Herb spiral: an introduction to permaculture

Building a Herb Spiral is an elegant and attractive introduction to permaculture principles. To enrich an urban farm kitchen activities, we made a permaculture workshop and constructed a Herb Spiral, with about twenty other participants. After preparation and bringing materials, we constructed the Spiral near to the kitchen in two or three hours. At the end of the afternoon, we could already enjoy a soup with the fresh herbs onsite. Picking directly from the living plant to the dish, we magically turned around, tasting and discussing the various herbs.

Here is  a video that explain how we built it  with instructions to make  your own in your garden or your backyard. Enjoy!

Why is Herb spiral important ?

Herb Spiral is a simple, esthetic and productive permaculture design, that take advantage of limited space to easily improve your kitchen garden by incorporating some of your favorite herbs. A spiral of rocks encloses soil layers in which many species of herbs are planted. The rock warms and dehumidifies the soil. The extended edge, wrapped in on itself provides a wide diversity of conditions, creating high productivity in a small space, but is easy to water and harvest.

A Perfect Introduction to Permaculture

In a permaculture workshop with local participants, Cathrine Dolleris presented an “Introduction To Permaculture” and an overview of Herb Spiral concept (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkSW7URo6Tc). Then we started building a Herb Spiral at Prags Have, an urban farm in Copenhagen.

Step-by-Step Construction

1. Find a good place for the spiral and bring and prepare materials (see below).
2. Soak wood and branches in water with charcoal for 2h
3. Draw a circle on the ground, with bricks or other material, Ø max 2m for easy reach
4. Place stones to form a spiral
5. Place a layer of gravel, thick in the center (20 cm), thin at the border (5 cm)
6. Fill the spiral in layers with and water as it goes in

  • a. Soil + Soaked wood
  • b. Soil with Ash + Straw + Veggy scraps + Worms + Mushroom mycelium (spent substrate)
  • c. Soil + Seaweed
  • d. Soil + Compost mixed with Charcoal

7. Water the center and test the flow
8. Let the soil rest for 24h, when possible
9. Plant your herbs. Herb positions on the spiral is shown at the right.
10. Taste the herbs and share the photos


  • Stones & Compost : nearby recycle center
  • Herbs & Compost : supermarket
  • Seaweed : nearby beach
  • Charcoal, Mycelium & Worms : local garden and worm bin

Special thanks to workshop participants and Cathrine Dolleris


Organization : Lina Soroli, Sofia Olsen

Video : Sofiane Gueddana
30.03.2012 – Prags Have, Copenhagen


One thought on “Herb spiral: an introduction to permaculture

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s