Herbs I Am Growing This Year (A Short List)

If you are signed up to receive my weekly love letter you will know that I am taking a deep dive into herbalism with the 1,000 Hour Herbal Immersion Program with Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine. I have loved herbs for years and have taken courses over time with various herbalists and herbal schools, but this program had been on my list for years. I decided to take this course for myself with no plans to make herbs a part of my business. The more I go deeper into the world of herbal medicine though, the more I want to share, to help others on their own herbalism journey. I believe in the power of plants as medicine as much as I do food as medicine. They are basically the same thing! As part of the program I am to grow herbs in my garden. Yes, my actual school work is growing herbs and making plant medicine! It really is wonderful. I have grown many herbs over the years, but not with the intention of growing them in this way for specific assignments. I am very excited to have school work like this. I wanted to share with you a few of the herbs I will be growing this year. Creating a relationship with plants throughout their lifespan helps you really learn about them, how to best use them, their taste, actions, energetics, etc. This is thought of as creating an herbal ally. It truly is one of the best ways to learn about herbs. I do this too for any vegetables, fruits or flowers I grow. Really getting to know plants in this way is magical. This is a short list of some of the herbs that I am growing for school and some herbs I am growing for cooking. This is by no means everything I am growing, that would make this post too long!

  • Tulsi/Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) – I absolutely love growing tulsi and making delicious infusions with it. The scent it gives when you brush upon it is divine too. One of my favorites for sure, though I could say that about almost any plant I am talking about in the moment. Tulsi is really special.
  • Stinging Nettles (Urtica diocia) – So jam packed with nutrients, this is one I am excited to grow for the first time. I will be growing it in a container and making sure to cut it back before it flowers to reduce its potential to spread.
  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis) – This is a beautiful plant to grow, with gorgeous flowers. A single plant will give you flowers continuously throughout the season as long as you keep harvesting them. I pick them every few days and let them dry on a drying rack. Once fully dry they go into a jar that is labeled with their name and year grown. 
  • Oats (Avena stativa) – I am growing these specifically because I have a gluten intolerance and am highly reactive to it. Growing my own is a sure way to make sure that I not only get the freshest oats at the right time, but also that there hasn’t been any cross contamination. You don’t need a lot of room to grow a lot of oats, I plan to grow them in a grow bag.
  • Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) – I already have little patches of this, but am excited to expand on those. There are many ways to use echinacea, as a tea, tincture, powder or after extracting its constituents you can make salves, compresses, etc. It’s flower petals can be added to salads for a beautiful pop of color.
  • Various Basil Varieties – I absolutely love growing a variety of basil plants. Each has a distinctive flavor and aroma. I am a fan of lemon basil (Ocimum basilicum citriodorum) mixed with traditional basil (Ocimum basilicum) for pesto. 
  • Various Thyme Varieties – I think I add thyme to almost anything I make, along with oregano and garlic. I think it adds such a fantastic pop of flavor. Two varieties I will be growing are Lemon Thyme (Thymus citriodorus) and traditional thyme (Thymus vulgaris).
  • Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) – Another great herb that I love growing. My plans for growing rosemary this year include making hair washes and rinses. I have read so many great things about using it for hair and scalp wellness, I look forward to trying it myself.
  • Dill – (Anethum graveolens) – I let dill self seed in my meadow garden and will often pull a small bunch off and eat it as is in the garden. I love the aroma and flavor. I love adding dill to a cashew cream sauce with added smashed chickpeas and red onions. It makes for a delicious sandwich.
  • Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) – This is a family favorite, we make so much garden salsa as soon as the tomatoes are ripe. Though cilantro is a cool season plant, when grown in succession, it is possible to harvest in the warm season. I grow it where it can have afternoon shade and always check to make sure it is well watered. Sometimes though, it will just be too hot for it and it will bolt right away. It can be grow in the house, if the outside is too warm.

This is a small glimpse of some of the herbs I will be growing this year. There are many more that I already grow and more that I will be growing for the first time. I hope this inspires you to grow more herbs in your garden this year! Let me know in the comments what herbs from this list you plan to grow, I’d love to hear from you!

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