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‘Bucket Oh Herb’- An inexpensive way to grow herbs in your home year-round.

‘Bucket Oh Herb’- An inexpensive way to grow herbs in your home year-round.

Herbs, herbs, herbs, and more herbs please! I want them inside, outside, on my porch, in my windowsill, in the garden, in the fields…all over! I can’t get enough of the herbs and one inexpensive yet attractive way to have an abundant source of herbs in your home all year long is what has been coined an Herb Bucket, or what I now call, “Bucket o Herb”. Here I will describe how to create ‘bucket o’ basil’.

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Materials needed:

  • 1, 6” diameter bucket, or any size of bucket you want!
  • 1 packet of open-pollinated basil seed.
  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Organic potting soil
  • LED Grow Light

Not everyone will need a grow light, this really depends on how many herbs you’d like to grow. For small gardens, you can usually get away with just using light from the window. But if you’re looking to grow enough food for your entire household, the growlight will have a major impact.

As for the rest, we all have buckets or bowls of some sort lying around, don’t we? You don’t, well you can easily get some from a garage sale, friend, or even for at a local thrift store. The one I’ve pictured here is from Walmart that I picked up for $1.00. Score! Imagine 3 or 4 of these lined up on your kitchen window sill with your favorite cooking herbs: basil, sage, cilantro, dill… 

Before you add soil to your bucket flip it over with the bottom side up and punch 5 or 6 holes in it with a nail (and a hammer!). This creates drainage which is essential to the health of a container plant. Once you have your holes made flip the bucket back over and fill it to the top with good organic soil that is already moist/wet (but not too wet). Leave about 1 ½ inches of space between the soil and the top of the bucket. Now grab your seed packet and pour a handful of basil seeds into the palm of your hand. Pinch up as many as you can and sprinkle them starting from the center of the bucket around in a circle until you get to the outside of the bucket. Create a disk like pattern when sprinkling your seeds. Estimate sowing about 20-30 seeds for a 6” diameter bucket. I got this idea from Johnny’s Seeds. You can buy herb disks from them for $3.95 or you can create your own disk-pattern yourself and have LOTS of seed left over to make more bucket oh herbs! When it matures you will have a BIG bush of basil that will provide an ample amount to cook with. Lightly tamp down the seed so you have good seed to soil contact. Cover with ½ inch to 1 inch of soil. Tamp down soil lightly for final seed to soil contact. Your soil is already moist(see previous comment about that!) so you don’t need to water the seeds and risk washing them away.  Place a piece of saran wrap over the top of the bucket to help retain moisture while the seeds germinate. It’s still chilly here in Colorado so I placed my ‘bucket oh basil’ on my stove top to allow the pilot light to help keep it warm as basil likes warm temps for germination. Once your basil germinates and it is touching the plastic saran wrap you can remove the wrap!

Got Weeds?

Got Weeds?

Weeds. We spend countless hours attempting to remove these pesky plants from our yards, gardens or fields, but isn’t it interesting how they seem to persevere?
Perhaps we should look at weeds in a new light — some are in fact among the most wholesome sources of food and medicine available to us. From toilet paper to medicine, from food to sunburn relief, weeds provide us, as well as animals, with so much. Knowing this might stop us dead in our weed-stalking tracks!

Below I’ve listed four types of rascally weeds and some of their nutritional and medicinal uses. Each type offers much more than what I’ve shared here, so I encourage you to look them up in your favorite herb or botanical book and learn more. Please note, if you have sprayed them or if they have been in close proximity to a road where they have been exposed to car exhaust and fumes, then please do not consume!
Please also be sure to positively identify the plant before consuming.

lambs-quarter

Lambs-Quarter (Chenopodium album): More nutritious than spinach, grab this delicious green before it goes to seed as it will become bitter. Offering a slightly nutty flavor, you can add it to your pesto, make a tincture with it, or add it to your salad mix. It is loaded with calcium and iron, as well as vitamins A and C, and other delightful and essential nutrients.

dandelions

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Besides making wishes with the seed heads, dandelion leaf and root is very supportive for cleansing your liver and gall bladder and ridding your body of any unwanted toxins. Slightly diuretic, dandelion is also very nutritious and tastes delicious in salads or your favorite herbal tea.

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Plantain (Plantago major): a very low-growing perennial weed, plantain leaves are edible and can be enjoyed steamed, in your salad, or brewed into tea. The leaves get bitter as the plant matures, so grab the early shoots for your calcium and other essential vitamins. Plantain is also fantastic for treating any skin disorders such as mosquito bites, cuts and irritations. Crush the leaves between your fingers and rub the juice from the leaves over the injured area.

plantago

Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus): towering high above many other plants and stretching tall through mounds of snow in the winter, mullein is a biennial that products a prolific amount of seed that is a steady food supply for birds and other creatures throughout the winter months. Mullein is one of the best allies for our lungs and is supportive for treating coughs, asthma, and any other upper respiratory issues. Many also know mullein for its use as an earache remedy for humans and animals. And let’s not forget one of my more favorite uses of mullein—as toilet paper! Remember that next time you are out in the woods and gotta go!

Bless those weeds!