Herb Sinks and Comfrey Tea
Friday, 3 May 2013 | SimplySeed
I use herbs a lot, both for cooking and for medicinal purposes. I even use them as part of the vegetable growing process.
I make large quantities of comfrey “tea”, not to drink (most definitely not for human consumption as it’s toxic, but as a liquid feed for my vegetable plants.
Comfrey tea contains lots of nitrogen and potassium. I make it by picking comfrey leaves, stuffing them into an old onion nylon net bag and suspending it from a piece of string inside a rain-water butt. Within a short time, the comfrey tea will have brewed into an evil smelling liquid. As soon as it smells truly awful, you know it's ready to use as an organic liquid feed.
I dilute it about one part water to three parts comfrey liquid. Comfrey has the added bonus of being very pretty ground cover and the bees really appreciate the early flowers. It also helps me a little in my constant battle with the ground elder in the garden by smothering it.
We have several old butler sinks that we use as herb planters near the kitchen door, very handy for popping out mid-recipe for a few leaves of this or that. I've never had much sustained success growing thyme in containers it much prefers the free draining chalky soil at my allotment, so I have a large section devoted just to thyme. We use an awful lot of it, as our favourite Sunday lunch is roasted chicken and we always stuff the cavity with lots of thyme and gloves of garlic. If I suggest we have something different for Sunday lunch there are always disappointed faces, so a large thyme section is definitely needed at the allotment.
We also use a lot of flat leaf parsley which also seems to feel at home anywhere in the vegetable plot. It likes to seed itself if I let it flower, so there are usually surprise parsley plants popping up among the strawberries.
We're currently planting up another herb sink. Here’s the essential layer of broken crocks and stones for drainage. The sinks obviously have a plug hole, but it's important not to allow that to get blocked so a layer of stones and crocks does that.
Of course you don't need an old sink, any container or pot can be used for your herbs. They look very attractive by the back door step, on the patio, or wherever you have a spare few inches. Sinks, pots and other containers are also useful for keeping invasive herbs like mint and lemon balm in check. Our sinks usually have mint, chives, oregano, lemon balm, and sage. We put the thyme, parsley, more chives, tarragon, dill and comfrey straight out into the garden and allotment.
Chives are fabulous at this time of year, so pick some and make these delicious and easy cheese and chive scones.
Cheese and Chive Scones Recipe
Makes 6 scones
For the scones:
75g grated cheese. You can use any kind, cheddar, Cheshire, whatever you’ve got a bit of to use up. I used Double Gloucester for these ones
For the topping
15g grated cheese
For a selection of herb varieties see: Herb Seeds
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