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If you are a keen herb gardener, just fancy starting an herb garden of your own, or an ardent cook looking for fresh ingredients, you may benefit from keeping a herb journal. It could also be a legacy project that you can pass down to your children.
You can create your own herbal encyclopaedia.
Things to Include in Your Herb Journal:
- Herbs You’ve Grown
If you already have an experience growing some herbs, you can include them in this section. Include as many details as you like about how to grow them best, including planting locations, water and soil requirements, and potential dangers to the plants etc. You can also
- Herbs You Want to Grow
Are there any herbs that you haven’t yet tried growing but would like to? Include them, and learn about them. What do they need? What conditions would be best to successfully grow them?
- Uses of Different Herbs
Herbs have multitude of uses, from cooking and medicinal to decorative and household. List of all the uses you can learn for each of the herb. This will motivate you to keep your herb garden thriving. Medicinal use is not advised for anyone who is not a professional, as incorrect use can have long-lasting or fatal consequences.
If you are good at drawing then you may also want to include drawings of herbs in your journal, so that you will learn to recognize them by sight. Even if you are not adept at art, you can draw how a herb plant will look with some care and practice. Make sure you use colour so that the representation is accurate. Be aware that using a wrong herb could be at best disastrous and at worse fatal. If you are absolutely dismal at drawing, then you can simply paste a picture of them in your journal.
Herbs can enhance any dishes, particularly fresh herbs. Write down recipes you want to make with your freshly grown herbs. Not just cooking recipes, but also for things like soaps and perfumes.
- Dangerous and Poisonous Herbs
One thing you must do is make a list of all dangerous and poisonous herbs so that you can avoid them. Write down specific details of these herbs, as it is extremely easy to confuse one herb with other similar looking herb.
- Lessons learned
As you gain experience of growing herbs, you will come to accumulate immense knowledge about these herbs, and about your personal preferences. Keep a record of these lessons, including what works for you and what doesn’t. This will help you in your future gardening projects, as well as become a tool for advising other budding herb gardeners, or even writing a book about it one day.
How to Organize Your Herb Journal
The best way to do this would be to have sections by herbs. This way, you can include everything related to a particular herb into one section. Do this by having an index with names of the herbs, and the pages assigned to this herb. Include their common name as well as botanical name so that you will learn to recognize them by either of them.
Once you have created sections by herbs, you simply need to refer to that particular section to learn anything about that herb.
One exception to this might be the recipe section, which you should keep separate, so that you can look up recipes that you want to cook, rather than by the herbs.
Herb journaling could become a project of a lifetime. If you are interested in, you can improve your journaling as your interest grows and develops. It can complement your gardening process, and potentially turn an amateur hobby into a professional skill.
Do you enjoy growing herbs? Share your experience in the comments below.