Case Study: Herb Spiral

A few months ago, a mutual friend introduced me to a lady who goes by JRuss.

JRuss loves to cook, and she subscribes to a CSA produce box product. She also subscribes to Compost as a Service: she sets out her compostable material in a separate bin, and the service whisks it away to get it composted. In return, she can order a delivery of the same amount of fully composted material whenever she so desires.

To complete the cycle of sustainable food management, JRuss loves the idea of growing her own food. She had space for growing in her yard, and the previous homeowners even had a garden bed they left. However, she had one major problem: she did not know the first thing about gardening.

JRuss invited me to take a look at her yard as part of a free consultation. Since JRuss is a People Ops Director of a startup that allowed partial remote work, she is able to work from home a few days a week. However, since JRuss is a People Ops Director of a startup, she does not have a ton of free time. She was hoping to learn how to garden, starting with a small garden feature and going from there.

JRuss and I found some naturally-growing garlic during the initial consultation.
JRuss and I found some naturally-growing garlic during the initial consultation.

After thinking about the above factors, JRuss and I discussed installing a beautiful herb spiral in her yard. An herb spiral is a design where rocks form the spaces between planted herbs, rising in the middle. You just water the center of the spiral, and the water flows down the spiral. The design is such that the plants requiring less water are planted near the center, where drainage is better, and the plants that require more water are planted near the bottom.

JRuss wanted to install the herb spiral with me, as opposed to having me do the work for her. So one beautiful Saturday morning after all the materials and plants were in place, I took my daughter along with me, and we worked with JRuss to install the herb spiral.

Here is a short video timelapse of the installation.
Collage of the herb spiral progress.
Collage of the herb spiral progress.

We worked hard, had lots of fun, and transformed a little piece of the front yard into a beautiful, functional centerpiece. Inspired by the herb spiral, JRuss has started planting herbs in another corner of the front yard. Now, every time JRuss comes home from work (or somewhere else), she can take a herb leaf or two, and bring it in with her to the kitchen.

A month later, JRuss posted the following picture of the fruit of the labors:

Dish of local herbs.

If you're in a situation of not knowing where to start growing your food, I can help. Schedule a free half-hour consultation with me.