Monday, April 20, 2009

Take a Tour of the Herb Spiral at the Fair Share Garden

Some of you may have read my post in January about the Herb Spiral that we built at the Fair Share Garden a couple of months ago. It is amazing to see how much different it looks now. The Lemongrass in the center of the spiral is looking especially healthy and happy. We received Lemongrass and Kentucky mint donations from Pasha Middle Eastern Food in Daytona. Spiraling out from the Center, the Aloe vera's are recovering well from the shock of being transplanted from my father in law's garden. Next to the Aloe, there are white chrysanthemum's, also known as bai ju hua, that I salvaged from someone's trash in Ormond Beach a while back. White chrysanthemum flowers are useful for tea or as an eye wash for red irritated eyes. Oregano is next to the chrysanthemum flowers, and was taken from a division in my garden where it is growing like mad.

The plants in outer curve of the spiral include Kentucky Mint, Yarrow, Dill, Patchouli, Chives, Holy basil, Rose geranium, and Artemesia argii. Many thanks to Rachel Jackson of Barberville who donated the Yarrow and Dill for the Garden. I had been concerned that the yarrow might not do well in the full sun, but we have regular irrigation by volunteers, so it has not been a problem, and it is really thriving. The Holy Basil came from second generations seed from my Holy Basil plants. There are three varieties of Holy Basil, this is the wild Holy Basil, also known as Vana Tulsi or by it's official nameOcimum gratissimum. I love making tinctures or cough/tonic syrup with my Holy Basil. It's really nice fresh too. Holy Basil is an adaptogen and tonic herb. It is unique as a tonic in that is can also be used for people with acute infections due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. The rose geranium came from cuttings from my garden. The Artemesia argii came from self seeded plants in my yard. I originally acquired this variegated Artemesia plant from Bastyr's Herb Garden in Seattle. The Chives were purchased from the Sea Side Herb Society of Ormond Beach. The Patchouli was purchased from Maggie's Herb Farm of St. Augustine. The Patchouli sold out so quickly at last year's herb faire, so I was happy that they stocked it up for this year's faire. I will be teaching two herbal classes at the farm in St. Augustine this summer.

What is next for the herb spiral? I have planted a number of seeds and am waiting to see if they will come up. Some of the seeds include Red clover, Yellow Dock and Moringa oleifera. I have also started a medicinal tree and shrub section of the garden which is right next to the herb spiral. I will post about it later in the summer as it starts to fill in.

If you are local to the Central Florida area I hope that you can come visit us at our Earth Day Celebration this coming Saturday on April 25th from 9:30-1:30. There will be a number of free workshops, and a children's gardening class. The full schedule for Saturday can be found in this previous blog post.
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