Monday, September 30, 2013

Grow Your Own Food and Medicine This Spring!

Spring has sprung and now is the perfect time to start a garden! If you have a patch of earth or somewhere you can put some pots that gets sun for most of the day you can grow herbs, fruit and vegies at home.

Our miniature peach tree is just starting to fruit


Here are the basics that plants need to grow -

  • Good soil - this is the starting point and is super important - include manures, compost and good quality organic soil
  • Sun - most fruit and veg need sun for the better part of the day (you can grow mint, watercress and spinach in partial shade)
  • Water - as the weather gets hotter in Australia, most plant need a drink once a day, especially if growing in pots
  • Fertiliser - if you give them a feed of organic liquid fertiliser once a week they will love you for it! (fish emulsion and seaweed are awesome)
  • TLC - you need to be into it! Plants are like people. They need a nice, healthy environment in which to reside, food and water and someone to love them. Then they will blossom as they grow and not get sick. Bugs and diseases are attracted to unhealthy plants so give them what they need and you shouldn't have to use any nasty chemicals. If you think of your plants as your children or your pets you will succeed!

Chamomile & Peppermint Blog - Grow your own food and medicine this spring
Young Corn
In the vegie patch his year we have planted carrots, beans, globe artichokes, corn, tomatoes, lettuce, silverbeet and beetroot. We have a crazy passionfruit vine that was planted 6 months ago and has gone totally bonkers, a miniature peach tree which produces huge sweet white peaches every new year, a mini lemon, mandarin, cumquat (check out my recipe for cumquat, vanilla bean and lavender jam) and kaffir lime. The strawberries have just started to fruit and are like little red lollies to Stella who seeks them out everyday with abundant childhood delight! I also grow chamomile, yarrow, motherwort, ladies mantle, catmint, lemonbalm and lavender to make into medicinal teas and poultices for teething, colds, fevers, cuts, pms and stress. I feel like a mother wise-woman when harvesting and using these!

Chamomile & Peppermint Blog - Grow your own food and medicine this spring
Globe Artichoke
There is something so therapeutic about growing things, especially in a busy modern world. I find this is where I slow down and get back to basics. It's like meditation for people who can't sit still long enough to meditate. You can quote me on that!




Chamomile & Peppermint Blog - Grow your own food and medicine this spring
My Cottage Medicinal Herb Garden


Chamomile & Peppermint Blog - Grow your own food and medicine this spring
Shallots, Lettuce, Silverbeet and Strawberries


Chamomile & Peppermint Blog - Grow your own food and medicine this spring
Vegie seedlings are just starting to take off