The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Herb garden

Drying herbs

My little herb bed on the south-facing side of the trailer is doing beautifully this year. On the recommendation of one of our readers, I started some Greek oregano from seed last year and found to my delight that it did indeed have much more of the flavor I was looking for than the plain old oregano I'd grown before. Throw in some sage, lavender, thyme, chamomile, fennel, chives, and a few flowers and I have a pretty and delicious space right outside the back door.

Cooking with herbs

Being so close to the kitchen, the herb garden reminds me to pick a little flavor for meals that I might otherwise skip. I'm also air-drying a few of the more aromatic leaves while they're at their peak since last year's dried basil really hit the spot over the winter.

Mostly, though, I'm just enjoying the low-work, high-reward growing space. There's nothing quite like zone 0.5 homesteading projects that really work.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Comment by Jayne Thu May 26 09:00:04 2016
I'm sure people have mentioned it, but just in case. I planted chamomile and fennel in my herb garden 4-5 years ago. They tried their damndest to take over the entire garden. I ripped it all out the next spring because I got tired of dealing with it. And I'm still digging up sprouts 3-5 times a week throughout the year even now.
Comment by WendP Thu May 26 12:07:01 2016

well, my use of the space right outside our door isn't all that original... indeed it basically mimics what you are doing, with all the cutting herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, lemon balm, peppermint, bay, lavender, chives, cilantro, parsley... all those things from which a quick snip can add tremendous flavor to a meal. I also broadcast flower seeds for color, and line the pathways with bright lights chard,.. my kitchen garden as I call it is a cheery, welcoming sight by the front walk, and very useful for me.
on the other side of the house, a front porch, south facing, becomes a wonderful drying area for seeds, kale leaves, etc. and a great curing area for onions, garlic, and potatoes, protected from weather or hungry critters..

Comment by deb Tue May 31 20:11:27 2016

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