Modern Botany Herb Garden Update
Modern Botany Oil, A Gardener’s Little Helper
It’s that time of year when we are busily preparing the ground for our medicinal herb growing.
Over the past 5 years we have been growing test crops on our Modern Botany farm and using these extracts in our Research and Development for new product development.
Last year was the first year that we were delighted to incorporate our home-grown Roman Chamomile; German Chamomile and Calendula extracts into our formulations.
It was our dream from the very start when establishing Modern Botany, to grow as much of our key ingredients as possible that span across our product range. To achieve this plan, we are also growing other test crop species that we want to incorporate into our supply chain over the next 2-3 years.
Working with our local horticulture advisor we have built up a comprehensive methodology of best practice for growing our 3 main herbs from our test crop learning outcomes over the past 5 years., including regenerative farming practice, and incorporating elements of biodynamic farming.
For instance, our Roman Chamomile is a perennial therefore it comes back every year. This is growing in our ’no dig’ section. We will shortly plant out new seedlings of German Chamomile and Calendula in furrows, planting on dates that correspond to the biodynamic calendar for optimal results.
At this time of year, we prepare the herb furrows, such as weeding the Roman Chamomile furrows, prune its overgrown stems and fertilize with organic materials, such as our homemade seaweed broth or our Comfrey tea.
This year we will also create new furrows for the Calendula and German Chamomile seedlings which will increase our ‘no dig section’ in line with our regenerative farming ethos. The seedlings are slowly growing in the polytunnel and when they are robust enough, we will put out in furrows around mid-May.
In the interim and for better weed management, we burn off the baby weeds with a flame thrower. This is the most organic method of weed control, as we do not use pesticides or herbicides. We then fill the areas around the furrows with old wood bark (mulch) which keeps the weeds at bay.
Between now and July, when the plants start to flower it’s just a case of maintaining the beds until they are ready for harvesting. This is our favourite time of year where both Modern Botany and the bees reap the goodness of all our labours.