Bored this summer? After a break we’re delighted to announce that our gardening workshops are back! Our new facilitator, Zoe, gave some of our staff a lunchtime workshop in herb growing at New Cavendish Street today, and we all came away with some knowledge and some lovely herb cuttings to grow at home.

Zoe talked us through the differences between herbs and spices, some uses for herbs and then showed us how to take cuttings from a herb plant and use them to grow a new plant!

Here are Zoe’s 3 easy steps for taking a cutting:

  • Take a cutting from a mature plant, at least 6cm long. Cut at an angle with a sharp clean tool. Immediately place the cutting in clean tepid water
  • Prepare a small pot with seedling/cutting compost. You can use compost from your garden but it can’t be too nutrient-rich or it will burn the fragile cutting and it won’t root. This is why old compost which has lost a lot of its nutrients works best. Lining the pot in newspaper allows for very easy replanting once the cutting has taken root.
  • Make a small hole with a pencil in the center of the pot and place the cutting in the hole without touching the cut end. Bury at least 3cm of the cutting into the pot without touching it with your fingers. Gently close the compost around the cutting and keep the pot moist (not damp) in a sunny position.

In a month your cutting will be ready to pot-on and you can just lift out the newspaper and plant it directly into the garden, box or plant pot.

One of our attendees, Ida, also impressed us with her origami skills and made newspaper boxes for us to carry our new plants home in!

We learnt the difference between a spice and herb – a herb is a leaf, and a spice is any other part of the plant used for flavour, so roots, seeds, etc. Our coriander has gone to seed for the year so we won’t get any more of the herb until next year, but we’re drying the seeds to put in curry and to replant next year for our next crop!

Jealous yet? Come and join us in our future workshops! Here’s a selection of upcoming dates with Zoe:

  • Tuesday, 8th August 2017 – Harrow Forum Courtyard – 12 pm-2 pm
  • Tuesday, 15th August 2017 – Marylebone Growing Space (look for the big red door on Luxborough St) – 12 pm-2 pm
  • Tuesday, 5th September 2017 – Harrow Forum Courtyard – 12 pm-2 pm

Keep your eyes peeled for details of our special freshers events and even more workshops once the academic year starts up again!

Cormac Cleary

Cormac Cleary

Sustainable Food Assistant at University of Westminster and Aramark
Cormac Cleary

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