t give up. I killed a lot of plants that I want to blame on bizarre seeds from China that I never received. Really it all came down to poor planning.

Year one starts now in January and during that year I have a lot of things I would like to accomplish. But first let’s talk about what i have already got started:

  • 75 thornless blackberries, three different kinds.
  • 33 grape plants, twenty four muscadine, six concord, two seedless randoms from Wal-Mart, and one Spanish grape.
  • 8 apple trees, 4 persimmons, 4 pomegranates, 5 peaches, 3 plums, 4 cherries, 2 pears, 2 limes, 2 lemons, and 2 avadaco trees.
  • Planted many perennials and failed two gardens.

Year One I have new goals.

  • I would like to plant 100 additional thornless blackberry plants. This year so far we have planted 75. We know that blackberries will do great here and we want at least 200. We want to primarily plant thornless varieties which is also why we are not dying into raspberries.
  • Set up the irrigation system that will support the amount of plants that I want to bring in. We already bought two irrigation systems. One is set up for bushes and one is set up for the trees.
  • I want to plant a minimum of 25 different kinds of apple trees, but that may not be possible.
  • I want to focus on the 41 disease resistant breeds that grow in my zone. Zone 8a.
  • Focus on filling in the spaces between my trees with shrubs and berry bushes.
  • Expanding my seed collection
  • Creating a creek system that runs through our property
  • Planting as much as I can as fast as I can and keeping it all alive with magic

So, don’t give up. Year Zero seems hard on everyone. We’ve got this now onward to YEAR ONE.

A much more detailed goal list for Year One is coming but you’ll have to be patient. I am busy looking through seed catalogs while listening to permaculture information.

Project Grow Your Roots 2021: Fun and Short Additions

Contributed by L. McKnight

All the way from Oregon, Groot wants you to know he is proud of you.

Contributed by Adrienne Westbrook

This is a weeks worth of growth on a Sunflower she planted with her daughter. I love the way she made the pictures come together in this photo. I love the family bonding in Indiana. Enjoy raising those Sunflowers.

These bad boys are the state flower of Kansas. They can grow in medium light and in clay soil. I’ll keep that in mind when I am planting. Birds love Sunflower for their seeds and who can blame them really?

But the most amazing thing is the amount of uses:

  • Poultice from the flowers for burns
  • Crushed root to draw out a blister
  • Leaf tea for high fevers

Also, one last bit a little bit of folklore: some places believe that planting sunflowers can ward off malaria.

Contributed by Colleen Esc

Started from leaf cuttings these Violets have grown to be lovely. So lovely she plans on spreading the love this season. I am sure that everyone will be thrilled, I know that I would.

Many are perennial but some are annual and very few are shrubs. The viola category has around 600 species which is amazing and a little overwhelming, but the flower is edible and can be used to add color to salads. If you needed a reason to plant this beautiful flower.

There are so many absolutely amazing people out there. As the pictures flow in I just keep becoming more excited about the outcome. Keep your eyes out for more plants that people are excited about.

Beneficial Grants: Texas Monarch Butterfly Grant

I live in Texas. Howdy.

I was looking into things that could boost my permaculture food forest without costing me any money. As I was looking through the many grants. It all started with the Monarch Butterfly Grant.

This is a very small personal grant that cannot exceed past 400 per person/group. This grant can only be used to purchase plants (which is all I want- free plant money). So there are some rules to this particular grant that go further than that: they have to be native to Texas. I want Butterflies

As I wait for winter to be over I plan. My close friend LD always has a beautiful yard and I want to shine too. This has inspired me to look for money to supply my hobbies.

Challenge accepted.

I want all four hundred of those dollars so that I can expand my already amazing dream permaculture food forest. So I looked into it.

Agarita is one of the native plants. I hadn’t thought about this plant before -primarily because I was so narrow minded on the idea of a permaculture food forest- but I love that we have so many milkweed plants in my pasture because it attracts the butterflies.

That’s also how I happened upon this grant because I decided I wanted to start a butterfly garden to attract even more. The agarita has the nectar that the butterflies crave. If I have this lovely blossoming flower it will give the mom butterflies plenty of food – these plants also are great for other pollinators like bees. Keep that in mind.

It is a shrub that is pointy. I like pointy shrubs because they make good barriers to keep animals away from my property. Sold. They are an evergreen, drought tolerant and they also produce tasty berries (and makes delicious jelly). Sounds like a win-win-win to me.

These are my end game goals guys. I want to be on this list.

Flame acanthus also known as the hummingbird bush. This is absolutely beautiful and another shrub. This is considered a ‘profuse’ bloomer. It allegedly is a huge bloomer and that is exciting because it attracts not just monarch butterflies but also hummingbirds and bees. (It’s also a deer resistant and drought tolerant)

Kidneywood is so beautiful. I had no idea, they are allegedly really fragrant and attract bees and butterflies. They have many branches and they can get up to be 12 feet tall. That is amazing because it is also drought tolerant and can survive cold and heat. (Clay soil is acceptable here). I am digging it. Sounds like it will be a great place for butterflies to settle in and eat some nectar.

Cone Flower is something we already have but would love to have it planted everywhere. Who knew that it was a native Texas plant? Now I know and you do too. This is a perennial and has beneficial properties which I will probably go over at a later time. They bloom from April until September so this will give my early pollinators a snack before the rest bloom in May or June.

The application is online and the application and process seems very easy.

They say purple cone flower can be aggressive- I sure hope so. So keep that in mind.

Cenizo is just a cool name to have. If I get another pet (fingers crossed I don’t but if I do) I am going to name it Cenizo. Regardless, it is made for our zone. It flowers and can take the heat but it does need to be watered. They can get to be up to 8 feet tall. Sounds live privacy fence material to me.

Cenizo goes by another name Texas Sage. Amazingly enough I already have a couple growing. I had no idea. Also this plant does not appreciate heavy pruning- I’ll have to keep that in mind.

The fragrant or pink mimosa is another thorny shrub great for deer resistance and a nice barrier around my property (I hear it smells good too). Another early bloomer but it ends earlier too (March to July). The flowers are lovely and I would love to add them to my butterfly garden (or barrier I haven’t decided). Here is even more Information.

They will check up on us and I can’t wait. This adventure will be really exciting. I can’t wait to start.

Texas Lantana is something I already have growing and they are amazing. I kind of want more of them because they make a beautiful groundcover. All parts of this plant are poisonous and it is considered deer resistant.

Lantanas are perennial shrubs that can grow 2 to 4 foot tall. Wow, they just don’t seem to be scrubbing out for me. They’re just creeping across the ground. That is strange maybe next year they will perk up, regardless I would love to have more. One more link: Texas Lantana. Just in case you’re considering it. It is really beautiful.

Last but not least is Salvia texana and I want this one. If I got that grant I would definitely get this plant. This is a perennial herb and it grows to be up to 2 feet tall. It is drought tolerant and does well in clay or rocky soil (bonus i won’t need to modify the soil I have). Salvias are a perennial flower and have more than 75 species including autumn sage. That is something we already have in honor of my eldest child: Autumn Sage. This is a rabbit hole I’ll have to go down another time, but every new flower or sage that I have gets me more excited.

I have murdered lavender every single year I’ve tried it but look at her growing it like it’s nothing. I am so jealous of her naturally green thumb.

I will, of course, get more milkweed but that will place where where I want them primarily and have a large area in the middle of the garden. That sounds absolutely beautiful.

Can’t wait and I hope I get it, but I already have some of these plants. The milkweed does grow naturally and I want to entice Monarch butterflies. I want them to pollinate all of my fruit trees and attract all of the bees. I understand the importance of planting native plants and I can’t wait to get started.

I will share more grants as I come across more information.

Ginger in Pots

I just began growing a sprouted ginger in a pot yesterday. This morning I was scrolling through my Facebook groups and there it was: a sign from the universe.

STORY TIME: We had this green shoot come off a piece of ginger I had lost in the back of my spices. I hate forgetting but sometimes, I just buy more. This time it came with a prize: a little baby green shoot. I thought, oh no, it’s winter and you can’t plant new plants outside – so I just potted it and put a little bit of hope into it. I said a lot of beautiful things to it in hopes it would inspire the ginger to grow like crazy.

Photo credit to Ronel Bey

Then the universe gifted me with the answer to the question: can you grow ginger in a pot? I had wondered when I potted the ginger, but I didn’t feel the need to research because this was the baby sprouts only chance.It was magic everyone, I just potted this yesterday and now I was seeing it in a Facebook group. Is this what fate feels like? I am so excited.

They posted the answer with easy to go to links. I followed those links because I just tried this yesterday.

Epic Gardening informed me that if you look for ginger at the store (to grow) you should look for eyes like you do potatoes. Also, the larger your ginger is determines how much we’ll get. Ginger grows faster and you’ll get more ginger when you pick larger pieces of ginger. This is because they’ll have more sprouts and that will lead to more shoots and more roots.

Ronel Bey is so amazing he has all of this ginger. I am impressed. I want to grow ginger now too.

He says that you need a shallow pot with good drainage. Now that I am seeing what he is doing: maybe I’ll repot mine. He says I should just barely cover it up. I will have to pull my ginger closer to the surface, and I should just give them enough water to tell them to grow but be sure not to over water the ginger.

They enjoy heat, humidity and water. He gave use some tips to look for as our ginger grows, which i found helpful you might too: Browning tips means your ginger needs water. Yellow leaves means your, nutrient loving, plant needs some nutrients. Give them the fertilizer they will thank you for it later.

Ginger can always produce new ginger was pretty cool too. You harvest at the end and they can be dry stored for a while. I like that because I enjoy using ginger in my cooking but sometimes I don’t have a recipe to require it.

My shoot of ginger that I am so pleased with

You should always look for multiple sources… So, I went and clicked a suggested video. 5 ways to get tons of ginger (Top Tips) is where I am going, he’s Australian which is appealing because I love the accent. That distracted me for the entire video and I can’t wait to try growing them outside next year.

It was not useful for containers, but it will probably be useful in the Spring. I can’t wait to get it started and he has such a lovely accent. His tips have also helped me before which made it a lot easier for me to consider his advice.

I love international channels because they place importance on different things. This YouTube channel Everyday simple health tips has a lot of useful information and this is specifically about growing ginger in containers.

Another Ronel Bey picture, I do not have my own pictures of a successful harvest yet so I must live through others.

He suggests that I dry my ginger out 10 to 20 hours before planting, which is good because my ginger was super dry. It probably was out longer than 20 hours, but we’ll see how it goes.

He also shows himself planting it not far from the top of the soil. I really love it when multiple sources use the same information, it shows that it is a common tip and will most likely be beneficial.

We should see a sprout in 10 to 15 days. After 6 months we should be ready to harvest the ginger. I like the time line in the video so that I know when to give up on this plant. The easier for me to understand the more likely I am to return.

We are going to see how this adventure works out. I will do more research and find out what I can, but I am excited to have a baby ginger sprout.

It is now snug as a bug in a rug only a few inches from the top of the soil.

New Addition: too much

I will do individual posts about each one but these are my day one new additions. I want a crazy large herb garden and everyone has their herbs out. I haven’t been keeping us as much because I usually have because I have been mulching and then a storm hit.

My corn is slanted, it looks like UFOs tried to land but changed their mind. I’ll update that later this week. I have just been worrying about my poor plants that have not been taking the season change as well as I had hoped. Regardless, we’re not here to talk about my procrastination, laziness or corn.

Yeah, that’s right, I have a problem, I got a lot of problems but buying plants ain’t one. Look at all of these lovely herbs. I cannot wait for fresh basil, Mexican tarragon, sweet marjoram, sweet mint, spearmint, peppermint, and parsley.

I had to move them to a less trashy looking table. They didn’t feel good being with all of our junk. So, I sat them outside. We planted everything.

Above is sweet basil and purple basil. I like them both and the purple basil will add some color to my herb garden. I love basil and I have quite a few plans for eating all of this. My kids cannot wait, my daughters actually helped me plant all of these herbs (which is an amazing turn of events).

Above is some lovely parsley and Mexican tarragon which I put in my raised beds. They seemed like they needed a few friends.

Marjoram, sweet marjoram, and yes I already have some. I just wanted more. My mother in law gave me these cool side raised beds. I have two but one has the flowers that she had originally grown in it.

I am excited and I will do more. Have a great evening and get excited about herbs. Maybe not as excited as I am, but still excited. I love my plants.

Why Cilantro?

Cilantro is related to carrots, celery and parsley. This little herb is good in salads, soups and as a garnish. An excellent source of antioxidants and in one study about prostate cancer in 2019 saw a difference and leads towards it’s ability to fight cancer.

Freshly planted baby cilantro

In a separate 2015 study they determined that cilantro could be used to assist with pain and inflammation- which is cool.

Cilantro is an easy to grow herb that grows in the early spring through summer in my zone and can be planted in the fall or winter in zone 9

Some people make claims that cilantro can be a perennial but there is no evidence found online by a reputable source to back these claims.

That was before I clipped the leaves. It is lovely and I planted more just to test out if I can have two growing season as well. After all, we do have warmer winters than most zones. Who knows, but I look forward to adding more cilantro to my garden.

After all, everything I have read so far states that Cilantro is a super food. They say you can take this to cleanse yourself from poisonous metals. It helps with lead poisoning and other conditions. I am super excited about cilantro and I can’t wait until I have a whole bunch.

Why Marjoram?

Marjoram is cold sensitive. This herb has the potential to be perennial in warmer temperatures. This plant is a close relative to oregano and in some places they call it oregano all together.

Another member of the mint family, Marjoram is similar to oregano but a bit milder. This is another spice and tea; marjoram is also used as a garnish.

Marjoram has been used for common colds, runny noses, and digestive issues. Early research does indicate that is could be useful to assist with asthma as well- when paired with a medication.

There are a lot of health warnings for long term medicinal uses, but many are generic ones. The one that stands out to me is the one that talks about preventing clotting.

I like marjoram as a spice, I have never used it for medicinal purposes but I do enjoy it. Allegedly it smells really good, but I don’t have any that are big enough to put my face in. (Like my lemon balm. I love that stuff)

You can tell by the leaves it is definitely relayed to the mint family.

This is my first time, but I think from now on I will definitely go HERE so that I can see the side effects. It is good information. I put te link directly to marjoram as it is the relevant topic but please feel free to look into the warnings on your herbs.

Although it is nice to know all of the wonderful things that your herbs can do it is also good to know the negative effects as well. Turns out this plant could mess with some medications. Be careful when you are trying stuff out to look cool.

Mixing things unnecessarily could have side effects that you won’t notice until later. Always speak to a doctor if you are on medications. I do enjoy knowing what my plants do, but frankly- I am enjoying having them.

Why Lemon Balm?

We should first begin by saying: why not lemon balm? This plant smells delicious. I don’t know a single person who didn’t stick their face in my lemon balm after a small whiff. It smells like a sweet lemonade.

I attempted to make tea but it turns out you need quite a few leafs to make a good hot leaf juice. We plan on planting more in the future so that I can make real tea with honey.

Lemon balm is a small perennial herb where I live and it is beautiful. It has lovely green leaves and did I mention it smells like heaven? Allegedly it will stay growing (just not as well and die back a bit) during the winter.

I am excited to see how that plays out. The lemon balm that I am currently growing is my tester plant.

I love the color learbes of lemon balm. As you can see we should probably add nutrients to this lemon balm as some of the leaves are starting to color.

Lemon balm is known to assist with anxiety and insomnia. There are other benefits, of course, Such As digestive support and brian stuff. It is more than just a tea.

Lemon balm is more than just a tea and can be made into ointments, tinctures, and balms. There is a lot of Information out there and plenty of Things to do.

The lemon balm is to the right

Lemon balm is a bee attractor. A leaf can be chewed to freshen breath. Lemon balm can be made into a bug spray- which is neat. I don’t know how it would keep bugs away it smells so good.

It seems like lemon balm is a must have in next seasons garden. I know if this winter goes well I will be planting a lot more lemon balm. I can’t see a downside- there was a small note that people with underachieving thyroid should speak to a doctor before using large amounts of lemon balm tea.

I am not an expert. I am a simple plant lover who likes that her plants are not dying.

Get lemon balm.

Why Oregano?

Cuban oregano in my fairy garden it has gotten huge and towers over other herbs planted at the same time

I love oregano. Not only does fresh oregano smell so good you want to shove it in your face but it is also delicious in a lot of meals. Oregano is one of my favorite herbs because it is resilient, durable and almost impossible to kill.

One of the benefits of growing your own oregano is that you can get the authentic flavor. When you buy oregano at the store you get many different types of oregano dried and blended together.

Greek oregano a bit slower to grow but is nice to have around

Oregano when planted around your home can ward off insects and mosquitoes. It can be made into an eco-friendly insect repellent and also be used in potpourri. Oregano gives off a distinct smell, especially when fresh, and is easy to add to almost any dish.

If I had known how easy it was to grow oregano in the beginning I would have started here. I have learned that members of the mint family are hardy and sometimes invasive if not tended. They are more than just a spice to add to your dinner. Oreganos are also medically beneficial.

Cuban oregano

One of the reasons I love oregano is because it is rich in antioxidants and can assist with many things including indigestion. Some research suggests that oregano can also assist with aching muscles, colds, diarrhea, and boost overall health.

Oregano has a little bit of everything and can be a tea, tincture and oil each with it’s own uses. It is said that oregano tinctures can get rid of ringworm, and assist with arthritis. Oregano teas are said to be good for a sore throat, colds and the ability to relieve a lot of cold like symptoms.

Greek oregano

Only recently has science been investigating the medicinal qualities of the oregano plant. In time further research may discover other amazing uses for this perennial herb. It has many different varieties that are sure to show off your green thumb. Each oregano has it’s own distinct smell and taste that will never leave someone unimpressed.

Quick Advisory: oregano should be avoided if you are planning on going into surgery. Oregano has been known to increase the risk of bleeding during surgery as well as other risks.

Oregano is a nice herb that smells good and wards pests from my herb garden. It is a healthy tea and can be mixed with other herbs to assist in upper respiratory distress. Keeping oregano in your garden can not only be good for you but also for your kitchen table.

Happy herb growing.

The beginning

So first let me say, hello and welcome to my adventure in turning my property into a Food forest by using the principles of many things. One of which is Permaculture. Let me first say: orginally I planted so much and spent too much on seeds just to watch it fail.

The beginnings of my herb garden

After that terrible start my eyes wandered to research. Lots of research which started the beginning of my herb garden, as shown above.

In the beginning… there was hope that everyone would survive

After failing so hard at first I really needed these raised beds to make it. So I worked a little too hard at them. It helped some plants thrive, others not so much.

So we decorated it a little bit and I learned late that some of this stuff bushes out bigger than I’ve allowed.

After lots of research. I decided that these experimental boxes would help me get my end game goals accomplished. They helped me out because I realized what I did wrong with my large garden that I had planned.

What my blueberry plants looked like before the birds came and ate them all.

I planted 26 plants this year that were perennial. Plenty of BlackBerry and blueberry bushes as well as a fig tree and other naturally occurring trees and shrubs.

What I gathered from the small herb garden I managed to grow after killing so many defenseless plants.

Honestly, even though some of my original plants died I got a lot out of it. I learned a lot and I think I want to expand that and share it. Who knows someone smarter might have a suggestion.

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