Homoeopathic remedies have been used for thousands of years to keep animals healthy or to treat ailments. Animals will even seek out beneficial plants themselves. A supplementation of medicinal herbs added to the animal’s diet on occasion may improve their well-being.
On the farm, medicinal herbs are already being used. For example, food processing has made a turmeric paste, which given to the donkeys to strengthen their immune system. There are already medicinal herbs that are growing around the farm in different locations. Other medicinal herbs can be found in the valley, and also wild plants growing in fields and hedgerows close by.
However, following a conversation with the farm manager, it is clear that a medicinal herb garden in a single location would be ideal. Students would be able to see and partake in the journey from a plant growing nearby, processed into a medicinal form and then administered to the farm animals.
My vision for the herb garden includes a drystone wall along one side, which students will be able to help build.
The garden will also be separated into seven zones for each animal, to aid further understanding for the students, and engagement. The seven zones are for the cows, pigs, sheep, goats, donkeys, chickens (hopefully returning to the farm), and the farmers (some herbs that could be used for infusions/teas)
I would like each plant in the garden to be clearly labelled, along with information about its potential benefits, and usages.
- Research: Read some books to learn which herbs are beneficial to which animals
- Lesson plans: Incorporating the journey from plant to medicine into a lesson plan
- Stakeholders: Speak to all those that would be involved, and identify a suitable location.
- Growing: Decide upon which herbs to grow, propagation methods, and sourcing
- Timescales: When is a good time to begin? How many hours of labour?
- Maintaining: What measures are needed to ensure the herb garden doesn’t become overgrown?
- Design: How will the different zones be shaped? How to make it beautiful?