i salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. for when you are at that centre within you and i am at that place within me, we shall be one. - chief crazy horse, oglala sioux, 1877

Saturday, September 18, 2010

building an herb spiral

i completed my permaculture desgn course in april of this year. i was so excited to actually do, something, anything, permaculture but i was also sooooo afraid of spending a bunch of money and messing up. so we decided to do an herb spiral - a one day project that uses space very effectively. (above is a photo of our herb spiral on day 2, after we had transplanted some herbs.)

we had a giant rose bush right beside the house that i've wanted to dispose of ever since we moved here 2 years ago.
1. so we cut it down with hand saws and then used the chain saw to cut it off as close to the ground as possible.
2. then we laid down three layers of cardboard, which we soaked. they measured 5 feet across in a circle.
3. next we piled a cone of sand in the centre 3 feet. (we had left-over sand from some poor decisions last year)
4. next we began to lay out some stones, starting with the largest for the base circle and using smaller ones as we moved up the spiral.
5. we added soil (50% topsoil/50% sand) that we were re-using from raised beds we had done the year before.
6. then we watered it throughly and transplanted some herbs from the garden and yard. we tried to go for all the strong smelling/tasting ones, like mint, lavender, chives, rosemary, and sage, etc. that the deer don't like so much. and we planted seeds for things we didn't have, like cilantro, dill, oregano, thyme, fennel, and stevia.

i love it!! now, apparently some herbs don't grow well in a sandy soil but i planted some in our garden too. so we have all these fresh herbs growing right beside the house, while our garden is about 60 feet away (due to the septic tank and prior to us decisions). so i can grab the fresh goodness so easily!!

we did the herb spiral in may so next year the annual herbs will have had a much longer time to grow. here is a pic of our herb spiral today...

1 comment:

  1. I love that spiral, and the stones should be great for warming up the soil for the herbs, most of which love heat. Using stones in this way is also reversible, in case you want a change, nothing to "throw away".