HOME STUDY - HOME GARDEN HERB COURSE
This course aims to familiarise you with the use and culture of what are traditionally the most common herb plants. It should provide you with a sound framework upon which you will be able to develop your knowledge of herbs. This is a course for the amateur who likes to use herbs at home. If you are serious about growing or using herbs commercially, you are better to do our Herb Culture Course (Ht371).
Herbs have been gathered or grown, and used in all parts of the world for thousands of years. They have a history about them which is fascinating, and a diversity of uses.Many of the more popular herbs are some of the easiest, hardiest & fastest garden plants to grow. There is generally little cost involved in growing these plants except for your own labor. These factors, coupled with a growing preference for natural alternatives to the widespread artificial chemical use that is common in today's society, have resulted in a revival of interest in the use of herbs.
The course is divided into 6 lessons as follows:
- Introduction to Herbs. Plant identification, plant names, general characteristics of herbs, the history of herbs, and herb resources (nurseries, seeds, clubs, etc).
- Herb Gardening. Planting, propagation, soils, plant nutrition, and container growing.
- Companion Planting. Introduction to companion planting, herb garden design.
- Growing Herbs to Harvest. Herb products, setting up a herb farm, making compost.
- Herbs for Cooking. Herb crafts, herb ingredients, cooking with herbs.
- Herbs for fragrance, health and beauty. Dyes, mordants, oils, other herb crafts.
During the course, the student will learn how to:Define “herb”Identify herbs suitable for hanging baskets, indoor growing, and appropriate methods of propagation for at least 50 herb speciesUnderstand “companion planting”Give examples of appropriate companion plantingPropagate and grow herbs in the gardenBuild an efficient compost heapIdentify appropriate herbs for culinary usesIdentify some medicinal uses for herbs
WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THIS COURSE?
During the course, the student will actually: Collect and identify 30 different herb specimensLearn the basics of plant identificationMake contact with herb farms to ask about their operationPropagate herbs by cuttingsPrepare a soil suitable for growing herbsDesign and plant a herb gardenVisit retailers to investigate the types of herb products availablePrepare food containing herbsHarvest and dry a herb correctlyUse herbs in other ways in crafts, cooking, etc.
What is a Herb
The scientific definition of a herb is a plant which has no persistent stem above the ground (ie: The leaves and stem die back to the roots after a period of growth). By this definition, strictly speaking, you would call plants such as Daffodils and Dahlias herbs as well as things such as mint and garlic.
The more popular definition of a herb is:
Any plant whose roots, bark, stems, leaves, seeds or flowers are used for culinary flavouring, medicinal or perfumery purposes.
Herbs are essentially plants which are grown because of the characteristics derived from the oils or other chemical components to be found in their tissue.
Herbs come in all shapes and sizes, from bulbs and perennials to woody trees and shrubs. Many are scented plants; all provide something which is useful, for example, in cooking, cosmetics, craft, pest control, or medicinally. Herbs are often grown by themselves as a "special herb garden", though there is no real reason why they can't be mixed in with other plants throughout the garden. Many people grow herbs in containers, as tub plants or baskets, kept on a patio, in a window box or even as indoor plants. Whatever way you choose, growing herbs will add a new and exciting dimension to your gardening. Even old hands at herb gardening continue to be amazed by the diversity of herb varieties and their uses. Buy and try a few today, and surprise yourself.