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Herbs are a very valuable crop on the homestead. Whether you are growing culinary herbs, medicinal herbs, or a cash crop, herbs are just handy to have around.
We grow herbs for medicine, both for ourselves and our animals. We also grow culinary herbs. However, we often find that we have so much abundance, that we simply can’t use all the herbs we have grown. In that case, we either barter or sell our excess herbs.
You will have to determine for yourself what herbs you need most in your household. Like most things on this site, we recommend starting small and working up from there.
We’ve found herbs like mint, rosemary, basil, thyme, parsley, dill, oregano, and chives to be among the easiest for new herb gardeners to start with. If you are really new to gardening try mint or basil. Both are very simple to grow and very hearty.
Great herbs for chickens include: Oregano, parsley, rosemary, marigolds, comfrey, dandelion, burdock, plantain, sage, thyme, mints, lavender, and cilantro. We’ll talk about why each of these is so wonderful for your chickens in another post at a later time.
Good herbs for goats and sheep include: all of the above, except for the use of comfrey in sheep, which may contain too much copper. It is fine for use externally on wounds as a poultice but should not be ingested by your sheep if you can help it. It will work wonders on skin wounds and it heals broken bones in goats, if ingested, quickly.
No matter what you use it for, each herb has seasons, just like other garden plants. Read up on the best ways to preserve each herb for later use. We dry many of our herbs in brown lunch bags inside our pantry but sometimes we use a dehydrator or a handing air-dryer on our porch. We’ve also preserved some fresh in oil, inside ice-cube trays for quick meal preps.
What herbs do you use on the homestead and how do you preserve them?