Thursday, March 25, 2010
Well, over the last week I built an Herb Spiral to foster the permaculture mindset. Think of your home in zones, 1 through 5. I'll explain these over a few days in the future in detail, but for now I am working in "Zone 1" or the area around the home the most.
For example, I am removing bucket by bucketful gravel from a walkway to foster a walkway near our pump house which happens to be next to where we are building a passive solar greenhouse using cob, & strawbale techniques this summer / early fall. In front of that, we have our herb spiral.
So what is that herb spiral anyway? Well, it is exactly what it implies. A spiral of herbs, and spices which all have culinary or medicinal uses. In this particular herb spiral we have, in order, starting from the top of the spiral down, Rosemary, dill, Oregano, Thyme, Chamomile, Coneflower, Sage (2 types)Tarragon, Fennel, Chives, Parsley (2 types) Cilantro, Calendula, and Feverfew.
To build the spiral, and mark off the area, I first outlined the area with cardboard that we used while moving here. Then we covered that with 2" of woody compost & chicken manure. On top of that I put some seaweed that has been rinsed very well.
To that, I added 6" of straw today while it rained like my own personal sprinkler system. Tomorrow I will add some top soil (organic) mixed with chicken compost around the plants in the spiral. I will keep doing this as I fill the rest of this garden area with herbs, flowers, and vegetables. After that, I will only green mulch this area once a year. :)
I still have cucumbers, edible chrysanthemum, yarrow, potatoes, chives, dill, nasturtiums, daikon radishes, bok choy cabbages, artichokes, baby corn, beans, mustard, kale, squashes, pumpkins, and more to plant, but those are going all over the garden mixed in with flowers that will attract and balance the insect populations, as well as provide green mulch for up coming months.
All my starter vegetables are what is know as NON-GMO which stands for Not Genetically Modified, and many of those are Heirloom seeds.
I believe in protecting our genetic diversity on our planet because I do not want to see some blight come and wipe out food crops like the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840's which displaced some 1,000,000 people and killed just as many occur again on this planet.
In a couple of months I will revisit this herb spiral garden so you can see how it is coming along.