Herbal Roots

Herbs, herbs, glorious herbs!

image of oregano cutting in water

Oregano cutting with new roots

From luscious lavender to invigorating rosemary, herbs have been around since the beginning of time. Their uses are many, and can be preventative or restorative. I certainly have my favorites, like rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, sage… the list goes on. I cook and bake with them, and use them quite a bit with the chickens: in their coop, run, nesting boxes, and as part of their treats.

One of my ongoing projects is expanding my herb garden. One way I do this is to take cuttings from favorite herbs, stick them in water, and watch new roots grow. It’s that easy! I’ve had great success with rosemary and oregano, and plan to try it with a few other herbs.

The oregano you see in the photo was actually trampled by the chickens getting into the herb garden when I wasn’t looking (turn your back for a second… geesh!) So, I brought the larger pieces inside and put them in water. The smaller pieces went in the coop and nesting boxes. The main plant is still alive, so I guess it’s a win-win. 

Come spring, the new oregano will find a permanent home back in the herb garden—oregano overwinters well in this area. The rosemary will mostly be confined to pots, so I can take it inside for the winter.

Having herbs on my kitchen windowsill brings me extra joy in the dead of winter. Some of my indoor rosemary plants have bloomed in winter, even while still in the water! Ah, herbs, you bring me such happiness!

The Crisp Days of Autumn

As summer turns to fall, the leaves slowly swirl to the ground… and chickens run, thinking the sky is falling. Oh girls, you are quite safe. As the bread dough is rising, I’m giving my girls some free range time in the yard. Their antics are both relaxing and amusing.

I gather some rose petals from my still blooming and quite fragrant Rugosa rose bushes. Add to that some fresh herbs–rosemary, sage, parsley and thyme–and in to the nesting boxes it goes. Nellie soon discovers the rose petals and snatches them up–one by one–almost as fast I put them in. Yes, the girls know what’s good for them.


Time stands still as I engage in the chicken world. The girls often circle me, perhaps it’s a safety blanket of some sort, or maybe they are as curious about me as I am of them. My rooster coffee mug is a big hit today. He’s quite the stud, even if he’s only a painting.

The bread buzzer goes off and it’s back in to their run, with assistance from my little Aussie, aka “the Chicken Herder”. It doesn’t take much, the girls know the routine. Though, there is always one who tries to defy the dog. Silly girl, the Chicken Herder always wins.

With the girls safely in their run, I return inside. Chickens are such a lovely diversion.