March 31 – Start a Herb Garden

“Caraway is not threshed with a sledge, nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin; caraway is beaten out with a rod, and cumin with a stick.”  ~ Isaiah 28 :27

Research suggest that by the year 2050 the earth will need to produce 70% more food than what it is currently produce. With increased demands and rapid population growth, it is no secret today that the planet is suffering and evidently reacting by causing climate change. So how can you become part of the solution? You do not need to do anything drastic, a herb garden on your windowsill is a good place to start. Planting a herb garden and help reduce the pressure on food production.

Planting a herb garden does not suggest that it will save the planet, however it is a good place to start and it can boost your confidence into part taking in a more eco-friendly life style and eventually live in a sustainable manner.

People tend to think that growing your own food requires a lot of TLC and hours to maintain and grow the food, in this instance herbs. Planting herbs requires you to think practically, plant what you can manage and plant what you like and know you will use.

How to plant your own herb garden:

  1. Choose Your Herbs – Good choices for a windowsill herb garden include basil, cilantro, dill, oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. You can start herbs from seed or purchase small plants.
  2. Choose Containers – Use individual pots for each herb so you can give each plant the specific care it needs. Be sure containers have drainage holes and waterproof saucers.
  3. Plant the Herbs – If starting seeds, fill container with potting mix. Use a commercial seed-starting mix or potting soil, or a 50:50 combination of the two. Avoid using garden soil, which tends to be heavy and may contain disease organisms. Sow seeds, checking the seed packet to determine planting depth. Learn what conditions each herb prefers.
  4. Provide Proper Care – Place containers in a sunny, south-facing window. A south-facing window is adequate for most herbs, although supplemental fluorescent lights will help in winter. To prevent injury to foliage, don’t allow leaves to touch cold windows. Water your herbs to keep soil moist but not soggy, and drain saucers after watering. Fertilize every two weeks with a half-strength solution of an all-purpose fertilizer. Pinch back branching plants, such as basil, to keep them shrubby rather than leggy.

Benefits of planting a herb garden:

  • improve your air quality by filtering toxins that get trapped indoors
  • improved air quality lowers risk of respiratory disorders, as well as chronic headaches and eye irritation
  • Fresh supply of herbs
  • Reduces the risk of chemical ingestion which you find in herbs that have been transported to your local grocery store.

Herbs are relatively safe from pests and disease.

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