Glass jars of whole seeds and spices from the pantry, brown envelopes of home saved seeds on a grey concrete bench

I love it when you choose a familiar book from the shelf and stumble across an idea that previously you’d overlooked. I had read One Magic Square before, but must have just skimmed over the idea of a Horta plot, but all ideas have their time. We’d just finished added more raised growing beds to our garden and I had just one growing bed left to fill. The author’s suggestion of creating a Horta plot is exactly what I needed.

Creating a Horta plot might sound fancy, but it’s simply a raised bed, divided into quarters. Each quarter is planted a few months apart to provide a regular supply of seasonal herbs and greens all year round…brilliant! It will provide a dedicated space to forage for mixed herbs and greens – dependably,  sustainably and inexpensively. Better still, it will be both plastic-free and create zero food miles!

Even though we follow a plant-based diet, like most people, we need to eat more greens. Salads are always an obvious option, but pestos, soups, sauces and more of my favourite Wild Green Pie would be great on the menu. Once established, this new Horta plot will become my pick’ n ‘mix vegetable bed to forage for fresh ingredients.

To create a Horta Plot, ideally, you would have a 1 square metre raised bed or vegetable plot but large plant trough or multiple pots can be used too. Start at your spice shelf, if you don’t have many whole spices, ask a friend or neighbour. Gather a mix of the quick growing herbs or greens and plant in one quarter of your Horta Plot, depending on how fast they grow, or you use them, plant the next quarter or pot in 6-12 weeks with a selection suitable for the season.


  • 1 teaspoon each of mustard and coriander seeds

Add a pinch of whole seeds from your pantry, saved seeds – wild, garden, packet or even a dandelion head. Any fast-growing greens will do, I used a pinch of each of these seeds.

  • Nigella
  • Fennel
  • Caraway
  • Fenugreek
  • Buckwheat
  • Sorrell
  • Dandelion
  • Tatsoi
  • Mesculan mix
  • Cumin

Tip -Yellow mustard seeds are milder than the spicier tasting brown mustard seeds. Mustard seedlings tend to shoot up first and can provide shelter for the other seedlings.

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