A Simple Way to Start Growing Herbs The Power of Herb

Close up of rosemary

Herbs Can Have a Powerful Presence

A friend of mine, Maria, now has a huge bountiful garden. But in the beginning she got started by simply growing a few herbs on a window still.

Just a few simple herbs made a huge difference. Maria called me one day ecstatic about her success. “Marjory,” she exclaimed, “you won’t believe it. I am feeding my family the same old stuff I always cook. My now husband is raving about how good the food tastes, and the kids are diving for seconds. They all think I have new recipes, but I am only adding a few fresh herbs.”

Read more: Overhaul Your Medicine Cabinet with Herbal Remedies

Simple Beginnings for an Herb Garden

Starting with a few plants on a windowsill can teach you a tremendous amount, and these are lessons you need to learn even if you’ll be managing acres of land someday.

By watching your herbs, you’ll start to notice how the leaves sag when the plant needs water, and how the leaves pale when they need more sun. If you give too much fertilizer, you’ll see the leaves turn yellow.

What you learn from these little guys will be true for the plants in your large garden, or huge calorie crop plantings.

Read more: Drying Herbs the Easy Way

Learn from Your Mistakes

Another advantage of starting small is that your failures will be small. Oh yes, there will be a time when you accidentally kill your plants. Don’t worry about it – it happens to everyone. Just toss the dead plants in the compost pile, start over with new ones, and remember what you learned.

Here are some other quick tips to help you succeed:

– Buy plants with as big a pot as you can comfortably fit on the windowsill a bigger pot contains more soil and is less susceptible to watering irregularities).
– Select robust plants that can withstand the abuse of a beginner such as basil, rosemary, and oregano.
– Get in the habit of talking to your plants; they love it and are totally non-judgmental.

My kitchen windowsill serves as an indoor herb garden

My kitchen windowsill serves as an indoor herb garden

Growing through Gardening

One of the joys of growing your own food is developing the lifetime relationship with living beings – the plants and animals you eat. As you sow and reap, saving seeds and breeding animals, you get to know a species well. You enter the life-spiral dance of tending and nourishing, and in exchange, you are tended and nourished as well.

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Marjory Wildcraft


Contributor

Marjory Wildcraft is an Expedition Leader and Bioneer Blogger with The [Grow] Network, which is an online community that recognizes the wisdom of "homegrown food on every table." Marjory has been featured as an expert on sustainable living by National Geographic, she is a speaker at Mother Earth News fairs, and is a returning guest on Coast to Coast AM. She is an author of several books, but is best known for her "Grow Your Own Groceries" video series, which is used by more than 300,000 homesteaders, survivalists, universities, and missionary organizations around the world.


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9 Comments
  • Vincent Tan

    God Bless Those Who Help Themselves… Nature Bless Those Who Help Themselves… In Keeping With… Simplicity… Truth… Honesty… And Kindness… “Sown-How”… Cantonese Way Of Saying It…

    • debra athanas

      “God blesses those who help themselves” I have heard that phrase my entire life from both mother and grandmother. The other day my grandmother said that and I said “Grandma you do realize that is not a bible verse? She laughed. God on the other hand does say He loves a cheerful giver and give and it shall be given to you good measure pressed down shaken together and running over shall men give unto your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure, it shall be measured to you again..

      I think of the movie “Titanic” when those that were snug and safe in life boats, too afraid to help those dying in ice cold waters. If we who are AWAKE start now, building food forests, edible landscaping, use earth energies like geothermal, water reclamation/conservation, eco friendly greenhouses, solar and wind power. We might just have enough sustainable food and medicine to save more than just us and our own. So they did not prepare lets everybody get a little extra so we can share. Many will not agree but I do not know if I can watch an infant or 5 year old starve to death!

      In the apocalyptic day after we have horded our supplies, shall we maim and kill those who are starving, sick from eating from garbage cans and wounded from the brutality of others. Will we become like it is expected raving lunatics loosing our humanity for food? What if those people could join us help us farm, work for for food. The more our numbers grow the safer and stronger the community becomes and they become an asset rather than a liability. Sorry for the doom and gloom but, that is what we are prepping for right?

  • Todd

    Your windowsill herb garden is fantastic. I can only imagine the creative culinary dishes that must come from that kitchen.

  • The link for “7 Shortcuts To Finding The Perfect Survival Retreat” -> goes to a link that doesn’t work. 🙁

  • Sandy

    Marjory, it must have been a very chilly day in Texas when you did your indoor herb video. this is the first time I have seen you with your shoulders covered up!

    It was delightful to see you snip herbs right off your line of herb pots and clip them directly onto your chicken.

    I moved up North, right around 47 deg. lat. where a windowsill makes a great refrigerator space in winter. Our newly built cottage is oriented almost square on compass points, with a window-filled wall facing due south. We savor the few hours of solar warmth we get all winter, but it has proved insufficient for indoor gardening.

    Tips on indoor herb gardening for the far North would be a very welcome up here!

    • andrea

      perhaps in winter a small electric heating pad would work? If only for the few very cold hours overnight? set your “little ones” on the pad , and plug it up over night , and let the sunshine do the rest in the day time? ( just my 2 cents). wishing you great success .

      • Charles

        Hi Andrea, Your idea sounds good, and it stimulated my mind to recall an alternative. Since heating pads are usually square, and a long narrow pad would be better, I recall seeing a skinny aluminum pipe offered in a homeowner type catalog that offers a solution to molding shoes in a closet. Laid on the closet floor, the shoes are placed by the heel. The tube could be placed between the window and the pots. There is less of a chance of a short caused by an accidental over watered pot. If the ends of the pipe were sealed with silicone adhesive, that would reduce the chance of an electrical short circuit.

        Such a device could be constructed from a, no longer needed, heating pad and made the custom length of the window sill. Hardware stores carry aluminum pipe that they can cut to the width of the sill. The switch on a heating pad usually has low, medium, and high settings making this device a custom made device.

  • I got a load of herbs left from garden 2015,out of rosemerry planted 2016.Jeff

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