Organic Herb Farm – Getting Started
An organic herb farm can be rewarding financially, physically, and emotionally. Even a small organic herb farm can produce a good harvest. You can use the herbs yourself, or sell them for profit at a farmer’s market. You will want to plan, of course. You will need to learn a number of things before getting started with an organic herb farm.
Organic Herb Farm Plans
Organic herb farm plans begin with determining how large a space you will allot to growing organic herbs. Herbs do not require as much space as many organic vegetables require. You can reap a good harvest in a small space.
You will want to plan, too, what types of herbs you will plant. There are three main categories.
1. Culinary – herbs valued for their taste
2. Medicinal – herbs valued for healing power
3. Scented – herbs valued for their fragrance
Organic herb farm plans often use all three, but some limit the farm to one type. Some organic herb farms grow only one herb. Think about whether there are any organic herbs you consider “must-haves” and whether there are some you really do not want to grow.
Once you have decided on space and the type of organic herbs you will grow, you need to test your soil. Is it chalky, clay, loam, or sandy? The type of soil you have will play a part in your organic herb farm plans. Test it, or have it tested so that you know. Determine whether the soil is well drained. Is the location sunny, shady, or mixed sun and shade? Will parts of your organic herb farm be exposed to wind?
Organic Herb Farm Layout
Your organic herb farm plans will need to include a layout. Use graph paper, or a computer program with a graph. On your graph paper, mark north and south. Then draw in the basic shape of your planned farm. Use a key. For example, 1 square on the graph equals 1 square yard. Draw any buildings, walls, ponds, streams, trees, or other obstacles. Indicate how tall the trees are, since this will affect sunlight. Indicate areas that are especially damp or dry.
Use your farm layout to select seeds or healthy herb plants. You can buy bulk organic herb seeds, sometimes at wholesale prices. Consider your soil and climate in selecting plants or seeds. Most nurseries or farm suppliers can give you guidance in these matters.
You may want to arrange plants according to color, If soil, sun, shade, and wind conditions allow. Or you may group organic herbs that offer benefits to one another on the farm. Here are three examples of good groups.
1. Germander, lavender, rosemary, sage, and thyme
2. Cilantro, lemon balm, lemon verbena, oregano, parsley, and thyme
3. Basil, mint, oregano, and thyme
Organic herbs are among the most beneficial plants you can grow. The plants will attract insects to your organic herb farm. Count on the help of bees, birds, and butterflies to enhance pollination and increase harvest.
Your organic herb farm plans should take advantage of the fact that those who grow organic herbs create a beautiful landscape, teeming with wildlife.