herb farming

Become a Biodynamic Gardener, and grow your own. Learn about “the buddy system” and “companion plantings” as well as composting and crop rotation. Certain plants benefit by growing near other plants: tall crops can provide a canopy for shorter crops; leeks will repel carrot flies; include flowering herbs and perennials to attract beneficial insects. 

Illustration:  Genevieve Simms 

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38942 by Clive Nichols
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Today I’m clearing and prepping the last corner of this plot for planting !

Last week I put in (clockwise from bottom) oregano, rosemary, variegated thyme, variegated chilli, and basil 🌿 they’ve settled in well (too well!! the basil is flowering and i’m going to prune it back..)

And my beans which I planted some months ago are starting to flower and form pods yay

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April 12, 2017

Yesterday I planted the herbs I’d picked up the day before - thyme, oregano, sage, and rosemary. I left a space for basil, which will come later. Basil is more tender than the other four and the current average overnight temps - about 5C - are too low. Basil also has a higher water requirement than its eventual pot-mates, but I’ve found in the past that this planter is large enough that I can water the basil without overwatering the others, which are all arid Mediterranean-adapted types.

I also picked up a dwarf thornless blackberry - the nursery brand is Bushel and Berry and the variety is called Baby Cakes - as a fun experimental addition. Blackberries grow here with no trouble - in fact they have rather too little trouble, and tend to overtake open lots, the edges of forests along roadways, etc. I don’t have the space (or the inclination) to wrestle year after year with thorny brambles but I do love blackberries, so I can’t wait to see how this goes!

Lastly, the current state of my peas. Growing 🌱

Keeping your plants alive (for those with no green thumb)

Perhaps you’re a witch wanting your own magick garden. Or maybe you like cooking and want some of your own fresh herbs. I suppose it’s also possible that you are obsessed with the beauty of flowers- or maybe all of these! But… Everything you tend to dies, no matter how you try. My life has been this way since before I can remember- I’ve in my lifetime manage to kill even lucky bamboo and aloe vera. But I’ve recently learned a few tricks and now have a beautiful windowsill full of plants, and want to share my success with you!

Keep reading

The Harvest Transition

(Link to my Midpoints post) but to those familiar with my personal practice I follow my own wheel that has moments for celebration, moments for rest/relaxation and moments for action. The transition periods between seasons are the moments of action and we are currently in the harvest transition!

Transitions are always incredibly strange, awkward yet magical times if the year that feels like liminal space. We are just waiting for the next season while it’s no longer currently the last (like it’s still technically summer but 61 degree New Jersey with cool breezes doesn’t feel like it, yet it’s still not fall). The transition phases are all about preparation for what’s to come but also moments to take advantage of the unique time to create magical tools you can not create to the same effect any other time of year.

The harvest transition is unique since it’s the time everything is ready to be harvested and is ripe! We are in a transition of preserving and storing. Funnily enough two of my witchy friends call it the potion making season and it’s very true. This is a heavy kitchen witch magic intensive transition and as I’m currently in the middle of cultivating some tools I’ll share some activities with you in case you would like ideas!


🍺 The first thing I always associate with this transition is cider. This is a huge cider making transition of all and any ciders. If I had the means I would definitely hands down be brewing fresh apple cider right now in my basement but I don’t have the proper yeast or the money to buy bags of apples lol.

🌶 This is a fire cider season. This will be my first year making my own fire cider and my overly ambitious ass is going to make 6! (I’m going to make them color coordinated and have different associations. One for example is white fire and it will have garlic, white chive flowers, white onion, cardemom, white pepper, rosemary and white radish in it. For emerald ember it’s going to have parsley, cilantro, lime peel, horseradish and green peppers. I really want the green one to have that refreshing nose opening spice that’s super herbal and icy hot. There’s also going to be a gold, red, orange and violet one with stuff from my garden that are of those colors).


🍷 Apple cider vinegar is powerful and creates intense and healing elixirs. If you have a garden (like me) or access to a farmers market you can make a combination of healing elixirs from fresh herbs. Also infused vinegars are healthy and taste good if you add it into salads or any other food. A great elixir that comes to mind that is healthy for your urinary tract and menstrual health is red clover, raspberry leaf and dandelion leaves. (Get dandelion from an organic herb shop since most in the wild are either sprayed with pesticides or growing somewhere toxic. In general it’s wise to get herbs from a farm or organic shop if you can’t find it in your own backyard that you know you didn’t spray).

🍸 For more infusions and magic a lot of fruits, vegetables and herbs are in season and if you are into mixology like me or enjoy cooking with alcohol you should make infusions. Vodka is usually the best in that it has no flavor so it would taste like what you infused. This also makes excellent cooking extracts! Gin infuses best with herbs (though you could still use vodka cause gin is literally just vodka with herbs), rum infuses best with fruits, whiskey with spices and fruits mixed with honey, tequila with peppers and herbs (tequila is so summery for me I ignore it usually this time of year but since we talked about fire cider all that stuff you can put in fire cider would make an EXCELLENT fiery tequila infusion). And with your sweeter vodka infusions if you want it to be a cordial (something sweet you can drink straight up or that can really add to other drinks) you can take the same fruit you chose for the infusion and make a simple syrup with it (same parts water and sugar and let it simmer all together) and in a bottle pour 1/3 syrup and 2/3 infusion. (Can be ¼ syrup and the rest infusion it depends on the desired strength and sweetness).

🌱 Not everything has to be potion crafting though. If you are blessed with a dehydrator or oven you can dry herbs and fruits which would be ideal for tea blends. I dry so many apple slices this time of year for tea. You can also use these dried substances in spells like home made ground incense or magical smoking blends. You can also add dried fruits and vegetables in oil blends (since the water in those foods will be evaporated it will infuse better)

🍯 Speaking of oil infusions (and going back to the potion making lol) since a lot of herbs and produce is in season, making herbal oils would be a great practice. Certain oil blends can be used in hair, food or to anoint candles or wear on the body as magic. You can also add these magic infusions to soap gel potions for baths or mix with home made body creams! Just make sure it’s herbs that’s safe to go on the skin.
Infuse things like rosemary and basil in olive oil for a money oil spell. Put mugwort lavender and catnip in grapeseed for a dreaming oil. I know some oils have certain properties like olive is solar and grapeseed and coconut I know are lunar. I’m unsure about the others but of course correspondences are up to you (unless they relate to nutritional reasons then their correspondences usually have reasons.)

🥒This is also the season to pickle foods! I will post a few recipes but pickling onions and fermenting cabbage is great for your health. T'is the season for pickling and making jams too!

I might add more to this but for now these are the main activities of the transition!