Sunday, July 18, 2010

In my herb garden

Here in Cape Town it's winter now and most herbs have died down. There is a carpet of leaves from the apple tree and generally the soil is well mulched. My two chooks tend to scratch the leaves away, but they are feasting on any insect eggs or larvae that would otherwise produce greedy monsters in the spring. This time of year the chooks do their best work and I allow them much more freedom. It is a bit annoying that they always poo on the pathways, but at least the poos are the sort that you can pick up and throw into the beds, not like duck poos which are just a squirt!
Herbs that are thriving at the moment are Marrubium vulgare, from which I make a cough syrup; Alexanders which have no remarkable medicinal value and which self-seed rather alarmingly, but look very nice when their seed heads form. One is supposed to be able to use the seeds like pepper, but I'm not impressed with them. The Southernwood is sprouting nicely after being cut back and stinging nettles are simply thriving. But they are so useful that I am very happy that they are in abundance. Not only do I use a lot of stinging nettle in my practice, but also as a green manure and a stinky liquid manure in the garden. One can never have enough. The chooks have stripped my yarrow. It must keep them very healthy because they love it and are both very healthy and lay well, despite being 8 years old at least. I've lost count of how many years they've been a very sweet part of my life. I really adore them both, unless they eat my seedlings. But that would be my fault anyway, and generally I use enviromesh to keep them and insects off my crops.

No comments:

Post a Comment