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Experimenting with herbs can unearth your creative side, getting you cooking, planting, and healing in new ways. A variety of herbs in your garden serves many needs – culinary, medicinal, aesthetic, aromatic, and even natural pest deterrents. Hyssop serves well as a companion plant for cabbages and grapes, as well as an insect repellent. When planted near brassicas (the broccoli and cabbage family), thyme discourages cabbage worms. Oregano and sage target the cabbage butterfly and cucumber beetle if planted near cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, and grape vine.
Garlic and other members of the allium family (leeks, onions, chives, shallots, etc.), have few natural predators, thanks in part to their strong odor, and are effective as companions to fruit trees or tomatoes.
Rue protects flowers and vegetables particularly prone to Japanese beetle attacks (but may cause allergic reactions similar to those from poison ivy). Bergamot, a fragrant perennial, attracts a plethora of beneficial visitors to your garden, including hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Calendula and borage provide a succession of long-lasting, beautiful blooms, and have many medicinal qualities.
While you’re at it, don’t forget parsley and chives, two culinary staples, and useful for garnishes and bright, flavorful accents for any dish. Herbs can be both good companions in the garden and aesthetically pleasing as an ornamental border.
The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. It is only when we try and short-circuit the process by waging war on the soil by engaging in industrial agricultural practices that we end up with vegetables that are low in sugars and vitamins. Industrial farming utilises pesticides and herbicides to kill all and sundry including every beneficial insect in the area and plants, such as deadly nightshade, that are classified as weeds. These worms are not the garden worms or earthworms you find in your soil when you turn a sod, but composting worms and include the major composting worms – tiger worms, red wrigglers and the European night crawler. In-between, a thriving productive nursery exists that pumps out so many different varieties of herbs, both culinary and medicinal, that most of us have trouble keeping up. You too can grow herbs relatively painlessly and Dan is the man to take you through this exercise.
Our MissionWe help educate, support and inspire the Gold Coast community to learn about permaculture and local food production via workshops, our community garden, resources and networking. Unfortunately, mere words alone cannot fully describe the aromas that will fill your kitchen or the flavors that will tempt your tastebuds when cooking with freshly grown and cut herbs.
In addition, you'll find resources to obtain the herb seeds, plants and supplies you need to begin what will surely be a lifelong hobby that not only provides enjoyment for the kitchen and palette, but spiritual renewal and stress relief as well. In addition to the obvious purpose of using herbs in your cooking and culinary creations, herbs can be utilized in a myriad of ways to serve a wide variety of purposes.
Dating back to before written human history, the use of herbs as culinary additives was probably less for taste, and moreso as a response to the harmful potential of food-borne pathogens. Clay tablets that date back over 5,000 years have been discovered which list hundreds of medicinal plants, many of them common herbs as we know them today. Herbs as medicine can be ingested whole in many ways, including herbal teas, known as tisanes; herbal juices, or in a dried form. Herb tinctures use alcohol to suspend the essence from the herbs, while herbal wine and elixirs are low alcohol content herb extracts.
Many herbs can also be applied as a topical skin treatment with essential oil extracts used to create creams, lotions, balms, salves, and oils.
Another widely used medicinal use is aromatherapy, whereby the fragrant liberation of the essential oils in herbs is used to combat pain and anxiety, while reducing stress, and promoting relaxation through the olofactory senses. Today, hundreds of products are manufactured from herbs or have herbs incorporated into them.
Fresh herbs are sought after by chefs and markets in virtually every community, and many an entrepreneurial backyard gardener or greenhouse grower has hooked up with a local popular restaurant or specialty food market to supplement their income while giving a competitive edge to the food vendor. Florists and caterers also use herbs, so don't forget to include those businesses in your prospecting efforts. Herbs are a vital component of potpourri and scented crafts and other products for the home. Many people turn their love and knowledge of herbs into extra money by providing herb growing classes or herb landscape design businesses.


They should be located in full sun; the plant will tolerate partial shade, but the flavor will be impaired.
Sage is a hardy evergreen shrub of which there are a number of varieties, all with slightly different flavors. Pick the leaves as desired as long as you don't cut back more than half the plant; if you do it will stop producing. Sage has no serious disease problems, but if the area is too damp or shady rot may occur.
Growing herbs is one of the easiest ways to get started with a backyard (or balcony) garden.
If you have a sunny window or a small patio, you can grow multiple varieties and use them in your cooking throughout the growing season. The strong scents of many common herbs can discourage insect and rodent pests when planted as companions to vegetable crops, either because they contain chemical compounds that are unpleasant or harmful to many little foragers, or because they may simply mask the aroma of vegetable crops.
That being said, many of them also produce beautiful flowers which attract an abundance of beneficial insects and birds that can out-compete many common pests. It is often used in potpourris and teas, and a common feature in roadside plantings and conservation projects. These are the vegetables that can be purchased at the local supermarket or, dare I suggest, from the local farmers market and will have very low brix levels. Now this particular ‘weed’ is one that the lady birds love including the one ladybird that will attack your vegetables. They are also a wonderful alternative to the disposal of your fruit and vegetable scraps in the garbage bin. Composting worms are surface dwellers that thrive in the surface leaf litter layers in moist areas. Josh has been mentored by Justin, our in-house plant and compost guru, since his arrival at Gold Coast Permaculture and has absorbed an amazing amount of knowledge. They create a a magical delight with their beautiful colours, soothing fragrances and fresh flavours and are plants to wonder at. Herbs can be grown in established borders, among low growing shrubbery, or in a vegetable garden.
In one corner is a paper wasp nest where many of the natural predators that inhabit our vegetable gardens reside and a European honey bee swarm trap on the roof of the shed in the opposite corner that has just recently trapped our first swarm (no bees in there now). Dan has been with us since October 2011 and completed his Permaculture Design Certificate at Gold Coast Permaculture in July 2012.
In this workshop, he will run you through propagation seed raising mixes for herbs and other seedlings (vegetables) and how to put it all together.
You must experience these sensory delights yourself, and this website will help show you how. Many people turn their love for herb gardening into successful home businesses by selling fresh cut herbs, herb plants, and other herb related products. Probably the most common alternative use for herbs, and many would argue it's primary function, is for medicinal and healing purposes. As a result, tropical environments where pathogens are most prevalent have been the source of the world's spiciest foods. Throughout the written history of mankind, herbs and herbal preparations have been used to treat illnesses and conditions afflicting not only humans, but there is strong evidence to suggest that even early primates ingested medicinal herbs to treat injuries and illnesses. There are also dry extracts in which the plants are allowed to evaporate their liquid content into a dry mass, which can then be contained in a capsule or tablet.
Herbs have also been used as a compress with crushed or rehydrated dry herbs applied directly to a bandage, which is then placed over a wound.
Everyday folks selling freshly dried herbs for the kitchen and craft projects is common at markets across the country, as well as blends for teas, and even for smoking. With the ever expanding number of ways and places to grow herbs, thanks to modern technologies like hydroponics, indoor grow lights, and soilless containers, the demand is high for information and teachers willing to share their expertise. If you've always desired to grow your own, but just never had the confidence to do so, there has never been a better time to get started. When you're preparing the soil for planting, work a 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil at the rate of half a pound per 100 square feet. Harvest sage on a clear day after the dew has dried on the leaves but before the sun's heat can dissipate the essential oils that give the herb its flavor and aroma. A good rule of thumb: For their first drink, give the plants 10 gallons of water, split between morning and evening.


A twice-monthly shot of diluted liquid fertilizer will help revive crispy or yellow-looking herbs.
In fact, most plants that we commonly think of as “herbs” likely evolved, by natural or human selection, to produce these unique chemical compounds as a means of self-defense against their most proximate would-be predators. As with any garden, the key is to plant a broad diversity from several plant families, making strategic use of intercropping and companion planting. Depending on your needs, some insect-deterring herbs can be grown in pots surrounding an outdoor seating area or patio, or hung in dried bundles or garlands near windows, doors, and entryways. Many of the vegetables available from these markets here in South East Queensland are sold by ‘Rocklea farmers’, or individuals who take advantage of ‘farmers markets’ to purchase the product you buy from the central market and flog it off at low unsustainable prices.
The simplest way, in terms of organization and care, is to designate a certain space for herbs and herbs only. During this period of study, he began the herb nursery on his own initiative and now has one of the Coast’s largest collections of culinary and medicinal herbs. Support groups abound, and social media has enabled people from all walks of life to succeed at this extremely easy, very satisfying and rewarding hobby. After that, add a gallon of water whenever the soil 2 inches below the surface is dry–roughly every 2 to 3 days in warm weather. For strictly culinary uses, site your herb garden close to the house, with easy kitchen access, or use indoor pots or windowboxes. If this is a healthy bio-intensive process then you are going to be one healthy vegetable consumer and you will not really need all the juicing etc that people engage in with a view to ensuring their systems are working properly.
In fact, along with the use of herbicides and pesticides, it kills all the soil biology and life, including worms, on which your plants and you should be depending.
Here it is buried and will eventually lead to groundwater contamination and the production of greenhouse gases. The product from a worm farm is a nutrient-rich, pH neutral and high quality soil conditioner. Though many herbs are quite forgiving and you would have trouble killing many of them with a cricket bat, we here in Queensland have some particular conditions that necessitate a little extra care and attention to grow herbs successfully. Medicinal herbs are Dan’s area of major interest and his knowledge base is substantial and ever expanding. Finally, he will answer all of your questions on what you need to do at home to establish your own productive herb garden. Harvest herbs in the morning, after dew has evaporated but before the sun has warmed the leaves. These individual are exploiting the farmer by initially paying too little for the produce and the consumer by selling chemical laden fruit and vegetables.
When you engage in this type of farming or gardening, your vegetables are much more susceptible to pest attack and less nutritious. This is extremely environmentally unsound and wasteful because we can easily convert this waste to soil-building humus through the use of worms in a compact and easy to manage worm farm system.
You can make your worm farm from an old bathtub, Styrofoam box or any sturdy waterproof container. Once growing, you will be able to cook for friends and family using fresh cut herbs from your own garden!
At the end of it all, if you need to take some herbs home to establish in your own garden, he will provide you with the herbs in a soil mix that will inoculate your garden with soil biology and create a rich and productive soil food web enabling you to also have the same healthy productive garden as those that exist at 270 Ferry Rd. It is probably important to always ask the source of the vegetables you purchase at these markets. It is actually a fact that plants produce a natural chemical similar to that found in asprin when you have some insect attack. Even create your own exotic olive oils and cosmetics using fresh herb blends as recently seen on Gardening Australia and dried herb arrangements. If you are into your first herb garden, then you will need to do a little planning in order to be a success including the basics of propagation.
Studies published in The Lancet state this chemical is extremely good for your health and you do not get it in fruit and vegetables that are ‘perfect’ as a result of being farmed industrially.



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