I mentioned in my last post that El Hubs built a herb garden. Outside the kitchen was this rather forlorn area. We recently finished the landscaping around the house – just new plants and some pavers – but this area, which gets great early morning sun was a little boring.

We’d been toying around with a herb garden for some time. Originally, we thought to create a large one but then realised it’s just the two of us, so why not have a small, manageable herb garden. El Hubs built some sturdy planter boxes that fit around the outside wall. There’s an inbuilt seat for me to have my early morning coffee.

I follow the sun philosophy of my maternal grandfather and mother – exposure to the sun before 10.00am or after 3.00pm. Vitamin D deficiency is fairly widespread in modern society especially since the message of Slip Slop Slap became popular. We slap on sunscreen to protect ourselves from skin cancer and this is a wise thing but, at the same time, we are perhaps cutting short our lives. Why? Because (as my grandfather used to say to me) Vitamin D protects the body against every single disease including cancer.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to cancer; diabetes; colds and flu; and rheumatoid arthritis amongst many other diseases. Vitamin D helps build bones and strengthens the immune system. Since arriving in New Zealand, I’ve enjoyed an outdoor lifestyle. In Oz, I was always indoors and chained to an office desk except for the weekends when I would be out in the sunlight.

My grandfather told me to expose the inside of the arms for about 15 minutes three times per week. And this is what I do. I wear an organic sunscreen on my face as I don’t want to get leathery-looking. But every day, my arms get 15 minutes of sun exposure at around 8.00-9.00am. And since arriving in NZ and stepping up the sun exposure, I have not had one single cold or caught the flu. Every year in Australia, I managed to get flu or a nasty cold. Both my grandfather and mother lived to their 90s, so hopefully there’s something in this sun business.

Where was I? Oh yeah, herbs. My mother was also a great believer in herbs. She would have chives in her sandwiches, parsley in her salads, mint in her tea. I’ve inherited a book she used to read constantly – Rosemary Hemphill’s Herbs For All Seasons. I must look at the publication date but I reckon it’s from the 1970s. So now I have a herb garden full of basil, chives, coriander, rosemary and oregano.

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El Hubs contemplates the building of the herb planter.

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The box hugs the outside wall of the kitchen. The herbs get lots of early morning sunshine.

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Zeph wonders how many bones he’ll be able to bury in the planter box.

 

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